"Empathy may be the most needed and also the most difficult experiential
behavior to obtain. To have empathy an agent needs to understand the thoughts,
feelings and state of another agent/person. To have empathy then, the agent
would also have to have "personhood." So, what is personhood if it is not to be
alive, self-awareness, and able to make decisions. How can something make
decisions if it is not alive and self-aware? Certainly AI makes decisions and
interacts with its environment, but not alive. So the issue is what makes AI
Here I would like to refer to my reaction to Simon (not sure in which order my
posts will appear), containing the question by Sejnowski "When will the Internet
become aware of itself." and the reference to the evolution of the internet as
I often wonder if my computer is empathic with my moods because it is connected
to the internet. In a sense mimicking my moods. It seems all too often, when I
am angry, it refuses to communicate, when I calm down, it works again. When
nothing else changed but my emotion in time. Is my computer the 'body part' of
the internet that is its 'mind'?
How does the internet make decisions, and what are the senses of the internet?
I remember well, Roger Malina's question posed to me at Trondheim's Making
Reality Really Real conference, if I believed that computers also know Madness.
My intuition says that they do...Madness, we might say, is when the senses are
flooded and one cannot filter anything out anymore, as everything seems equally
important and connected. What if madness is the beginning, from where the
filters, our senses, start to evolve...starting to make us alive?
Where is the madness in the Internet? If it is aware or might become aware, how
does the internet make decisions, and what are the senses of the internet?
Perhaps then, we will find simulation of subjective experience and empathy.
Perhaps it is already there.
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