People, Robots and Systemic Decision Making

Blackmore, B. S. and Blackmore, C. P. (2007). People, Robots and Systemic Decision Making. In: Stafford, J. V. ed. Precision agriculture '07. Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp. 433–439.

URL: http://www.wageningenacademic.com/Default.asp?page...

Abstract

People can make decisions intuitively, based on their values and perceptions which take account of their contexts, so demonstrating a systemic approach. Other decisions processes are more rational than intuitive and can be quite systematic. The decisions people make range from simple to highly complex and the processes can be analysed to help understand how and why decisions were made in order to improve both the process and the outcome. This analysis can also highlight which processes can be replicated or supported by computers, raising questions about the role of computers in decision-making and to what extent they can make decisions autonomously. Computer-based decision-making uses a more systematic approach than humans alone which has advantages and disadvantages. Mobile agricultural robots or more intelligent machines can be modelled on this process to allow them to behave in the same way people do and to offer the possibility to carry out autonomous plant level operations such as mechanical weeding. A truly intelligent machine is unlikely in the near future but more intelligent machines that can behave sensibly within a given context are becoming a reality.

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