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Thread: Will computers ever be able to show human emotions?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Arrow Will computers ever be able to show human emotions?

    Cosmos Games.

    Okies, here we go:

    You can post whatever you want (on-topic, of course, and defending the point of view from the team you were assigned to) untill Saturday, March 23.... After I close the thread, I'll post two polls (my first ones!): one to vote for a team, and another one to vote for an individual.

    Just keep in mind: this discussion will not be about who has the best arguments (if you vote for your own team in the polls, you're actually defending the point of view you don't agree with - scary, hu?)...

    Here's the question again:

    Will computers ever be able to show human emotions?

    Here are the teams:

    Defending the NO point-of-view:

    Gold Eagle

    Defending the YES point-of-view:


    Posts from people not in this list will be removed...
    Posts from people defending the point of view from the team they were not assigned to, will also be removed...
    AntiPoins are not allowed (although I'm not gonna delete posts with assigned antipoints...)

    To keep things clearly structured, I suggest you start each post with YES, computers one
    day WILL be able to show human emotions
    , or NO, computers will NEVER be able to show human emotions...

    Enjoy, keep it fair, don't get confused, and good luck


  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    This is an organized debate. Statements
    made here are not necessarily the opinions of
    the participants

    Yes, computers will, one day, be able to show
    human emotions.

    The rate at which computer processors increase
    their capacity is exponential. Eventually, a database
    of emotions, with amazing subtlety, will be
    constructed, so that a computer can react appropriately
    to any input. Only a genius (or a psychic) will
    be able to detect the difference between a
    computer generated response and that
    of a real person.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    No, computers will not be able to show human emotions.

    The definition of "Emotions":

    1: the affective aspect of consciousness
    2a: a state of feeling
    2b: a psychic and physical reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling and physiologically involving changes that prepare the body for immediate vigorous action

    Emotions are something that only conscious, thinking beings can have. Emotions are reactions triggered by any and all events percieved by a human. They are executed much like code would be executed in a computer. But a computer does not know it is happy, it merely knows that:

    If blah blah blah Then I am Happy

    Right now I'm a little annoyed that I can't think of anything to say, so I'll wait for some more "Yes" people to respond and I'll reply to that.
    Why am I still here?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    (This is inspired by what both Alcatraz and RC Green wrote.)

    Yes, one day computers will, one day, be able to show human emotions. What are emotions after all? Aren't they simply the way we respond to various and sundry stimuli? Aren't we programmed? As we grow and have experiences, we learn. For example, a small boy puts his hand on a hot stove. He burns his fingers and it hurts. The next time he encounters a situation where he may be burned he experiences fear. His brain has been programmed (encoded) according to the prior to experience to perceive the possibility of a burn as fear. If he indeed is exposed to fire again with the possibility of being burn, he may have feelings of fear whether or not he is burned. He may rationally know he won't be burned, but his "fear" programming takes over.

    Another example. Someone insults you and you feel embarrassed. You have been programmed to react toward embarrassment in a certain way. Your face may turn red and you're body may feel a wave of warmth come over it. That's only your body reacting to a stimulus. It will do this regardless of your rational processes. You're body is only reacting to its programming.

    A computer can be programmed to react to certain stimuli in certain ways. A given set of stimuli might be programmed to cause the computer screen to display a certain set of icons to indicate fear. Given enough technological advances, the actual chemical reactions and physiological changes associated with human emotions could be duplicated in computers. They too would have artificial nerves and skin that react to hormonal and chemical changes in the same way that our real nerves and skin react.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Yes, computers will be able to display emotions. I believe so on the simple basis that humans can show emotions. All we have to make us feel and show emotions is our brain. Our Brains are simply a collection of neurons interspersed with little conducting wires of nerve cells. Our brain's function by cells repsonding to certain electrical impulses in certain ways, which is essentially what computers do. Also, given the rapid advancement of DNA based processors, it won't be long before the computers that we use will be harnessing DNA, which means they will be almost exactly like our brains.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    No, computers will never be able to show human emotions.

    What you need to look at to understand this is how humans get their emotions. Humans get their emotions from chaos, not from logic. Computers are all based on logic, and as such, will have entirely predictable reactions. Humans are very unpredictable by nature, machines are not. While computers are indeed getting more complicated, they are still a drop in the bucket compared to the power and complexity of the human brain.

