Monday, July 04, 2005

Software Agency: a blend of computer science, philosophy, psychology, statistics, and economics

As I have been incrementally thinking more deeply about software agents and what really makes them tick, my thoughts have coalesced around a mix of computer science, philosophy, psychology, statistics, and economics.  Software agents or software agency is not simply about two or more computer programs directly interacting, but much more about "social" interactions of computational entities.  Much of what needs to be computed can be best accomplished through "effects" rather than synchronized interactions.  In fact, the effect of one software agent may be "felt" and processed by an untold number of other software agents.  Or, an aggregate effect may come about from the uncoordinated actions of any number of independent software agents which are not even aware of each other's existence.  Beliefs, desires, and intentions are all relevant to the interactions (direct or otherwise) of software agents.  It makes perfect sense to speak of societies of software agents.  And it makes equally good sense to consider the economic values of computations and the software agents that perform them.

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