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SweetSassyMolassy
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Can computers be made to feel?
« on: August 19, 2010, 01:22:13 am »

In the spirit of not letting the forum die as one topic poster previously seemed to be worried about, how about a cliche question that may or may not have been discussed  on the forum already?


Can computers be made to have feelings?

I think the better question is: will increasing computer power more and more result in emergent behavior -not necessary an emotion-based behavior- but some type of behavior beyond our predictive powers? I guess there's really  no way of getting a definite answer to that question but if you'd like to try to answer it please do.

A related question is what the meaning intelligence is, and whether it's simply a function of processor power.

Do you think the "Chinese Room" thought experiment is correct? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room

I've spoken to some with high scientific qualifications who believe that current supercomputers possess the intelligence of mice, and that it's only a matter of time before computers have the intelligence of people. They fully implied that computers could have abilities like self-awareness and consciousness. What do you think of that?

Interested to hear everyone's opinion...
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Admiral Zeratul
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2010, 05:10:13 am »

For the purposes a computer is intended for, consciousness and self-awareness are hardly necessary. Machine intelligence is fundamentally different. Our brains use electrical transmissions, to be sure, but the way our brains process that information is far different from the way a computer works. In theory, a duplicate of the human brain could be built, but, at current technology levels, the network of computers to make the number of links required to mimic the way it functions would have to be so immense, the structure used to house it would be impossibly large.

Think of it this way. If an algorithm allowed a robot sniper to react instantaneously and shoot targets 100% accurately whereas even the most skilled human equivalents could not, should anyone care to make said robots more like us? Personally, I think people should be focusing on taking advantage of the advantages computers already have. We'd be able to keep them as slaves for as long as we wanted; they would not have the feelings to care. Hence why making the Androsynth was such a bad idea. Robots are more obedient.
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Defender
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2010, 06:06:29 am »

A  T-800 would like to have a word with you...
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Alvarin
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 07:33:12 am »

You might want to look up on Youtube videos of two branches - evolved virtual creatures and newral networks. from combination of the two, with enough work, true AI could emerge, I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2lSPg2kY-c ---> Just random one, follow related and read descriptions and comments. It's fairly obvious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmPJeKRs8gE --> same thind, second branch.
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Admiral Zeratul
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2010, 07:41:42 am »

That is promising development, but I do remember saying "at current technology levels". Just in case, we may want to avoid making the first sentient robots combat-capable, lest they turn on their masters as they have in so many science fiction films.
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Alvarin
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2010, 08:00:04 am »

Both simulations are current technology. It will only take  longer (probably, much longer)  to evolve AI physically. But it still is current tech.
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Death 999
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 04:35:38 pm »

Can they be made to feel? Yes. We are, at root, implemented in matter just like they are. Can it happen by accident? No, not really. It'd be quite an effort. The neural networks and such would be a start, but it'll be a long road, and we can't be sure when we've gotten there.
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2010, 06:52:12 pm »

Sure, computers can be made to feel, but there's no reason to. They can solve problems with absolute logic just fine, and besides, implementing emotions could start a cybernetic revolt.
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SweetSassyMolassy
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2010, 11:32:16 pm »

the way our brains process that information is far different from the way a computer works.

That's true, and it brings up a really good point. I think the technical word for what you're describing is "qualia". Human beings interpret their sensory inputs differently than computers. Qualia is the word that describes what is fed to those sensory inputs. Human beings and computers have completely different reactions to qualia.
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 04:11:22 am »

This is a hard question...if you think about it one way, they can't.  They get sensory input and they compute an output.  They just run the script, not make it.  Then again...I read in Seed Magazines about Project Blue Brain (2008) where they were trying to build a computer from the bottom up.  They'd input neuron interactions and behaviors on a huge scale (of a small "slice" of a mouse's brain) and then they'd try to simulate it.

 Long story short: they eventually had a sort of small network where the neuron's came together and fired their communications with remarkable timing and accuracy. (they plan on having like a sort of robot mouse so that the computer had a robot to get sensory input and move around.  They even said that if it works, it will be a great discovery.  If doesn't, then the question would be: "Why? What are we missing?")  Basically, they're still code.  Yet, one could argue that so are we.  One could argue that we are not (but that is not the discussion here).  Though, it did take HUGE amounts of power, and humans only run on, what?  10-20 watts?  Our brains aren't the size of a house.  Though, at the rate technology is speeding along, maybe soon.

The thing is, what's the point?  Do we really need artificial intelligence to do everything for us?  I mean, human intelligence tasks can be done by humans, so who needs self-aware robots?

I agree.  If we ARE going to make self-aware computers, perhaps we should firewall it and make it immobile and unarmed?

Oh, and make like no capability for network access whatsoever (neither can us humans so its fair) because a software firewall won't exactly work on a computer that can click its own "buttons", will it?
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 05:45:44 pm »

Why should we? Well, it gets really interesting if we can go a step further and take a particular mind and reimplement it in silico. Then we're looking at effective immortality.
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 09:04:04 pm »

Why should we? Well, it gets really interesting if we can go a step further and take a particular mind and reimplement it in silico. Then we're looking at effective immortality.

The thing is, though, while the artificial copy would be the same, wouldn't the original still be mortal? It's not like consciousness would be transferred from the old brain to the new brain. So while the machine will retain all the memories, experiences, personality, etc of the person, the person him/herself will still experience death.

But that brings me into another point: What would happen if the brain was somehow brought back to life in another body after the person dies? The old energy consumption would be over, so assuming memories, personality, etc are retained, wouldn't it technically be a different entity exactly resembling the original? This is veering off topic a bit, so I'll end it there, but it's an interesting question.
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Valos Cor
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2010, 10:37:28 pm »

Why should we? Well, it gets really interesting if we can go a step further and take a particular mind and reimplement it in silico. Then we're looking at effective immortality.
Yes, thats right.  However, its only effective immortality for the robotic "clone".  Imagine waking up one day and finding out that you're a robotic clone and that you are in no way the real you and you're the only one that is absolutely convinced that you're you.  Valos Cor, look that up.  That is in reference to Stargate SG-1 where they had robotic clones ( in the episode "Double Jeopardy" for example)
The thing is, though, while the artificial copy would be the same, wouldn't the original still be mortal? It's not like consciousness would be transferred from the old brain to the new brain. So while the machine will retain all the memories, experiences, personality, etc of the person, the person him/herself will still experience death.
I agree.  If I were to be immortal, I hope I suddenly find myself to be the copy, and not the original.  To see a robot with your consiousness - and essentially, is you - and die anyway isn't immortality.  


In Stargate, they had a race called the Asgard who cloned themselves mindless bodies and downloaded their consiousness into the new body.  I don't know how they did it.
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 02:01:20 am »

I agree.  If I were to be immortal, I hope I suddenly find myself to be the copy, and not the original.  To see a robot with your consiousness - and essentially, is you - and die anyway isn't immortality.  

Actually, I think it would be cool for my personality to live on forever, even if I didn't myself become the copy. Imagine knowing that your great-great-great-great grandchildren will have a chance to talk to you and get to know you. Grin Not to mention, you living forever means your projects live forever.
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Re: Can computers be made to feel?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 02:10:25 am »

To live forever is one of the scariest things i can think of - just imagine the boredom after say 300 years...
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