Dennett's intentional stance
Mc Carthy: "To ascribe certain beliefs, free will, intentions, consciousness, abilities or wants to a machine or computer program is LEGITIMATE when such an ascription expresses the same information about the machine that it expresses about a person. It is USEFUL when the ascription helps us understand the structure of the machine, its past or future behaviour, or how to repair or improve it. It is perhaps never LOGICALLY REQUIRED even for humans, but expressing reasonably briefly what is actually known about the state of the machine in a particular situation may require mental qualities [...]. Ascription of mental qualities is MOST STRAIGHTFORWARD for machines of known structure such as thermostats and computer operating systems, but is MOST USEFUL when applied to entities whose structure is very incompletely known."
Jennings et al: "An agent is a computer system, situated in some environment, that is capable of flexible autonomous action in order to meet its design objectives."
- situated: receives sensory input from its environment and can perform actions that can change it in some way. (As opposed to most expert systems!) Important properties of the environment: accessible vs inaccessible, deterministic vs non-deterministic, static vs dynamic, discrete vs continuous.
- autonomous: no direct intervention from humans, control over its own actions and internal state.
- responsive to changes
- social: interactive with humans and other agents
conclusion: Agents: why?
- a good metaphor
- an integration of various AI techniques
- a new programming paradigm
- a useful addition to current software engineering paradigms
exercises and discussion:
- do not misuse the term! "tout ce qui brille n'est pas agent"
- not always the right approach! "l'agent ne fait pas toujours le bonheur"
- Of the following items, which ones are agents in your opinion?
- email notification program
- a spell checker
- Microsoft's Agent
- an SNMP agent
- a chess program
- What are the properties of the Robo Cup Simulation League environment?
back to SoftwareAgentCourse
- Wooldridge&Jennings 
- Nwana 
(last edited May 3, 2016)
Find Page by browsing or searching