Machines with Emotions and Feelings

Posted 2 Mar 2007 at 22:40 UTC by steve Share This

The Edge has published an article by Marvin Minsky on the subject of emotion and feeling that ties in with his book, The Emotion Machine. He starts by summarizing a common belief people seem to hold: "Of course machines can do useful things. We can make them add up huge columns of numbers or assemble cars in factories. But nothing made of mechanical stuff could ever have genuine feelings like love." From there, he examines what we know about emotion and feelings in humans, from infants, through adulthood. He also looks at why it is that many people react strangely when confronted with the idea that the human body is a complex machine, frequently by inserting words like "merely a machine" or "nothing more than a machine". Minsky concludes that these people are carrying around an obsolete idea of machines that by definition implies inhumanity.

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