University of Twente Student Theses


A model of autonomy for artificial agents

Idskes, J.J. (2016) A model of autonomy for artificial agents.

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Abstract:An increasing amount of tasks and responsibilities are being delegated to artificial agents. In areas such as healthcare, traffic, the household, and the military, artificial agents are being adopted and assigned to execute tasks that were previously performed by human beings. The goal of my thesis is to develop a model of autonomy for artificial agents that operate in an open and uncontrolled environment. Since the goals of artificial agents are determined by human beings, it is not required that they formulate and follow their own moral laws, which is a commonly referred to aspect of autonomy. What is mainly important for artificial agents is that they posses autonomous decision making capabilities that allow them to reach those goals. Because they operate in an open and uncontrolled environment, they have to deal with uncertainty. Moreover, their decisions affect human beings. To be able to make decisions under those conditions, it is important to have a solid representation of the environment. From this representation, the artificial agent can anticipate multiple future states. The artificial agents has to select the most desirable future state and make decisions about how to act in order to reach that future state. Because their decisions have an affect on human beings, artificial agents require the ability to make moral decisions. I suggest a model of autonomy for artificial agents that fulfills the moral responsibility of designers. The goal is to provide a model of autonomy for artificial agents that allows for justifiable decision making in open and uncontrolled environments.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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