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Robot Brains: Circuits and Systems for Conscious Machines by Pentti O. Haikonen

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8

Machine emotions

8.1 INTRODUCTION

Would you like to be like the Sphinx that feels no pain or pleasure? Nothing feels good or bad, nothing brings you satisfaction, nothing motivates you to do anything, you would do what you do as you would be made to do it. This would be a life without emotions, the empty life of a zombie and sleepwalker – or a robot.

Should robots have emotions? Traditionally reason and emotions have been seen as the opposite; emotions do not and must not have any part in logical reasoning. However, the role of emotions in cognition is nowadays generally accepted. They are seen to be essential to attention, learning, motivation and judgement. The value of emotions has been pointed out by LeDoux (1996), Damasio (2003) and others. In machine cognition emotional significance is seen as guiding learning and decision making (Davis, 2000; Haikonen, 2002).

In psychology there are various theories about emotions – what they are and how they operate. According to everyday experience emotions seem to involve a triggering event that causes overlapping effects of physiological reactions, subjective feelings and cognitive evaluation. This is also proposed by the Schachter and Singer (1962) two-factor theory. Plutchik (1980) proposed that there are only eight basic emotions, and they are: acceptance, anger, anticipation, disgust, joy, fear, sadness and surprise. All the other emotions are supposed to be combinations of these and each emotion can exist in varying arousal or ...

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