Why robots will be able to experience emotions

One big misconception that is well justified but dates back to Asimov’s days (or even earlier, I’m not that knowledgeable in the history of science fiction) is that robots do not have emotions. It seems pretty reasonable if you come to think of it. In the mind of everybody they’re made of algorithms, chips & metal, and a very structured language that leaves no room for emotion and inspiration. The essence of the human psyche cannot be fitted inside this pile of metal. It would be inappropriate and even degrading for the human nature.

In other words, according to public opinion, it’s ok if we manage to replicate our intelligence and rationality into another kind of existence (after all, it will be our creation, an expression, a copy of our mind), but only if it had no feelings, no true emotions. We would still have an edge over it. And we know from countless creations of literature and cinema how much we value our emotions and how useful they can be in overcoming difficulties and managing to surmount circumstances where pure, simple logic may be lacking. Emotion for us humans, even for hard-core science fiction fans or AI researchers, is a temple that should not be decimated. It is the ultimate boundary between what is true and what is artificial; a differentiating factor that sooths our mind when it would feel threatened by the AI manifestations that traverse and trespass into our realm of humanity.

Well, guess what: we were wrong! And it was not easy for us to figure it out… The road we had taken thus far when trying to create AI clearly indicated towards the inexistence of emotion. But if you look at Noesis Theory and you also believe that this is the correct way towards “true” AI (yes, still this is just a belief that has to be proven), you will see that emotion is everywhere. It is an integral part of the algorithm. And its name is… “Driving Pocket”.

Driving Pockets are the emotional responses of the Noesis algorithm. Think of it: what are the 3 key elements of an emotion?

  1. It must have something to do with me (affinity of the incoming signal)
  2. It must be different from what I expected it to be (out-of-context)
  3. I should not have an easy way to alter it and make it the way I would like it to be (because in that case, the out-of-context experience would diminish and I would stop dealing with it)

The same 3 factors are also applicable to a Driving Pocket: it is produced by out-of-context stimuli (factor 2), it is produced by “agitating” a Driving Force to promise us some pleasure/discomfort (factor 1) and we have no easy way to turn it off, i.e. we have not created some P-A links to spring into action and resolve this out-of-context experience (factor 3).

The conclusion: Driving Pockets are the “emotions” of a brain that implements the Noesis Theory model. This means that any Artificial Intelligence that would be built with NT would automatically have emotions as an integral part of its operations. Even more specifically: it would not even be able to operate normally without experiencing emotions! And as the babies are full of emotions and as they grow up they learn to control their emotions, the same would hold true for this AI. At first it would be full of Driving Pockets (emotions) and with feedback and linked learning it would gradually transition into a state with less emotions, just like grown-up humans. But the emotions would always continue to be part of its normal functioning; it would always be its incentive to act, just like the same is true for humans.

I don’t know if this frightens you, but it is what the future holds and it is the only known way to create a sentient being. So whether we like it or not, true AI and emotions will go hand in hand, and we’ll have to find another edge for us.

Posted on December 2, 2012, in Theory applications. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. One disheartening fact portraying my lack of time to further develop the Theory is that I’ve written this article from Aug 13th and only know I found the time just to post it…
    What a waste

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