Monday, October 12, 2015

Computer impersonator

One traditional test of whether artificial intelligence is successful is if computers can emulate some human mental aptitude. A classic example is chess, especially at a grand master level.

Mind you, that's controversial. Problem-solving isn't the same as consciousness. And there's a sense in which computers like Deep Blue mirror what they were programmed to do. 

But let's take another example:

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people. Psychopaths are often well educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.

Assuming that's accurate, you could, in principle, have a computer that mimics emotion, mimics empathy. Imitates something it does not in fact possess.

So even if it could pass that test, that wouldn't mean it actually has real feelings. That's an illusion, just as a psychopath can convincingly pretend to reciprocate the feelings of others, even though he doesn't possess their emotional makeup. 

1 comment:

  1. Deep Blue was kind of a tipping point. There are chess programs today that routinely destroy the strongest grandmasters in matches. They are even talking about giving grandmasters pawn and/or piece odds and the grandmasters still are defeated pretty soundly.