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Task Assistant

Task Assistant  Principal Investigator:  Bart Peintner

Mailing address:
AI Center
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3493

AIC Program:  Impact Group

   Project Description

Task Assistant is a flexible, web-based workflow application that enables an organization to move its operating procedures from manuals and human memories into living collaborative artifacts. Task Assistant assists its users in quickly creating workflows, in accessing and customizing workflows created by others, and by delegating tasks to team members and connecting tasks to automated processes in the user’s environment. Task Assistant is fully collaborative, allowing multiple users to simultaneous edit, build, or execute workflows. Entering tasks is as simple as entering bullet points in PowerPoint. Setting deadlines and priorities, adding comments and data fields, or attaching files and web links is equally simple. Beyond allowing simple entry of new task information, Task Assistant analyzes each new task, using algorithms, learned models, and inferred social relationships to make connections between tasks and the following: (1) existing workflows in a globally shared library. Matching workflows are presented to the user as suggestions for potentially relevant workflows in the current context; (2) other users able to perform the task. Over time, Task Assistant learns which members of a team perform which tasks; and (3) web services or automated procedures in a shared library. Task Assistant integrates with published services. When such procedures are attached to tasks within a workflow, it can make executing the tasklist more efficient. Task Assistant has significant support for status monitoring. It displays progress, due dates, and indications of when tasks are not on track or information is stale. A dashboard capability allows users to define which tasks or events they want to monitor, both through a visual portal and through email. A defining quality of Task Assistant is its flexibility: it supports workflows as simple as a personal list of Todo items up to a hardened, reusable, and collaborative workflow with deadlines, durations, and links to files, web links, and automated services. Users can edit or execute tasklist in a hierarchical list view or in a time line view, which allows fast editing of deadlines, durations, and time-based dependencies among tasks. It can be easily customized to support tasks or items of different types (e.g., plans, decision points, info items), including distinct properties for each type. This flexibility enables Task Assistant to support many planning, execution, training, and process monitoring functions.

   Personnel

Name Title E-mail
Murdock, Janet Computer Scientist
Myers, Karen Program Director & Principal Scientist
Peintner, Bart Sr. Computer Scientist
Tien, Jing Alumnus
Yeh, Eric Software Engineer
Yin, Min Senior Software Engineer

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