15-17 May 2024

Agency and Intentions in AI

AIAI is a conference to be held on May 15-17, 2024 at the University of Göttingen. Its goal is to engage an interdisciplinary community of scholars who are interested in AI in a sober theoretical conversation about what AI systems are, and how they can be effectively and ethically employed. In addition to a technical understanding of AI systems, such a conversation also requires an exploration of certain AI systems as unique agents that encode, or can be interpreted as encoding, intentional actions in communication with humans. In particular, large language models (LLMs) are often used by humans in unique forms of request-making, collaboration, and problem solving. As a result, humans find themselves working with and alongside LLM systems when carrying out a range of tasks in research, industry, art, and more. It is the goal of this proposed conference, “Agency and Intentions in Artificial Intelligence,” to promote a much-needed interdisciplinary conversation surrounding the unique ways that AI systems might be thought of as agents that embody intentional actions.


Action Sensitivity in Grammar

ASG is a DFG-funded project at the University of Göttingen (PIs: Thomas Weskott, Hedde Zeijlstra). Its goal is to unify and experimenatlly test a number of grammatical phenomena that are sensitive to the interpretation of an action as intentional versus non-intentional.. The action sensitivity phenomena come from different domains of the grammar and affect unrelated languages. Although the effect shows clear signs of a universal constraint, there has been no systematic empirical or theoretical investigation of it. Understanding linguistic mechanisms underlying action sensitivity is the main goal of this project. The outcomes of the project will be relevant not only for theoretical linguistics, but also for other cognitive disciplines, most notably experimental philosophy, as well as developmental and clinical psychology.


Agency and Intentions in Language

AIL is a series of annual interdisciplinary workshops on Agency and Intentions in Language. The goal of these workshops is to bring together scholars in linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines who are interested in questions related to agency, intentions, reasoning about actions, and causation, broadly construed.