Why machines cannot feel

Minds and Machines 20 (1):1-18 (2010)
Abstract
For a long time, emotions have been ignored in the attempt to model intelligent behavior. However, within the last years, evidence has come from neuroscience that emotions are an important facet of intelligent behavior being involved into cognitive problem solving, decision making, the establishment of social behavior, and even conscious experience. Also in research communities like software agents and robotics, an increasing number of researchers start to believe that computational models of emotions will be needed to design intelligent systems. Nevertheless, modeling emotions in technical terms poses many difficulties and has often been accounted as just not feasible. In this article, there are identified the main problems, which occur when attempting to implement emotions into machines. By pointing out these problems, it is aimed to avoid repeating mistakes committed when modeling computational models of emotions in order to speed up future development in this area. The identified issues are not derived from abstract reflections about this topic but from the actual attempt to implement emotions into a technical system based on neuroscientific research findings. It is argued that besides focusing on the cognitive aspects of emotions, a consideration of the bodily aspects of emotions—their grounding into a visceral body—is of crucial importance, especially when a system shall be able to learn correlations between environmental objects and events and their “emotional meaning”
Keywords Cognitive computation   Computational models of emotions   Learning   Machine perception   Neuro-psychology   Neuro-symbolic networks   Neuroscience
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