Summary: Rethinking Autonomy
Richard Alterman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Abstract. 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 practi-
cal, 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.
Keywords: autonomy, building systems, users, practice, everyday activity, artificial
intelligence, cognitive science
This work was supported in part by ONR (N00014-96-1-0440). Additional
funding was provided by NSF (ISI-9634102).
c 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
2 Richard Alterman