Software agents and user autonomy

Batya Friedman, Helen Nissenbaum

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Software agents comprise a new area for research and soon will be embedded and ubiquitous in modern computing systems. In this formative phase, it is important to develop comprehensive measures of excellence for evaluation. To criteria in the literature - competence, completeness, correctness, efficiency, reliability, and trust - we propose as an essential complement: user autonomy. In this paper we: (1) provide a definition and rationale for user autonomy in relation to software agents; (2) describe a framework for understanding how user autonomy can be promoted or undermined through the design of software agents; and (3) consider justifiable limitations on user autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 1st International Conference on Autonomous Agents - Marina del Rey, CA, USA
Duration: Feb 5 1997Feb 8 1997


OtherProceedings of the 1997 1st International Conference on Autonomous Agents
CityMarina del Rey, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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