Anti-boxology: agent design in cultural context
Abstract: "Artificial Intelligence (AI), the design of technology with attributes that we traditionally associate with living beings, generally follows the broader scientific tradition of focusing on technical problems and their solutions within a relatively constrained framework. The cultural studies of science, on the other hand, insists that scientific work should be understood as it springs from and influences other cultural phenomena, including the background of metaphors and assumptions that influence the way scientists do their work. In this thesis, I explore the possibilities for AI and the cultural studies of science to engage in a mutually beneficial alliance, by studying AI as a culturally situated activity and by using results of that study to generate novel technology. Specifically, I focus on the design of autonomous agents, programs which are intended to represent a complete person, animal, or character. In the alternative AI tradition, these agents are created from a set of independent building blocks termed behaviors. A major open question is how these behaviors can be synthesized to create an agent with overall coherent behavior. I trace the problems in behavior integration to a strategy called atomization that AI shares with industrialization and psychiatric institutionalization. Atomization is the process of breaking agents into modular chunks with limited interaction and represents a catch-22 for AI; while this strategy is essential for building understandable code, it is fatal for creating agents that have the overall coherence we have come to associate with living beings. I tackle this problem of integration by redefining the notion of agent. Instead of seeing agents as autonomous creatures with little reference to their sociocultural context, I suggest that agents can be thought of in the style of cultural studies as a form of communication between the agent's designer and the audience which will try to comprehend the agent's activity. With this metaphor as a basis, it becomes clear that we need to integrate, not the agent's internally defined code, but the way in which the agent presents itself to the user. Narrative psychology suggests that agents will be maximally comprehensible as intentional beings if they are structured to provide cues for narrative. I therefore build an agent architecture, the Expressivator, which provides support for narratively comprehensible agents, most notably by using behavioral transitions to link atomic behavoirs into narrative sequences."
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Agents in Culture
Schizophrenia Industrialization and Institutionalization
11 other sections not shown
action-selection activity actually agent architecture agent design agent's behavior Agre alternative animation artificial atomization audience autonomous agents behavior blend behavior transitions behavior-based behavioral change build Chapter coherent combined communication complex context creatures cultural studies cultural theory engage environment example Expressivator Figure fundamentally goal haviors headbanging high-level behaviors high-level signifier human humanistic idea implemented Industrial Graveyard intelligence interaction interpretation look low-level signifiers Luc Steels Luxo machine means mechanisms meta-level controls metaphor mini-transitions Mope by Fence narrative narrative psychology object old behavior Overseer particular Patient Pengi physical actions problem psychiatry rational reason researchers robot Rodney Brooks schizophrenia science studies Science Wars scientific scientists sense Sigh sign management signs and signifiers simply socially situated story structure subbehaviors subroutine switch technical techniques Terry Winograd thesis things thinking transition demons transition trigger transition types Transitions Behaviors trying understand Woggles workers