RE: computer pain

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 23:15:58 +1100

Brent Meeker writes:
> I would say that many complex mechanical systems react to "pain" in a way similar to simple animals. For example, aircraft have automatic shut downs and fire extinguishers. They can change the flight controls to reduce stress on structures. Whether they feel this "pain" is a different question. I think they feel it if they incorporate it into a narrative to which values are attached for purposes of learning ("Don't do that again, it hurts."). But that's my theory of qualia - a speculative one.
Pain mostly comes before learning. Infants are born with the
ability to experience pain, so they learn to avoid activities which
cause pain. It seems to be hardwired at a very basic level, which
makes me think that it ought to be easier to implement in an AI than
more complex cognitive processes and behaviours. But how would
a behaviour such as an aircraft's reaction to a fire on board be
characterised as "painful" in the way an infant putting its hand in a
flame is painful? If the aircraft's experience is not painful, what can
do to make it more like the baby's?
Stathis Papaioannou
Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail.
 You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group.
To post to this group, send email to
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
For more options, visit this group at
Received on Wed Dec 13 2006 - 07:16:15 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:12 PST