"The new software system, called KarDo, was developed by researchers at MIT. It can automatically configure an e-mail account, install a virus scanner, or set up access to a virtual private network, says MIT's Dina Katabi, an associate professor at MIT.
Crucially, the software just needs to watch an administrator perform this task once before being able to carry out the same job on computers running different software. Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on simple and repetitive IT tasks, according to reports from the analyst groups Forrester and Gartner. KarDo could reduce these costs by as much as 20 percent, Katabi says.
In some respects, KarDo resembles software that can be used to record macros--a set sequence of user actions on a computer. But KarDo attempts to learn the goal of each action in the sequence so it can be applied more generally later, says MIT post-graduate Hariharan Rahul, who codeveloped the system. "