Word Wide Web intelligent agent technology has provided researchers and practitioners, such as those involved in information technology, innovation, knowledge management, and technical collaboration with the ability to examine the design principles and performance characteristics of the various approaches to intelligent agent technology, and to increase the cross fertilization of ideas on the development of autonomous agents and multi-agent systems among different domains. This study investigates the employment of intelligent agents in a web-based auction process, with particular reference to the appropriateness of the agent software for the online auction task, consumers' value perception of the agent, the effect of this consumer perception on their intention to use the tool, and a measure of consumer acceptance. In the initial case study, both consumers and web operators thought the use of software agents enhanced online auction efficiency and timeliness. The second phase of the investigation established that consumer familiarity with the agent functionality was positively associated with seven dimensions: online auction site's task, agent's technology, task-technology fit, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived playfulness, intention to use tool, and negatively associated with perceived risk. Intelligent agents have the potential to release skilled operator time for the use of value-adding tasks in the planning and expansion of online auctions.
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