Re: The Emotional Computer
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 14:46:15 -0500 (EST)


> > It seems to me that people most adept at computers have generally only
> > most superficial awareness of their (and others') emotions.

I intended to reply (and still will) to John Clark's provocative post about
AI and Emotions, for I think there is a great gap in cognitive science when
it comes to understanding emotional thinking. Evolutionarily ( when building
a mind) it makes sense to understand it first. A feeling machine being *easy*
to make, intrigues the hell out of me, and I want to know more!
But wanted to point out that the above seems to ME, like a purely emotional
response. [ I hope I am adept at handling emotions and computers, and get
better at each as I learn more about both.]

Anders Sandberg:
> I disagree strongly with this. This is a pernicious myth, and has no
> basis in reality. There are just as many teachers, politicians or
> janitors with superficial awareness of emotion as computer people.

Pernicious! What a great word!
Yes, I agree, it is a common ailment, thick skin, being shut down, low EQ,
whatever you want to call it! Construction workers,baseball players, cops,
any field dominated by men, we could point a finger at all of them in turn
and probably find evidence to support a low Emotional IQ theory.*Workaholism
probably plays a much larger role in arrested developement than the type of
skills being utilized.*
Generalizing like this based on (?) personal experience does little good -
and IMO - can harm.

It is the stereotyping that I object to, a reverse of a common prejudice
towards artists and women, saying they are ALL feeling.. these false
dichotomies ( as Steve's post said, will read that computer lib) only serve
to create false dichotomies in people's already prejudiced minds. A lot of
this kind of Myth comes from technophobic meme spreading <IMHO> where human
emotion is held up as some kind of sacred cow - as if technology and emotion
are incompatible. I find this entropic.