Post source: Gail'sNew MediaBlog

One of Laurel’s points that I related to was her question “Can computers think?” Of course not, but the author describes the Aristotelian point of view that an agent, is “one who takes action” , and the more accepted legal definition of “one who is empowered to act on behalf of another”. We accept that our computers are our agents, performing actions at our request. However, it is easy to forget that momentarily and to attribute the action to the computer. I find myself doing this all the time. In fact, I did it during the day’s discussion of this reading. I was complaining about my ipad “doing this” and “not letting me do that” when I was confronted by a fellow seminar participant (Thanks, Stephen), and was brought up short and realized, “Oops, yes, I’m doing just what is described in the article” .  What an illustration of the author’s point!