Artificial intelligence is already making great strides forward, but taking it to the next level might require a more drastic approach. According to two researchers, we could try giving AI a sense of peril and the fragility of its own existence.
For now, the machines we code don't have a sense of their own being, or the need to fight for life and for survival, as we humans do. If those feelings were developed, that might give robots a better sense of urgency.
The idea is to instil a sense of homeostasis – that need to balance conditions, whether that's the temperature of an environment, or the need for food and drink, that are required to ensure survival.
That would in turn give AI engines more of a reason to improve their behaviours and better themselves, say neuroscientists Kingson Man and Antonio Damasio from the University of Southern California.
"In a dynamic and unpredictable world, an intelligent agent should hold its own meta-goal of self-preservation, like living organisms whose survival relies on homeostasis: the regulation of body states aimed at maintaining conditions compatible with life," write Man and Damasio in their published paper.
In short, we're talking about giving robots feelings. Making them care might make them better in just about every aspect, and it would also give scientists a platform to investigate the very nature of feelings and consciousness, say Man and Damasio.
Is tear a sign of fragility?
His overall health remained fragile.