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Software Agents: Ethical Issues Concerning Agent Autonomy

Software Agents: Ethical Issues Concerning Agent Autonomy
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Author(s): Kane Baxter Bignell (Monash University, Australia)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Modern Organizations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-822-2.ch134

Abstract

This paper establishes a need for software agents in an Information Age where even competent computer users suffer information overload. The social consequences of agent use is examined, that to this time have not been adequately addressed by developers or governing bodies. Thus, there is a need for the establishment of a universally accepted, effective code of ethical agent practice in order to avoid agent misuse and threats to individual privacy. Consequently the code would protect users and ensure the future of the technology itself, as people become increasingly informed and suspicious of these intrusions such as spyware agents. The author proposes an Agent Ethical Code of Conduct, noting the possible future developments of such a Code should further research be undertaken in this area.

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