Raising agents: sources of human social intelligence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper urges that if we wish to give social intelligence to our agents, it pays to look at how we acquired our social intelligence ourselves. Our drives and motives are innate and deeply social. Next, as children we are social-ized to acquire norms and values. This motivational and group-based life is the core of our being in the real world. As a consequence, economic rationality or logical reasoning will only take agents so far when it comes to social intelli-gence. In order to advance our understanding of social intelligence, and to build socially versatile agents, we need to complement our attention for the ‘what’ and ‘how’ with attention for the ‘why’ and ‘with whom’. Basic features of our social behaviour, of the kind that one sees early in the lives of children, need to be prominent. These include basic drives, such as avoidance and fear, approach and love, aggression when thwarted. They also include recognizing distinctions relevant to those drives, such as big and small, good and bad. They extend to the combination of these basic drives with basic social clues from the environ-ment, leading agents to differentially respond to inferred attributes such as gen-der, age, group membership. This level of universality in social intelligence should receive our full attention. The general insights gained can then be re-used in myriad implementations to specific modelling issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Conference on Social Intelligence
EditorsA. Herzig, E. Lorini
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventECSI-2014 : Motivation and Objectives, Barcelona, Spain -
Duration: 3 Nov 20145 Nov 2014


ConferenceECSI-2014 : Motivation and Objectives, Barcelona, Spain


  • Agent-based models
  • Culture
  • Drives
  • Levels of analysis
  • Social intelligence
  • Social science
  • Status-power theory
  • Volition


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