Originally published April 13, 2018
Here is an excerpt:
Part of being intelligent, then, is about the ability to function autonomously in various conditions and environments. Emotion is helpful here because it allows an agent to piece together the most significant kinds of information. For example, emotion can instil a sense of urgency in actions and decisions. Imagine crossing a patch of desert in an unreliable car, during the hottest hours of the day. If the vehicle breaks down, what you need is a quick fix to get you to the next town, not a more permanent solution that might be perfect but could take many hours to complete in the beating sun. In real-world scenarios, a ‘good’ outcome is often all that’s required, but without the external pressure of perceiving a ‘stressful’ situation, an android might take too long trying to find the optimal solution.
Most proposals for emotion in robots involve the addition of a separate ‘emotion module’ – some sort of bolted-on affective architecture that can influence other abilities such as perception and cognition. The idea would be to give the agent access to an enriched set of properties, such as the urgency of an action or the meaning of facial expressions. These properties could help to determine issues such as which visual objects should be processed first, what memories should be recollected, and which decisions will lead to better outcomes.
The information is here.
Friendly note: I don't agree with everything I post. In this case, I do not believe that AI needs emotions and feelings. Rather, AI will have a different form of consciousness. We don't need to try to reproduce our experiences exactly. AI consciousness will likely have flaws, like we do. We need to be able to manage AI given the limitations we create.