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Computer That Understands Human Emotions?

roboticsEver since computer was invented, the world of technology has changed rapidly. In less then three decades, we went from barely understanding how it works to building quantum computers and machines that can almost think like us. However, could we ever build a machine that has the ability to understand human emotions?

According to some computer programmers, building a machine that can understand human emotions can be achieved using quantum computing technology, artificial intelligence (AI) software and affective computing. The branch of computer science that is focused on artificial emotions is known as affective computing. This branch of computer science uses advanced pattern recognition algorithms to read and interpret human emotions. A computer that has these technologies incorporated in it can detect to a certain degree when we are sad, angry or happy. 

Our emotions are what separate us from machine. They give us a form of expression that goes beyond logic. They help us to understand the world through feelings and give us the ability to empathize with others. For these reasons, emotions hold the key to universal understanding, creativity and love.

As human beings, we use our emotions on a daily basis to help us understand events that are occurring in our environment. By using affective computing to build machines that can read emotions, these machines will be able to record how we respond emotionally to these events. This will make it easier for machines to understand how we react emotionally toward an event or product. 

Affective computing is quickly becoming more popular in artificial intelligence, marketing and behavioral therapy. There are also many other technologies that are looking into incorporating affective computing into their business model, including but not limited to social networks, gaming and robots. Many of these technologies are already using some form of affective computing.

Once scientists are able to build machines that can effectively read human emotions. Many of us will begin to develop an emotional bond to these machines. If these machines are built similar to humans, some of us may even start to treat them like they are humans. Since scientists can already create machines that can “think” to a certain degree and detect emotions, could they ever build machines that have the ability to feel emotions?

Building machines that have emotions is a lot harder than it looks and may even be impossible. Human emotions are qualities that can’t be accurately express using only technology because human emotions go beyond technology. There is a spiritual side of human emotions that can’t be programmed into machines. Emotions give us feelings and these feelings allow us to sense the world through cognition, which is a state of knowing that comes without explanation and proof.

There are many dilemmas that scientists need to solve before they can create artificial intelligence (AI) that has emotional capabilities. One of these dilemmas has to do with spirituality. If scientists want to create machines that can “think” and behave like humans, they need to find a way to integrate spiritual energy into machines. They also need to understand the relationship between the material and metaphysical world, because this connection holds the key to understanding human emotions and how reality truly works. The human body isn’t only made of matter. To be more specific, it is made of spiritual energy.

If scientists are able to create artificial intelligence that can accurately express human emotions, certain events that occurred in the movie Her may become a reality. If you haven’t heard about this movie, it is based on a character named Theodore Twombly who falls in love with an artificial intelligence called Samantha. The idea that one day humans will fall in love with machines isn’t that far stretch. Even today, we are already relying too much on technology and some of us are already “falling in love” with certain popular technology.

Technology is something that will not go away because we need it to survive and to make our life more convenient. However, could we one day fall in love with an artificial intelligence? With the right combination of artificial intelligence and affective computing, it is just a matter of time before people start falling in love with human-like machines.

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References:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligence-report/201403/the-emotional-machine-and-you

http://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/affective-computing

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