Increasing Fairness by Delegating Decisions to Autonomous Agents

de Melo, C. M., Marsella, S. and Gratch, J. (2017) Increasing Fairness by Delegating Decisions to Autonomous Agents. In: AAMAS '17 Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 8-12 May 2017, ISBN 9781450342391

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There has been growing interest in autonomous agents that act on our behalf, or represent us, across various domains such as negotiation, transportation, health, finance, and defense. As these agent representatives become immersed in society, it is critical we understand whether and, if so, how they disrupt the traditional patterns of interaction with others. In this paper, we study how programming agents to represent us, shapes our decisions in social settings. Here we show that, when acting through agent representatives, people are considerably less likely to accept unfair offers from others, when compared to direct interaction with others. This result, thus, demonstrates that agent representatives have the potential to promote fairer outcomes. Moreover, we show that this effect can also occur when people are asked to "program" human representatives, thus revealing that the act of programming itself can promote fairer behavior. We argue this happens because programming requires the programmer to deliberate on all possible situations that might arise and, thus, promote consideration of social norms -- such as fairness -- when making their decisions. These results have important theoretical, practical, and ethical implications for designing and the nature of people's decision making when they act through agents that act on our behalf.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under grant FA9550-14-1-0364, and the US Army.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Marsella, Professor Stacy
Authors: de Melo, C. M., Marsella, S., and Gratch, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience

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