Article

Phil Livingstone
Phil Livingstone 23 June 2016

Bots Have No Feelings. Humans Are Safe...For Now.

Will bots move from cognitive thought to artificial intelligence, and feel excited, jealous or even develop feelings?  Scary when you think it might be possible.

Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m an Amazon convert. Part of the tribe, a Prime Customer. As my neighbours will confirm, they do receive a fair few delivers on our behalf (thanks again if you’re reading this). They’ve cracked customer experience and made it simple, easy and quick. Taking the hassle out of a mundane shopping experience. 

I’m excited by the next generation of gadgets; personal assistants, IoT, connected devices for the home, etc. Move over Siri and Cortana, enter Alexa stage left.

Echo, Amazon’s audio speaker integrates a personal voice assistant called Alexa...useful, yes. Practical, hmm yes. Functional, definitely. I can see it settling a few debates in my house.

By definition, a speaker has to listen. These next generation conversational bots continually learn and stream info to and from the cloud. Most things ‘learn’ these days, through a combination of algorithms (supervised and unsupervised) and reinforcement learning.

They will eventually know more about your habits, family life and personal information than you probably want them to.

 Privacy debate aside...it got me thinking, can you teach machines, robots, and bots to go beyond the functional assistant and develop emotions?

Giulio Tononi developed a mathematical framework for consciousness and states that ‘the ability to integrate information is a main feature of consciousness. He believes that integrated information cannot be broken down into smaller components in our conscious minds, because the brain contextualises information.

If consciousness is therefore based on the integration of lots of pieces of information, then computers can’t be conscious and capable of experiencing emotions like humans.

“Emotional” robots are on the market right now, but their capabilities are as superficial as the intelligence demonstrated in Turing test iterations (Wikipedia - a test whereby a machine is required to fool a neutral judge into thinking that it is human). These robots don’t ‘feel’ emotions as such, but they can detect human emotions and respond back accordingly.

Sigmund Freud’s main contribution to psychology was undoubtedly his theories on levels of consciousness. He developed a topographical model of the mind, whereby he described the features of the mind’s structure and function but he struggled with the theory of conscious versus unconscious.  

"The consciousness hurdle surely has to be overcome before robots can feel real emotion".

No one really understands what consciousness is, and can you believe that only recently have scientists agreed that animals are conscious. Jung, Freud and Adler, I’m sure would question why it’s taken so long.

Realities are blending, from virtual reality to augmented reality. We are starting to see devices that allow you to step into these realities. Strange to think but technology is becoming more human, with massive processing power as well as the ability for thought and speech (perhaps even emotion, one day). Robots are also becoming human like(IBM’s Watson) but with no emotion, they will continue to make rational, programmable, and algorithmic decisions without conscious emotion.

The context and monotony of daily life will evolve. Connected devices, assistants and technology will support the running of your schedule, home, car and ultimately your life via an intelligent bot.   

So for now, emotional artificial intelligence can wait. ‘Alexa’ [insert alternative bot name] play some Led Zeppelin and tell me if it’s going to rain today.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
How to Review a Website — A Guide for Beginners

How to Review a Website — A Guide for Beginners

A company website is crucial for any business's digital marketing strategy. To keep up with the changing trends and customer buying behaviors, it's important to review and make necessary changes regularly...

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 25 March 2024
Read more
7 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing is Important For Your Business

7 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing is Important For Your Business

In the past two decades social media has become a crucial tool for marketers, enabling businesses to connect with potential customers. If your business has yet to embrace social media and you want to know why it is...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 29 February 2024
Read more
Personalize Your Marketing Using 15 AI-Powered Prompts

Personalize Your Marketing Using 15 AI-Powered Prompts

Personalization has undoubtedly become one of the key elements that marketers shouldn’t ignore or underestimate any longer. With consumers increasingly expecting tailored experiences, the ability to customize...

Georges Fallah
Georges Fallah 30 May 2024
Read more
The Impact of New Technology on Marketing

The Impact of New Technology on Marketing

Technology has impacted every part of our lives. From household chores to business disciplines and etiquette, there's a gadget or app for it. Marketing has changed dramatically over the years, but what is the...

Alex Lysak
Alex Lysak 3 April 2024
Read more
10 Factors that Influence Customer Buying Behaviour Online

10 Factors that Influence Customer Buying Behaviour Online

Now is an era where customers take the center stags influencing business strategies across industries. No business can afford to overlook factors that could either break the customer experience or even pose a risk of...

Edward Roesch
Edward Roesch 4 June 2018
Read more