AI and emotions

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

 Deming

Since its beginnings in the 1950s, artificial intelligence has been a favourite matter of scientific discipline literature. Yet today, AI has entered the region of fact: several studies underline that intelligent machines will change the way we work, we move and even how wars are fought. Innovators and scientists around the world believe that now is the time to ensure that AI can override humanity. And even if sufficient and strong arguments suggest that machines could one day be more intelligent than we are, many scientists are ready to accept that challenge.

Every day we read articles or a story about AI, machine learning and how these two can shape our lives. There is also not even one day not to read about how risky for our society the so-called real pragmatic application and approach of AI can be if we don’t take the appropriate precautions. Two years ago, on Twitter Elon Musk was clear: “We need to be super careful with artificial intelligence. It is potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

For more than fifty years, artificial intelligence researchers are being focused on giving machines linguistic and mathematical-logical reasoning skills, modelled after the classic linguistic and mathematical-logical intelligences.

So far we know the machines as if they have emotional feelings. Recently however, a more empathetic approach has been given, enabling them to appear emotionally intelligent. The reason for that is they are being programmed to learn when and how to display emotion.

While from the one hand, a hands-on engineer, Elon Musk is concerned and terrified from how dangerous AI can get, on the other hand, Facebook’s Zuckerberg has a more optimistic approach. As he stated, “AI is going to make our lives better in the future, and doomsday scenarios are “pretty irresponsible,”.

During a Facebook Live back in July 2017, it was clear from Zuckerberg that he tried to oppose any potential spread of fear surrounding the potential of artificial intelligence. “I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic,” he said. “I think you can build things and the world can get better. But with AI especially, I am really optimistic”.

“And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible,” he said. “In the next five to 10 years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives,” added Zuckerberg. In support of Musk’s approach, the most famous physicist made a statement early in 2017.

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race….It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded” Stephen Hawking told to the BBC. These different approaches of optimism, pessimism, comfort and discomfort, create a momentum that put us in a position not only to perceive and understand other periods in history were massive changes happened but also to see how to avoid critical errors on the adoption of new developments.

Two hundred years ago, a tone of scepticism and concern was raised by Flaubert, a French philosopher of the 19th century, about everything new in his world, but particularly for the trains. Flaubert was sceptical about trains because he thought (in Julian Barnes’s paraphrase) that ‘the railway would merely permit more people to move about, meet and to be stupid.’ Of course that never took place, as we saw trains did shape the universe and drove the fundamental development of the American endless fields to what we call today the United States of America.

Of course, although History doesn’t exactly repeat itself, it does run in cycles. One of the most solid theories of such cycles was articulated by economic historian Carlota Perez, in her influential book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Edward Elgar, 2002). It suggests that if the world’s key decision makers act in concert, humanity can get through the current period of upheaval and economic malaise and enter a new “golden age” of broad economic growth

Automation and artificial intelligence will have a great influence on all types of universes. What we were used to, all typical and common value creation chains will change, significantly.

Up today the feeling that humans were on charge of everything was very strong. They were the masters, the programmers, the data scientists, the analysts, the strategists, the people liable to create sufficient value for other humans. With the main purpose to make a profit or to improve other humans’ life quality and safety.