Autonomous artificial intelligent agents
Razvan V. Florian
This paper reviews the current state of the art in the research concerning the development of autonomous artificial intelligent agents. First, we discuss the meaning of specific terms, like agency, automaticity, autonomy, embodiment, situatedness, and intelligence. The motivations for conducting research in this area are then exposed. We focus, in particular, on the importance of autonomous embodied agents as support for genuine artificial intelligence. Several principles that should guide autonomous agent research are reviewed next. Of particular importance are the embodiment and situatedness of the agent, the principle of sensorimotor coordination, and the need for epigenetic development and learning capabilities. They ensure the adaptability, flexibility and robustness of the agent. Several design and evaluation considerations are then discussed. Four approaches to the design of autonomous agents---the subsumption architecture, evolutionary methods, biologically-inspired methods and collective approaches---are presented and illustrated with examples. Finally, a brief discussion mentions the possible role of autonomous agents as a framework for the study of computational applications of the far-from-equilibrium systems theory.