AI & E(motion)

Got lost in the real world and have no time for bloging something meaningful. But here’s my colleague’s thoughts on AI. Treat yourself 🙂

Cacti, still cry,

So why do we try?

These days I have fallen upon a couple of posts regarding the subject and an exciting video about Pepper. That is why I decided to put down my thoughts. I should mention that all I am going to say refers not only to emotions but also to feelings. My opinion is that taking into account the present tendencies of AI research possibility of proper realization of emotions is a little bit less than 0. For the moment researchers operate the classical conditioning formula – stimulus->reaction (a robot analyses facial expressions of a man it contacts and then the robot shows emotional reactions similar to those experienced by the man). Researchers themselves think “for the moment” but actually they have reached their limit. There are some reasons:

  1. Human emotions are poorly studied
  2. Drift from tries “to copy” a person
  3. Goals of creating an AI

Let’s expand on the theme. 1. It is necessary to study the original thing well to make a replication. Unfortunately human emotions that are supposed to be a prototype for AI emotions are poorly studied. The main experimental tools are devices registering external and internal (physiological) changes; and the method is self-reporting. But one thing is to experince an emotion state and quite another thing is to describe this state using a conventional symbolic system. To better understand to what extent it is challenging, I’ll give an example, one that the teacher told us on a high school course. I’ll try to lay it down in brief layman’s terms. You visit a rock concert. In rock music the low tones are prevalent. Low tone resonates with gamma rhythms of our brain. The amplitude and frequency of gamma rhythms increase, which causes the excitation of the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system includes the reptilian complex (reptilian for it first appeared in reptiles phylogeny). This complex, as well as other lower (in other words – old) areas of brain, is responsible for the most primitive perception – everyone’s an enemy! – and for the responding to surrounding stimuli – exterminate!. Add the gregarious instinct to the mix and as a result after a rock concert you’ll have an aggressive crowd gladly game for smashing the shop-windows and overturning the automobiles. Football fans, by the way, are no different from them. All of us involved agree that emotions are not so simple! And to top it off I have not yet mentioned the phenomenon of emotional contagion, which affects the rate of inception and progress of emotional states. Hey, coders, can you code me that?

2. Moving away from attempts to “copy” a specific person, and searching for “fundamentals” instead. Apparently, there will be less Odessa boys and more Naos and Peppers at the competitions from now on. Oh dear, how it’ll hurt Odessa’s feelings 🙂 In this case, researchers for some reason do not take into account the fact that emotions are purely individual. Yeah, the range of emotions available to everyone is about the same for everyone (we do not consider the pathologies here). But what we are experiencing, when we do it and with what intensity – is all private, both congenital characteristics (no matter whether you’re ethic or logic, what speed and intensity of your mental processes are, the level of intelligence, etc.) and personal characteristics acquired during ontogenesis (we all have different parents who raised us in different ways, different teachers, different idols, we’ve got into different situations, and gained different personal experience, etc.) alike. A lot of “different”, “individual” and “personal”, and no “common” or “the same”. Therefore, an attempt to create AI with emotions, in fact, is an attempt to create a unique AI rather than mass-produced one.

3. How many of you wondered why, in fact, we need the AI? The existential problem of loneliness? There are more than 7 bln of us on Earth. And we’re not going to stop on that number. And the universe is large and full of surprises. Assistant? We are not so helpless. In addition, the problem of unemployment kinda gives us an ample opportunity to get our hands on a personal “slave”)), but this will contradict the ethical norms (( Superhuman abilities? And what kind exactly? Every PC is able to calculate, analyze, synthesize solutions (I mean the operations themselves here) faster than any human can. So the most obvious reason is our secret desire to come up with the Creator, and to create Something in our likeness. Hilarious humans  (see the epigraph).

P.S. I’d like to add that the past attempts to encroach – according to the most-popular-book-in-the-world – ended up in separating the global nation and the emergence of different languages…