Emergent Agents and Socialities: Social and Organizational Aspects of Intelligence: Papers from the AAAI Fall Symposium
Goran P. Trajkovski and Samuel G. Collins, Cochairs
The study of agency and multiagent systems crosses disciplinary boundaries by focusing on society, culture and communication as emerging from interactions of autonomous agents. Poised at the intersections of AI, cybernetics, sociology, semiotics and anthropology, this strand of multiagent systems research enables a powerful perspective illuminating not only how we live and learn, but also, through focusing on emergence, how we anticipate the future. This symposium focused on second order emergence. The constituents in a system are aware of an emergent phenomenon and adapt accordingly. New agents emerge as human and nonhuman agents interact, hinting at new qualities that may enable us to push the use of technology to its maximum capacity, and in the process imbricating both the observer and the observed in successive cycles of emergence.
In most studies to date, the nonhuman agent is subordinate to the human agents. Without the human input (and in the absence of another obstacle), the nonhuman agent goes nowhere. On the other hand, if we look at these interactions as emergent socialities, the nonhuman agent has a pivotal role—that of amanuensis for all subsequent social interaction. That is, without the nonhuman agent, there can be no emergent social interaction to begin with. Theories of emergence suggest a dynamic, multidirectionality of perception organized socially as multiagent systems. What is less studied is the messiness of those multiagent systems themselves, the way they involve complex translations between human and nonhuman agents, or transcodings between different representational and discursive modalities. The symposium delved into the messiness of the social, approaching it from multiple perspectives simultaneously — computational, sociological, linguistic and cybernetic — in such a way as to stimulate our own sites of emergence at the borders of these disciplines.