Big Picture Science – Perpetual Emotion Machine

by Gary Niederhoff on June 19, 2017

Big Picture Science – Perpetual Emotion Machine
click to listen!

Get ready for compassionate computers that feel your pain, share your joy, and generally get where you’re coming from. Computers that can tell by your voice whether you’re pumped up or feeling down, or sense changes in heart rate, skin, or muscle tension to determine your mood. Empathetic electronics that you can relate to.

But wait a minute – we don’t always relate to other humans. Our behavior can be impulsive and even self-sabotaging – our emotions are often conflicted and irrational. We cry when we’re happy. Frown when we’re pensive. A suite of factors, much of them out of our control, govern how we behave, from genes to hormones to childhood experience.

One study says that all it takes for a defendant to receive a harsher sentence is a reduction in the presiding judge’s blood sugar.

So grab a cookie, and find out how the heck we can build computers that understand us anyway.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Rosalind Picard / Empathetic Electronics
Part 2: Robert Sapolsky / Biology of Behavior
Part 3: Robert Sapolsky / Free Will
Part 4: Rosalind Picard / Emotional Transaction

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sharon Carter June 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

I take exception to Prof. Picard’s statement to the effect ‘if a dog can do it a machine can do it’ (paraphrase)- regarding her example of a dog seeming to reflect a human’s emotions. How does she justify that assumption? Perhaps I missed a profound revelation she made prior to that statement…does she have a cure for mental illness also? With that kind of profound understanding of a biological entity’s cognitive function, it would seem curing depression would be a snap. Funny how neuroscience still does not fully understand every aspect of how and why the brain functions as it does–Prof. Picard seems to have figured out something neuroscience has completely missed, in particular the direct, straight line relationship between a biological creature and a machine.

avatar cayla June 22, 2017 at 12:43 pm

The speaker mentioned about a book called something legacy… I cannot catch the name of the book. Anyone has any idea which book she was referring to?

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