RE: computer pain

From: Stathis Papaioannou <>
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 20:19:25 +1100

Brent Meeker writes:

> > I agree with everything you say, and have long admired "The Hedonistic
> > Imperative". Motivation need not be linked to pain, and for that matter
> > it need not be linked to pleasure either. We can imagine an artificial
> > intelligence without any emotions but completely dedicated to the
> > pursuit of whatever goals it has been set. It is just a contingent fact
> > of evolution that we can experience pleasure and pain.
> I don't know how you can be sure of that. How do you know that being completely dedicated is not the same has having a motivating emotion?

My computer is completely dedicated to sending this email when I click on "send".
Surely you don't think it gets pleasure out of sending it and suffers if something
goes wrong and it can't send it? Even humans do some things almost dispassionately
(only almost, because we can't completely eliminate our emotions) out of a sense of
duty, with no particular feeling about it beyond this. I don't even think my computer
has a sense of duty, but this is something like the emotionless motivation I imagine
AI's might have. I'd sooner trust an AI with a matter-of-fact sense of duty to complete
a task than a human motivated by desire to please, desire to do what is good and avoid
what is bad, fear of failure and humiliation, and so on. Just because evolution came up
with something does not mean it is the best or most efficient way of doing things.

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 Tue Dec 26 2006 - 04:19:42 PST

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