Minds and Machines

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 15–30 | Cite as

Rethinking Autonomy

  • Richard Alterman


This paper explores the assumption of autonomy. Several arguments are presented against the assumption of runtime autonomy as a principle of design for artificial intelligence systems. The arguments vary from being theoretical, to practical, and to analytic. The latter parts of the paper focus on one strategy for building non-autonomous systems (the practice view). One critical theme is that intelligence is not located in the system alone, it emerges from a history of interactions among user, builder, and designer over a given set of data as mediated by the system. A second critical theme is that artificially intelligent systems are ongoing projects that must be continuously adapted and revised using joint person-machine efforts.

autonomy building systems users practice everyday activity artificial intelligence cognitive science 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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  • Richard Alterman

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