Boffins at Cambridge University claim to have developed an internet "brain" that helps people get information from internet-based databases.
Dubbed Metafaq, the system can answer emailed questions and also guide surfers through websites.
Dr Davin Yap, who developed the system, said it uses artificial intelligence to answer questions as well as a human.
"It allows people to search intelligently and predicts the questions they will ask," he said.
The system has impressed Sony, which is to use it to offer technical support to PlayStation users.
Users going on the Sony website can browse the Metafaq knowledge base or email questions to it.
Metafaq can answer simple questions quickly and easily, without the need for a phone call. More than 85 per cent of PlayStation questions could be answered directly by Metafaq.
If the question cannot be answered by the system, then it will be forwarded to a customer service adviser. The response is then emailed back and added to the knowledge base.
So the more questions that are asked, the brainier Metafaq becomes, Dr Yap said.
More than three-quarters of information requested by customers on the net is already available on the website.
The Metafaq system is also being developed for government sites, particularly the NHS, who see it as useful to answer questions about post-operative care.
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