Artificial Societies and Psychological Agents
Agents have for a while been a key concept in artificial intelligence, but often all that the word refers to is a computational process or task with a capability for autonomous action, either alone or in an artificial society of similar agents. But the artificial nature of these societies restricts the flexibility of agents to a point where social interaction between people and agents is blocked by significant social and psychological factors not usually considered in artificial intelligence research. This paper argues that to overcome these problems, it will be necessary to return to the study of human psychology and interaction, and to introduce the concept of 'psychological agents.'
A revised version of this paper is to appear in the British Telecom Technology Journal special issue on Intelligent Agents, Autumn 1996