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Towards Implementing Free Will - Bruce Edmonds

10 Conclusion

Although it is probably not possible to implement the facility for free-will directly in an agent (i.e. by designing the detail of the decision making process), I have argued that it is possible to implement a cognitive framework within which free-will can evolve. This seems to require certain machinery: an open-ended evolutionary process; selection against predictability; separate learning of the consequences of action; anticipation of the results of action and the evolution of the evolutionary process itself. Each of these have been implemented in different systems but not, as far as I know, together.

The free-will that results is a practical free-will. I contend that if the architecture described was implemented the resulting facility would have the essential properties of our free-will from the point of view of an external observer. Such a facility seems more real to me than many of the versions of free-will discussed in the philosophical literature, because it is driven more by practical concerns and observations of choice and is less driven by an unobtainable wish for universal coherency. are basically three possibilities: free-will is a sort of `magic'; it is an illusion; or it is implementable. I hope to have made the third a little more real.

Towards Implementing Free Will - Bruce Edmonds - 16 MAR 0
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