The theory, principles and practice of multi-agent systems is typically characterised as a computational and engineering discipline, since it is through the medium of computational systems that artificial agent systems are most commonly expressed. However, most definitions of agency draw directly on non-computational disciplines for inspiration. During the 1999 UK workshop on multi-agent systems, UKMAS'99, we invited four speakers to address the conceptualisation of multi-agent systems from their perspective as non-computer scientists. This paper presents their arguments and summarises some of the key points of discussion during the panel.
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