TagLast edit: 14 Sep 2020 22:49 UTC by Ruby

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 it’s 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

Raemon11 Jan 2020 2:06 UTC
107 points
28 comments7 min readLW link


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
7 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
25 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

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
22 points
1 comment1 min readLW link

Forc­ing Freedom

vlad.proex6 Oct 2020 18:15 UTC
41 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
218 points
59 comments3 min readLW link

The In­ner Work­ings of Resourcefulness

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