Within the fear of a technocratic society lies the notion that the machines will take over the world. Feelings are what traditionally separate humankind and robots, and the anxiety of becoming the latter is comparable to turning into a copy or a replacable component.1)

(some) emotional faculties

What do we need emotions for?

  • The part of the brain called the amygdala, which is supposed to have a large role in our emotions, is said to be ready developed by birth. Does that mean that these congenital emotional patterns are the basis for our first sorting of sensory experiences of the world? That it is the emotions that are the foundation for all our learning?
  • Or are the emotions unnecessary? Do we want to make a replica of the human mind, or a whole new kind of consciousness. The emotions are roughly divided in positive and negative responses to stimuli, and basic learning is probably just classical conditioning. Thus an artificial intelligence will need have to have some way of giving its encounters with the world a valence, and then to make memories which are weighted with this value.
  • According to Picard2) both the part of the brain responsible for emotions, and those that has more to do with rational thinking, are important for each other. That means that one has to combine the different approaches to thinking. This is kind of an analogy to the way memories are nothing more than a way of preparing for the future, and that false memories are possible future scenarios being played out in our minds3).
  • Or else one can create an open and flexible structure which will be moulded in interaction with its sorroundings. Even though humans are born with a ready developed Amygdala today, we probably did not millions of years ago. At some time it has to be developed, and in a new kind of consciousness, that may be a good way to start.


1) Stina Högkvist, Take me to your leader!, Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, 2010, pp204
2) Rosalind W. Picard. Affective Computing. 1997. The MIT Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts/London, England.
3) Trenger referanser. Se Ill.Vit.11-2008 og Scientific American Mind, november 2008
emotion.txt · Last modified: 2011/01/17 05:34 by aksel