Departmental Papers (ESE)


Affordances in AI refer to a design methodology for creating artificial intelligence systems that are designed to perceive their environment in terms of its affordances (Sahin et al. 2007). Affordances in AI are adapted from affordances introduced in The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception by James J. Gibson (1979). Design methodologies in the applied sciences use affordances to represent potential actions that exist as a relationship between an agent and its environment. This approach to artificial intelligence is designed for autonomous agents, making it suitable for robotics and simulation.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version



Nye, B. D. & Silverman, B. G. (2012). Affordances in AI. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 183-187). New York, NY: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_386

The final publication is available at


Affordance Based Agents, Affordance Based Design



Date Posted: 03 May 2013