Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Going Back to A.I. and Empathy

When we were discussing Artificial Intelligence and what it means to be human, we discussed empathy and sympathy, feelings and emotions.  These things are believed to be part of the human condition and if artificial intelligence cannot express feelings or emotions, they do not "qualify" as human.

How do you program an emotion into a computer?

Mirror neurons may provide an answer to that.  From Wikipedia: "A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.[1][2] Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting."

Some scientists believe that mirror neurons are what cause us to feel sympathy and empathy for others.  If we could program a similar set up for artificial intelligence, would that qualify the program as a human?

1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting question/ maybe we could be programmed not to be emotional :) oops-that means no emoticons