Computers have emotions

My messages to the everything-list:

03.02.2012 21:23:

Craig’s position that computers in the present form do not have emotions is not unique, as emotions belong to consciousness. A quote from my favorite book

Jeffery A. Gray, Consciousness: Creeping up on the Hard Problem

The last sentence from the chapter “10.2 Conscious computers?”

p. 128 “Our further discussion here, however, will take it as established that his can never happen.”

Now the last paragraph from the chapter “10.3 Conscious robots?”

p. 130. “So, while we may grant robots the power to form meaningful categorical representations at a level reached by the unconscious brain and by the behaviour controlled by the unconscious brain, we should remain doubtful whether they are likely to experience conscious percepts. This conclusion should not, however, be over-interpreted. It does not necessarily imply that human beings will never be able to build artefacts with conscious experience. That will depend on how the trick of consciousness is done. If and when we know the trick, it may be possible to duplicate it. But the mere provision of behavioural dispositions is unlikely to be up to the mark.

If we say that computers right now have emotions, then we must be able exactly define the difference between unconscious and conscious experience in the computer (for example in that computer that has won Kasparov). Can you do it?

Hence I personally find this particular Craig’s position as supported.

03.02.2012 22:50:

I believe that there is at least a small difference. Presumably we know everything about the computer that has played chess. Then it seems that a hypothesis about emotions in that computer could be verified without a problem – hence my notion on “exactly define”. On the other hand, consciousness remains to be a hard problem and here “exactly define” does not work.

However, the latter does not mean that consciousness does not exist as a phenomenon. Let us take for example life. I would say that there is not good definition what life is (“exactly define” does not work), yet this does not prevent science to research it. This should be the same for conscious experience.

04.02.2012 09:43:

No, I do not. My point was that we can check the statement “a computer have emotions” exactly. Then it would be possible to check if such a definition applies to people. I have nothing against of such a way – make a hypothesis what emotion in a computer is, research it, and then try to apply this concept to people.

Yet, if we know in another direction, from people to computers, then first we should research what emotion in a human being is. Here is the difference with the computer, we cannot right now make a strict definition. We can though still research emotions in people.

In the case of a computer we have everything to prove our hypothesis about its behavior and define our hypothesis in a precise language. Why do you suggest not to do it?

04.02.2012 18:09:

I do not have a theory.

As for comp, my only note that I have made recently was that if to look at the current state-of-art of computer architectures and algorithms, then it is clear that any practical implementation is out of reach.

Whether comp is true of false in principle, frankly speaking I have no idea. I guess that my subconsciousness still believes in primitive materialism, as consciously I experience a question Why it is bad to say that math is mind dependent. Yet, I should confess that after following discussions at this list I see some problems with such a statement and pass doubts back to my subconsciousness. Let us see what happens.

I still listen to the lectures of Prof Hoenen. Recently I have finished Theorien der Wahrheit and right now I am at Beweistheorien. When I am done with Prof Hoenen, as promised I will go through your The Origin of Physical Laws and Sensations. Yet, I do not know when it happens, as it takes more time as I thought originally.

As for computers having emotions, I am a practitioner and I am working right now closely with engineers. I should say that the modern market would love electronics with emotions. Just imagine such a slogan

Smartphone with Emotions* (*scientifically proved)

It would be a killer application. Hence I do not understand why people here that state “a computer has already emotions” do not explore such a wonderful opportunity. After all, whether it is comp, physicalism, monism, dualism or whatever does not matter. What is really important is to make profit.

05.02.2012 10:52:

You should talk with marketing guys. A quick search reveals that this is already a reality

Hercules Dualpix Emotion Webcam

There is also a term emotional AI that is discussed by game makers.

Yet, I do not get your point in general. For example recently there was an article in Die Zeit

Die Roboter kommen (Robots are coming)

Among other things, they discuss an issue of a potential collision between a moving robot and a human being. To this end, there is experimental study to research on what pain in what part of a body can a human being sustain. This experimental database will be used by engineering developing robots.

Pain is not exactly emotion but I guess it is not that far away. This shows that pain could be experimentally researched by people. Could it be experimentally researched by computers and robots?

On the other hand, engineers design computers and robots. Can science give engineers guidelines to control emotions by computers or robots? Or emotions are some kind of emergent phenomena that will appear in computers and robots independently and uncontrollable from engineers?

Finally, if you already has discovered emotions among computers, why then it is impossible to research this effect on how it has emerged independent from engineers?

05.02.2012 14:41:

I would agree that profit should be a tool. On the other hand it is working this way. There are rules of a game that are adjusted by the government accordingly and then what is not not forbidden is allowed. In such a setup, if a new idea allows us to increase profit, then it might be a good idea.

I would say that the statement “Emotions are ineffable” excludes them from scientific considerations. Then we should not mention emotions at all. This however leads to a practical problem. For a mass product, for example electronics, emotions of customers are very important to get/keep/increase the market share. Hence if you do not consider emotions at all, you do not get paid.

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