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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday March 01 2014, @12:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the Call-me-once-you've-quantified-'love' dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"Can a Computer Fall in Love if It Doesn't Have a Body? Much has been written about Spike Jonze's Her, the Oscar-nominated tale of love between man and operating system. It's an allegory about relationships in a digital age, a Rorschach test for technology. It's also premised on a particular vision of artificial intelligence as capable of experiencing love.

Poetic license aside, is that really possible ?"

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:23PM

    by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @01:23PM (#9092) Journal

    Betteridge aside, there are already simulations of entire insect minds.
    Eventually we will have enough computing power and expertise to create an accurate simulations of entire humans.
    Why would these simulations be immune from love?

    Virtual pheromones expressed by one simulacrum's virtual body smelt by another's virtual nose would have the same effects as they do in the real world, as would any other type of virtual interaction. Connect the simulations to real-world robots for real-world interaction as well, and I'm sure love will blossom in unexpected ways.

    We are a long way off from doing any of this; I'm waiting to see the first AI that can compete against a Crow at solving novel problems.
     

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:07PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:07PM (#9110) Homepage Journal

    A simulation of a brain will produce real thoughts and emotions like a simulation of an atomic bomb produces real radiation and fallout.

    A simulation describes reality to the limits of its processor, memory, and storage. A simulation doesn't create reality, it's simply a description.

    --
    mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
    • (Score: 0, Redundant) by sar on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:31PM

      by sar (507) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:31PM (#9118)

      Exactly

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:31PM

      by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:31PM (#9119) Journal

      It'll seem real enough to the simulation. The universe we inhabit, for all we know, is running on a Raspberry PI in the real world.

      If you're interested in this philosophical debate, I can highly recommend reading Greg Egan's Permutation City [wikipedia.org].

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by geb on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:32PM

      by geb (529) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:32PM (#9120)

      Love is not a physical product. It might be associated with neurochemistry and electrical signals in the brain, but neurochemicals are not what people mean when they say "love". It is the behaviour that matters.

      If we suppose, for the sake of argument, that there were a computer powerful enough to simulate a human brain right down to the movements of individual atoms, how is the behaviour generated in that system less meaningful than that of a physical brain?

      Unless you want to start arguing for some kind of cartesian dualism, there's no difference in the process.

      • (Score: 2) by RobotMonster on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:37PM

        by RobotMonster (130) on Saturday March 01 2014, @02:37PM (#9123) Journal

        Well said, thank you!

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:03PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:03PM (#9143) Homepage Journal

        ...neurochemicals are not what people mean when they say "love".

        Neurochemicals are not what people mean when they say "hate" or "pain", either. But hate, pain, love, are feelings. Love isn't how you act towards someone, it's how you feel about someone.

        Sociopaths are incapable of love, but they are incredibly good at faking it. The behavior can be faked, the feeling cannot. And the feeling is nothing but chemistry, same as thought itself.

        --
        mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by geb on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:59PM

          by geb (529) on Saturday March 01 2014, @04:59PM (#9160)

          I wasn't trying to argue that feelings are nothing more than the output signals generated to move a body. You're right that calling it behaviour was poor wording on my part.

          Perhaps a better phrase would be that the activity of the mind is what people mean when they talk about emotions.

          The mind is the important bit. It would be silly to say that a jar full of synthetic dopamine represents perfect happiness/comfort/arousal/whatever. Similarly, if you pump a load of dopamine into a brain where all the dopamine receptors have been damaged, that shouldn't count as happiness either. The chemical might be there, but the activity in the mind isn't.

          What matters is fitting the right trigger into the right receptor to adjust the running of the mind, and that statement works the same way whether it's a chemical trigger, an electrical signal, or a bit flipped in a simulation.

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday March 01 2014, @05:54PM

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday March 01 2014, @05:54PM (#9172) Homepage

            What makes the movie seem creepy and pathetic ( Disclaimer: I saw the preview trailer but not the whole movie ) is the ever-present nagging fact that real "chemical attraction" requires chemicals. Not only the chemicals within your brains, but natural chemicals like pheromones and skin/hair oils as well as unnatural scents like perfume and conditioner -- and we're not even talking other associated stimuli like pleasant dinners and whatnot.

            I remember being in Basic Training outside in formation, having not been laid or even having jacked off in weeks, and what drove us males crazy was not the sight or the sounds of female voices, but the smell of their perfume and conditioner which hit us hard, hastened our heartbeats and made us shift in our boots even at attention.