I am more optimistic about intelligent agent modeling than is Tyler. For one we already have an important, convincing, and Nobel-bestowed variant of intelligent agent modeling, namely experimental economics. Experimental economics uses one particular type of intelligent agent, the type based on…genetic algorithms. True, the intelligent agents used in I-A models are typically not as sophisticated as the agents used in experimental economics but they are rapidly improving. (Moreover, such agents are already important economic actors in their own right in limited areas, e.g. portfolio insurance, and they will continue to become more important as time continues.)
I see bringing experimental economics and I-A modeling closer as an important goal with potentially very large payoffs. Here, for example, is my model for a ground-breaking paper.
2) I-A replication of experiment (parameterization)
3) I-A simulation under new conditions
4) Experiment under the same conditions as 3 demonstrating accuracy of simulation
5) I-A simulation under conditions that cannot be tested using experiments.
Now that would be a great paper. I-A agent modeling is already very useful for modeling contagion, peer effects, and highly non-linear environments. It will become even more useful when combined with experimental economics in a way that demonstrates the equivalence of the two types of intelligent agents.