Will machines be more emotional, empathetic and sensitive than humans?
Given what some people do, the answer seems “yes,” especially in extreme cases requiring hardly any reconstruction.
What is empathy and why do some people have a huge amount of empathy and others hardly any at all?
The term “empathy” comes from the Greek empátheia meaning “suffering.” Empathy is one of the basic skills covered by emotional and cognitive intelligence. It is the ability to recognise and share the mental states of others, and the ability to put oneself in place of another person with their perspective. Empathy enables us to create and maintain social relations and interactions, make partnerships and friendships, act for the benefit of others, and foster ideas we are strongly attached to.
The opposite of empathy is egocentrism. Egocentrics have no understanding of others and place themselves at the centre. Narcissistically, they see themselves as special and wonderful people, convinced that others should follow their will or orders. They try to win at all costs, regardless of whether the right is on their side. In recent days, as reported from the USA, we could observe an extreme form of egocentrism. The outgoing president, unwilling to relinquish the presidency after his defeat, led to an unprecedented event in American democracy: his supporters attacked the Capitol. The lack of empathy may be indicative of a serious mental disorder (psychopathy) resulting from various mental deficits manifested, inter alia, in disrespect for the law or social norms, manipulation of others, mental abuse, etc.
The brain is the centre of all human emotions. According to Joseph LeDoux, a professor at New York University and world-renowned authority on neuroscience and medicine, the amygdala is the centre of the emotional brain. And as we know, artificial intelligence is specifically based on the formation of neural network connections. According to the dictionary of Artificial Intelligence, artificial neural networks consist of three types of layers. The input layer acts like the human eye. It registers images and transfers the registered but unprocessed data through the optic nerves to the hidden layer. In the hidden layer, the connections between neurons are formed, i.e. the process of learning (the so-called deep learning) takes place. Then the data move to the output layer in which the conclusions and results of the analysis are collected. A neural network can consist of any number of layers. It acts like the brain: each neuron performs its own calculations and creates a network representing the multiple of these calculations.
Dr Stuart Armstrong from the Institute for the Future of Humanity at Oxford University says that artificial intelligence will have reached at least the intellectual level of the best educated human by 2040. His research is inter alia to answer how to responsibly develop Artificial Intelligence so that it does not pose a threat to humanity.
Artificial intelligence neural networks have already been extensively used for many years in different areas of life, e.g. speech-to-text transcription or face recognition. For example, emotion recognition systems are used in marketing. The machines are able to read a customer’s mood depending on facial expressions, the speed of spoken words or the timbre of the voice.
The elements of artificial intelligence are used in virtually every field or industry supported by modern technologies. We will find them in both the operating theatre and the car production floor. Deep learning is also used in translation. Nevertheless, a lot still needs to be done here for the machine to be able to recognise contexts, especially in fiction and poetry. However, it is hard not to notice how much progress the machine translation engines has made in recent years. Once we moved away from statistical machine translation towards neural networks, we observed a huge leap in the quality of machine translation, virtually overnight. This led to the sudden development of post-editing machine translation – a hybrid model in which large volumes of content are machine-translated and then revised by a team of experienced translators to ensure that the end product is in line with the project assumptions. Our company also provides this type of services. Post-editing of machine translations is a popular choice, especially in the e-commerce industry.
We should not take offence at progress as it will certainly continue day by day. Nevertheless, note that these tools are meant to be helpful and we should use them wisely. The programming of empathic intelligence is in sight. And as shown by various gadgets, such as Tamagotchi from the 1990s, people are likely to be extremely empathetic towards such forms of existence in our lives. Obviously, those people who are highly empathetic and sensitive.