Will To Survive: Next Level For AI?

When it comes to fiction and sci-fi in various forms of media, there is no shortage for robots with feelings.

Take for example, those emotional train-wreck robots on the popular HBO show "Westworld," or Star Wars’ C3PO, who always feels like the most nervous non-person in the room. And who could ever forget Disney’s Wall-E, a trash cleanup robot that literally spends the entire movie falling in love with EVE (who he lovingly calls “EVE-uhh”). Doing so gives them a human element and makes us sympathize with them, making them all the more relatable and grounded.

In real life, however, robots are just machines that do their assigned work, and nothing more.

However, some scientists, like neuroscientists Kingson Man and Antonio Damasio, thinks that there might be a way to give real-life robot feelings, and that it could be the next step for A.I. The gist is simple: Simply build a robot that would have the ability to be aware of its existence, and the perils of it. From there, a modern A.I. brain could easily develop feelings and behavior that will help guide it to self-preservation and survival.

“Today’s robots lack feelings. They are not designed to represent the internal state of their operations in a way that would permit them to experience that state in a mental space,” Man and Damasio wrote in a recent paper published in Nature Machine Intelligence.

As a result, the two neuroscientists wrote a strategy that explores how building machines imbued with the artificial equivalent of feeling can be made. At its core, however, Man and Damasio stated that it’s made to observe homeostasis and its biological principle, which would then amount to what’s essentially the robot version of feelings.

This would lead to self-preserving behavior and “feelings,” which the two stated as the missing ingredient for current A.I. technology.

According to the two, this proposal to build machines with feelings has been recently enhanced by two new developments in the field, which are deep learning and soft robotics, both of which can enable the complicated process of translating computations into existence-sustaining behaviors. This then, could potentially lead to enhanced thinking skills and hopefully, emulation of actual human intelligence.

artificial intelligence The scientific community continues to explore the use of tools that connect human brains to machines and enable mind reading. Pixabay