TagLast edit: 26 Dec 2021 23:31 UTC by Tilman Ra

Agency or Agenticness is the property of effectively acting with an environment to achieve one’s goals. A key property of agents is that the more agentic a being is, the more you can predict its actions from its goals since its actions will be whatever will maximize the chances of achieving its goals. Agency has sometimes been contrasted with sphexishness, the blind execution of cached algorithms without regard for effectiveness.

One might lack agency for internal reasons, e.g., one is a rock which has no goals of ability to act on them, or for external reasons, e.g. being a child who is granted no freedom to act as they choose.

See Also

Be­ing a Ro­bust Agent

Raemon18 Oct 2018 7:00 UTC
114 points
32 comments7 min readLW link2 reviews


Ziz18 Jan 2018 5:00 UTC
16 points
10 comments1 min readLW link

Are You a Par­a­lyzed Subor­di­nate Mon­key?

Eliezer Yudkowsky2 Mar 2011 21:12 UTC
42 points
78 comments1 min readLW link

Agency and Sphex­ish­ness: A Se­cond Glance

Ruby16 Apr 2019 1:25 UTC
25 points
8 comments2 min readLW link

On the Na­ture of Agency

Ruby1 Apr 2019 1:32 UTC
30 points
24 comments9 min readLW link


Ziz20 Dec 2017 2:24 UTC
13 points
18 comments4 min readLW link

Char­ac­ter­iz­ing Real-World Agents as a Re­search Meta-Strategy

johnswentworth8 Oct 2019 15:32 UTC
28 points
4 comments5 min readLW link

Ex­ten­u­at­ing Circumstances

Eliezer Yudkowsky6 Apr 2009 22:57 UTC
43 points
42 comments4 min readLW link

Río Grande: judg­ment calls

KatjaGrace27 Jan 2019 3:50 UTC
25 points
5 comments2 min readLW link

Be­ware over-use of the agent model

alexflint25 Apr 2021 22:19 UTC
28 points
9 comments5 min readLW link

Agents Over Carte­sian World Models

27 Apr 2021 2:06 UTC
52 points
3 comments27 min readLW link

Pit­falls of the agent model

alexflint27 Apr 2021 22:19 UTC
17 points
4 comments20 min readLW link

Agency in Con­way’s Game of Life

alexflint13 May 2021 1:07 UTC
85 points
76 comments9 min readLW link

Sav­ing Time

Scott Garrabrant18 May 2021 20:11 UTC
116 points
17 comments4 min readLW link

Uncer­tainty can De­fuse Log­i­cal Explosions

Jemist30 Jul 2021 12:36 UTC
11 points
7 comments3 min readLW link

A re­view of “Agents and De­vices”

adamShimi13 Aug 2021 8:42 UTC
8 points
0 comments4 min readLW link

What’s Stop­ping You?

Neel Nanda21 Oct 2021 16:20 UTC
32 points
1 comment19 min readLW link

Agents as P₂B Chain Reactions

Daniel Kokotajlo4 Dec 2021 21:35 UTC
17 points
0 comments2 min readLW link

Agency: What it is and why it matters

Daniel Kokotajlo4 Dec 2021 21:32 UTC
21 points
1 comment2 min readLW link

You can’t un­der­stand hu­man agency with­out un­der­stand­ing amoeba agency

shminux6 Jan 2022 4:42 UTC
19 points
36 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] How to trade­off util­ity and agency?

Alex Ray14 Jan 2022 1:33 UTC
6 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

An Agent is a Wor­ldline in Teg­mark V

komponisto12 Jul 2018 5:12 UTC
27 points
12 comments2 min readLW link

Gw­ern’s “Why Tool AIs Want to Be Agent AIs: The Power of Agency”

habryka5 May 2019 5:11 UTC
24 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

Forc­ing Freedom

vlad.proex6 Oct 2020 18:15 UTC
44 points
14 comments7 min readLW link

A crit­i­cal agen­tial ac­count of free will, cau­sa­tion, and physics

jessicata5 Mar 2020 7:57 UTC
19 points
9 comments12 min readLW link

Roles are Mar­tial Arts for Agency

Eneasz8 Aug 2014 3:53 UTC
230 points
59 comments3 min readLW link

The In­ner Work­ings of Resourcefulness

Nora_Ammann25 Feb 2021 9:15 UTC
22 points
3 comments8 min readLW link

Dis­cus­sion: Ob­jec­tive Ro­bust­ness and In­ner Align­ment Terminology

23 Jun 2021 23:25 UTC
67 points
6 comments9 min readLW link

Em­piri­cal Ob­ser­va­tions of Ob­jec­tive Ro­bust­ness Failures

23 Jun 2021 23:23 UTC
61 points
5 comments9 min readLW link

Grokking the In­ten­tional Stance

jbkjr31 Aug 2021 15:49 UTC
40 points
20 comments20 min readLW link

[Question] Does Agent-like Be­hav­ior Im­ply Agent-like Ar­chi­tec­ture?

Scott Garrabrant23 Aug 2019 2:01 UTC
45 points
7 comments1 min readLW link