Researchers argue that the biological principle of homeostasis would make for smart robots.
Robots with feelings appeared in fiction is well-known. For example, David in the movie AI or WALL-E obviously have feelings. Robot in the movie Lost in Space even seems to be emotional to warn David Robinson of danger. Those are several proof for emotional capacity of robots.
But in real life, robots do not have any feelings.
Neuroscientists Kingson Man and Antonio Damasio stated that producing robots with feelings is totally possible. If a robot has a sense of peril to its existence, it will develop emotions resulting in self-preservation behaviours.
Thus, Man and Damiso expected to build a strategy to create robots with “artificial emotions”. It bases on the biological principle of homeostasis. Facing a narrow range of suitable conditions, they must regulate their lives for adaptation (such as keeping temperature and chemical balances in their bodies). The awareness of internal state is thought as a “robotic emotion”.
The emotions not only motivate self-preservation behaviours of robot but also make AI be closer to the real things.
Man and Damiso also stated that the prospect of producing robots with feelings is more possible, thanks to the developments in two key fields: soft robotics and deep learning. While soft robotics provides raw materials for emotion, deep learning enables sophisticated computing to transform emotions into behaviours.
“Rather than having to hard-code a robot for every eventuality or equip it with a limited set of behavioral policies, a robot concerned with its own survival might creatively solve the challenges that it encounters,” Man and Damasio suspect. “Basic goals and values would be organically discovered, rather than being extrinsically designed.”
Man and Damiso also suggests their own rules for robots: 1. feel good and 2. Feel empathy.
The scientists hope that emotional capacity can result in sociable and ethical behaviours of robots.
Optimistically, if scientists can enable a sense of empathy of robots, they also can do it for humans.