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"What has allowed so many Psychopathic Personalities to rise so high in corporations and government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Autosecretary (Autosec)  
  A software agent able to accept your query and then seach the public net for related information.  

Interesting pre-search engine idea of how to make sense of a global information network.

Her autosec flashed the queue of her clipping program... a backlog of fifteen thousand headlines culled from news services and Net-zines in every time zone. She flushed everything having to do with the accident, and the tally dropped below a hundred. Those she might scan later, to catch up with what was happening in the world.
From Earth, by David Brin.
Published by Bantam in 1990
Additional resources -

Here's another bit:

...was the die-off just a local "adjustment," restricted to south Texas? A few words to her autosecretary would send a ferret program forth to fetch the truth in milliseconds. But then, what good would knowing do? The Net was such a vast sea of information, sipping from it sometimes felt like trying to slake your thirst from a fire hose.

Brin takes a backseat to the venerable Arthur C. Clarke for the general idea, though: see the Personal Interest Profile from Clarke's 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise.

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