AI May Get Depressed or Hallucinate in the Future

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Scientists believe that they could make AI learn emotion. They can introduce a hormone-like system and, using machine learning, it could also risk learning how to feel or it could also experience depression.

At the Canonical Computation in Brains and Machines symposium, Zachary Mainen, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown (Lisbon), talked about serotonin and its effects on decision making in humans. He and his team have discovered that serotonin doesn’t have a relation to emotional states, but it updates and changes the learning parameters in the brane, acting as a neuromodulator.

Developing Intelligence – We Need Both Serotonin and Dopamine

Based on this experiment, he believes that the same mechanism could be used for machine learning, even if it might have side effects. In an interview with Sciencemag, Zachary Mainen said:

“Depression and hallucinations appear to depend on a chemical in the brain called serotonin. It may be that serotonin is just a biological quirk. But if serotonin is helping solve a more general problem for intelligent systems, then machines might implement a similar function, and if serotonin goes wrong in humans, the equivalent in a machine could also go wrong.”

The experiments have been conducted on mice, and the results show that the evolution of intelligence is also dependent on serotonin and dopamine.

But How Useful Will It Be to Machine Learning?

There is no way to find out if these emotions will be useful to AI, but it depends on how much they want to mimic the human brain. Mainen and his team believe that hyper-modulators that are similar to serotonin could help autonomous machines and systems from getting stuck in certain situations.

Of course, robots will not be able to deal with the changes in the world in real time, but they can be taught through supervised learning.

Giving them emotions or the ability to hallucinate doesn’t sound like a good idea, though! Imagine trying to get to work and reasoning with your Tesla because it won’t get out of the garage, saying that the neighbor’s car looks suspicious.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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