Autonomy: a review and a reappraisal

Posted 25 Oct 2007 at 23:02 UTC by steve Share This

For most robot builders, one of the important goals is trying to build robots that are autonomous. This is a difficult thing to do and it's hard to get people to agree if has been done at all yet. This is because, like so many things associated with robotics: intelligent, emotion, consciousness; we use the words without agreeing or even knowing what they mean. A new paper written by Tom Froese, Nathaniel Virgo, and Eduardo Izquierdo of the University of Sussex Cognitive Science department tackles the problem of autonomy. The paper, titled "Autonomy: a review and a reappraisal" (PDF format), tries to make some progress towards defining what it means for a biological or engineered system to be autonomous. It also draws a distinction between behavioral autonomy and constitutive autonomy. The paper looks at both the origin of the word and reviews the current meanings assigned in the fields of AI, artificial life, congnitive science, and robotics.

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