    Computers will never be able to truly exhibit emotions because simple things (like mood) are beyond them. They are, and ever will be, incapable of feeling, which is the basic component of emotions. That extra 'something' beyond simply the chaos of emotion is what makes us human. We have yet to define that extra 'something' so I don't see how we can recreate it in something else -- and I highly doubt that such a recreation would work.

    PS: Just as a general idea, if you all haven't read it yet, I recommend a book entitled When HARLIE was one, by David Gerrold, it deals directly with this topic.
    Chris Shepherd
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    \"Well as far as the spelling, I speak fluently both your native languages. Do you even can try spell mine ?\" -- Failed Insult
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  7. #7
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Redondo Beach, CA

    No Computers will not be able to show emotions

    Perhaps it helps to define what emotion is. From dictionary.com:

    e·mo·tion Pronunciation Key (-mshn)
    1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love.
    2. A state of mental agitation or disturbance
    3. The part of the consciousness that involves feeling; sensibility
    One of the things we have to realize is that we have some undefinable things within humans, namely this thing we call a soul. Emotions are not simple responses to stimuli. Love and hatred are not responses to stimuli and when started on their own can be quite strong. Our emotions are partially learned and partially nature. Babies laugh before they hear it or are shown it. They learn in time that certain things cause laughter.

    They are not necessarily programmed in us. We learn some but others come from within. Not all our emotions are nutured (aka learned from others). Some are actually part of us. Ingrained within us.

    If a machine/computer was programmed to learn and respond to stimuli then it will just respond to the stimuli. It will not necessarily "feel" emotion.

    Machines or computers are often programmed to do nothing more than things that we ourselves cannot do. They were created (and in their present state will remain in this fashion) to "help" us do more. They are nothing more than tools.

    Computers will probably reach a state where they learn and adapt but that adaption will be based on preset values of probably 0, 1 and 2. The idea of decision making and making decisions based on emotions are not things that computers will necessarily do.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Yes, computers will one day be able to show human emotion. consciousness is basically the ability to predict and then observe the results of action. this is a basic concept of consciousness, but in the respect of human life, this is how it is done. if a computer had sensors to collect the data of results of actions... ie. optical, audio, and such.... it could be programmed to respond to it accordinglyto learn when certain emotions are appropriate, much as we all did as little children. throw in an algorithym and a random for irrational emotional response, and you have an emotion showing computer. it would feel bad when you lose your job, it would be happy when you won the lottery. the only difficult part would be telling the system what these things are (love, happiness, sadness, anger) because they are different for everyone. but if people came up with a general concensus (say a group of 1000 test subjects) and then that info was fed to the computer, it could come up with its own definition, just as many of us did at a young age... can it be done? i think it is highly probable
    Learn like you are going to live forever, live like you are going to die tomorrow.


  9. #9
    NO, computers will NEVER be able to show human emotions...

    Emotions are too complex for computers to comprehend and most humans. What happiness is varies from person to person and the possibilities are endless. You can't programm every possible "IF this then (emotion) BUT IF that then (other_emotion)".
    A computer is without a heart, soul, and mind of it's own. With out those 3 things, emotion cannot be felt.

    Emotions are a state of mentatlity not a program or application. With the technological advances in AI, showing emotions may one day be a possibility but feeling them will not. You can't expect a computer to be a social being, that's not what they were designed for. You can't feel friendship or any other emotion by a program, code, or script. This is a bit off the topic but, would you really want your computer to have emotions any way? As many errors that I cause, my computer would hate me in a matter of minutes.


  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Yes computers will one day be able to show emotion.

    The question is not whether computers will be able to feel emotion, the question is whether computers will be able to show emotion. That is different. Humans may show emotion by facial expressions or a blush. If a computer shows emotions by displaying certain icons and/or changing the color scheme of its screen is that computer not showing emotions ?Please read the question carefully as Negative stated it. He did not say, "Will computers be able to feel emotions?" He said, "Will computers be able to show emotions?" I submit that "to show" emotions is to exhibit certain outward expressions which indicate that a particular emotion is taking place. To feel, something is an inner, subjective state. To show emotions is to give demonstrable outward expressions and signs. The two things are different. As a human, I may feel certain emotions; however, through self-control I may choose not to express or exhibit them.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (Romans 6:23, WEB)

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