Does Empowerment Maximisation Allow for Enactive Artificial Agents?

Christian Guckelsberger, Christoph Salge

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

10 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)


The enactive AI framework wants to overcome the sense-making limitations of embodied AI by drawing on the bio-systemic foundations of enactive cognitive science. While embodied AI tries to ground meaning in sensorimotor interaction, enactive AI adds further requirements by grounding sensorimotor interaction in autonomous agency. At the core of this shift is the requirement for a truly intrinsic value function. We suggest that empowerment, an information-theoretic quantity based on an agent's embodiment, represents such a function. We highlight the role of empowerment maximisation in satisfying the requirements of enactive AI, i.e. establishing constitutive autonomy and adaptivity, in detail. We then argue that empowerment, grounded in a precarious existence, allows an agent to enact a world based on the relevance of environmental features in respect to its own identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (Alife 2016)
EditorsCarlos Gershenson, Tom Froese, Jesus M. Siqueiros, Wendy Aguilar, Eduardo J. Izqueirdo, Hiroki Sayama
Place of PublicationCambridge, Massachusetts
PublisherMIT Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780262339360
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
EventArtificial Life Conference 2016: The 15th International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems - Cancun, Mexico
Duration: 4 Jul 20168 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameComplex Adaptive Systems
PublisherThe MIT Press


ConferenceArtificial Life Conference 2016


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