Saturday, January 2, 2010

AI for real life: Understanding autonomy

There are talks about autonomy and other forms of motivations. But I realized the meaning of autonomy only after reading about it in an AI book.

Let's first define how we want an agent or an employee to behave. We want him to try his best to maximize our score assigned to him. When doing "his best", he can only use his prior knowledge or his senses. We should not blame a deaf person for not running in reaction to the sound "fire". We should also not blame a person without the prior knowledge of the English word "fire". They are acting rationally under the given conditions.

And autonomy is the ability to enhance or correct the prior knowledge. An autonomous agent does not need to follow the rules defined in the prior knowledge. He could override them if it makes sense to him. For example, he does not have to run immediately after hearing "fire". He can grab the deaf person's hand first.

No comments: