Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Computer Science and Engineering


The agent metaphor comes packaged with a number of powerful abstractions. Some of these are psychological, such as beliefs, knowledge, and intentions-abstractions that were traditionally studied in AI. However, there are a number of other abstractions that the agent metaphor brings to the fore. Of these, one has been emphasizing the social abstractions. Close cousins of the social abstractions are the ethical and legal abstractions. These too are being recognized as increasingly important in developing agents that are not only sociable, but also well behaved.