Adaptive Behavior Special Issue: Agency in Natural and Artificial Systems
Takashi Ikegami and I (Marieke Rohde) have edited a special issue on Agency in Natural and Artificial Systems which is now available on the journal homepage
The special issue had been the outcome of a 2008 Kyoto Workshop with the same topic and features contributions by both workshop participants and outside contributors. All contributions are potentially relevant to the followers of this blog. I hope the one line summaries below adequately summarise the papers
- Xabier E. Barandiaran, Ezequiel Di Paolo, and Marieke Rohde Defining Agency: Individuality, Normativity, Asymmetry, and Spatio-temporality in Action: A conceptual paper that proposes a definition of agency that is based on Barandiaran & Di Paolo’s earlier work, with tight links to autopoietic theory.
- Matthew D. Egbert and Ezequiel Di Paolo Integrating Autopoiesis and Behavior: An Exploration in Computational Chemo-ethology: A simulation model (artificial chemistry) of a proto cell to combine autopoiesis and functional sensorimotor behaviour, investigating the transition from just autopoiesis to minimal agency.
- Jean-Julien Aucouturier and Takashi Ikegami The Illusion of Agency: Two Engineering Approaches to Compromise Autonomy and Reactivity in an Artificial System: An analysis of the authors’ previous work on chaotic neural networks for dancing behaviour in a robot. Proposing a “dynamical Turing test”, the authors assess in how far internal controller complexity can lead to fluctuations in “information circulation” in sensorimotor couplings, which brings about behaviour that appears life-like and autonomous.
- Jun Tani Autonomy of Self at Criticality: The Perspective from Synthetic Neuro-Robotics: Reviewing a series of his earlier work in Neuro-Robotics, Tani proposes that self-organising criticality in complex neural robot controllers is a possible mechanism to bring about spontaneous switching in behaviour as we observe it in higher living organisms. The work is inspired by and related to Heidegger’s phenomenology of selfhood.
- Hanne De Jaegher and Tom Froese On the Role of Social Interaction in Individual Agency: The authors assess in a conceptual contribution to what extent processes of dynamical self-organizing between individuals (i.e., in interaction) can be relevant for the study and generation of agency. Giving examples/guidelines, they propose that higher forms of agency can only be reached if interaction dynamics are taken into consideration.