kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
[Content notes: living with trauma, basically]

A thread that keeps coming up in speculative fiction I'm reading at the moment (which is probably more indicative of what I'm seeking out than any publishing trends?) is the necessity for artificial intelligences to have emotions, in order to facilitate making arbitrary choices (the Imperial Radch; the Wayfarers; ...). Logic alone isn't adequate for a complex responsive intelligence: they'd stall out agonising over minutiae.

I've also been having a fair few (they say, wryly) conversations around emotional reactions and responses to contexts and events. I've known for a long time that going "okay, but that's not what's going on, here's a coherent model for my actions and behaviour and motivations that demonstrates that the thing you're scared of isn't actually happening" doesn't actually seem to have as much effect on most people's decision-making and behaviour as I'd (naively) expect. And then yesterday my interlocutor said: doesn't impact how I feel about the thing ;-) just what I logically conclude

... and -- oh. oh. Between the BPD or c-PTSD or whatever and the depression, I've in fact had to spend a lot of time working on... precisely that, right? I have to spend a lot of time and energy directing myself away from reacting based on compelling emotional "truths" and toward responding based on logical frameworks. I don't have to act as though people I'm close to want me to vanish absolutely from their lives unless they directly tell me that in fact they have changed their mind and they do*. For me, having a logical framework that contradicts my emotional understanding of the world doesn't stop me having feelings. It just -- informs what I do with them? I can free up a lot of processing power because I stop "having to" worry about how accurate they are, how much I should be taking them into account, whether I should be acting based on them. The solution to the feelings then becomes self-validation ("wow yep feeling like this is pretty rubbish, have some hot chocolate and do some stretches"), rather than their being an additional constraint I have to try to solve for, that's usually mutually exclusive with what other people are actually telling me they want.

"This information changes what I logically conclude about the situation" seems to be pretty powerful for me in a way that, as far as I can tell, it perhaps isn't for many folk? And I'm just... amused by having fitted together a model for why "no, that's not what's happening" doesn't do what I expect, that is superficially such a contradiction to the fiction.

I think it isn't, of course: this is how emotion interacts with making big decisions, not trivial ones. I'm simultaneously (still) exploring the potential of having unjustified or arbitrary preferences, particularly in the context of modern art. Just: goodness, but the inherently contradictory nature of existing. Think, two things on their own and both at once.

* Yes, we're aware that puts them in potentially awkward positions, but we've negotiated this very carefully in specific instances where I get the strongest compulsions to Just Vanish.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 12:36 pm (UTC)
sebastienne: My default icon: I'm a fat white person with short dark hair, looking over my glasses. (Default)
From: [personal profile] sebastienne
"This information changes what I logically conclude about the situation" seems to be pretty powerful for me in a way that, as far as I can tell, it perhaps isn't for many folk?

If that's what you took from what I said, I definitely mislead you.

But then, I think I'm coming at this from the completely opposite direction to you; that of instinctively /discounting/ any emotional responses that cannot be logically justified, and therefore repressing/ignoring/pretending they aren't there (and later wondering why I'm so uncomfortable in this or that situation).

So logical conclusions are over-powered, for me. I have to work quite hard to leave space for "doesn't impact how I feel about the thing ;-) just what I logically conclude". The fact that I said this to you - rather than, say, "of course, you're right, I have nothing to feel uncomfortable about" - is progress, for me.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 12:43 pm (UTC)
sebastienne: My default icon: I'm a fat white person with short dark hair, looking over my glasses. (Default)
From: [personal profile] sebastienne
I mean it's why my response to you expressing emotional distress that's based on a perception of reality that I don't share has historically been, "let me try to logic you out of that", right?

"Your emotional response is invalid and if I can just make you see that you'll stop feeling it".


Thanks for putting up with me I guess.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 01:08 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I'm pretty sure that a lot of the 'lack of emotion leads to problems with decision making' comes from a few observational studies of people with very particular forms of brain damage who appeared rationally intact and capable of logic but who had lost the ability to respond emotionally and who had no ability to choose or prioritize courses of action or, often, even minor things like what to order at a restaurant. The assumption is that the lack of emotional response is causal for the decision making problems. The idea is that a life and death decision suddenly has the exact same importance to the person as something immensely trivial.

I think that it might relate to the problem that studies have shown neurotypical people have with having too many options for trivial things (brands of, say, strawberry jam or paper towels) with no strong reason to prefer one over the others. There's a reason I prefer the same brands of white sugar and plastic wrap and vinegar that my mother bought, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with them being better or cheaper or anything except emotionally resonant and therefore easy/comfortable.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 02:38 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Except no ability to choose or prioritize courses of action sounds like me on a bad executive function day, and my emotions are...I won't say "functioning normally", but I will say "functioning". So I think the assumption there might be flawed.


I remember seeing an article on a study to the tune of, there are categories of item (say: books, fish, and teacups) and there are AIs coded to interact with one another and trade books for fish or fish for teacups or whatever. And each AI has its own preferences for how many of which it ends up with—but all it knows about each other's preferences is what it can deduce from the proposed and the accepted trades. And the article sounded really startled at how human the reasoning was these AIs were using. Like. One AI might prefer books exclusively, but pretend to value teacups in order to later trade teacups for books and look like they'd made a concession. Also, something something making everybody as happy as possible vs making the individual in question as happy as possible.

One presumes no actual emotion was coming into play with these AIs, just the coded-in preferences for fish over teacups over books or for books exclusively or whatever. But one also wonders if 'it' is really the appropriate pronoun...

C/n clinical discussion of suicide.

Date: 2017-07-10 03:44 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
See below.

Executive dysfunction isn't about making choices, it's about ENACTING choices. When executive dysfunction stops us from going pee when we need to, it's not because we haven't decided that we want to go pee - it's that we've decided to go pee and then something between this decision and actually GETTING UP AND GOING TO THE TOILET has broken. We WANT to, but it doesn't WORK. We have feelings about the situation (often very strong ones) but the fundamental function of those feelings affecting our actions has gone Horribly Wrong.

Genuinely not giving a fuck that you need to empty your bladder is lack of motivation, which is also a facet of mental illness that can arrive, particularly in severe depression. However, it's separate from executive dysfunction (although it can be comorbid) and is actually much closer to the damage to the emotional centres of the brain that creates the inability to make decisions: you don't care. (General "you" here). You feel nothing more negative about the pressure of a bladder than you do about the effort involved in getting up. In fact, possibly you don't feel anything about it at all. Your executive function actually works perfectly, but you feel nothing meaningful or motivating about the situation so there is no drive to correct it.

(This is one of the manifestations of depression that leave the sufferer MOST vulnerable to suicide after - ironically successful - treatment by medical means. The feelings come back: ANY FEELINGS AT ALL. The feelings of horror at having lain there totally disinterested in the universe and utterly uncaring that one has, for instance, soiled oneself and not cared about it at all are back, and even appropriate, and the screaming overwhelming feeling is NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN - which, the only way to ENSURE never-again is, well. Dying.)

Re: C/n clinical discussion of suicide.

Date: 2017-07-10 06:04 pm (UTC)
the_quorum: A small purple monster-creature (Stitch), growling. (Tristitch)
From: [personal profile] the_quorum
I disagree; Exeutive Dysfunction very often leads to an inability to make decisions, in myself. (I suspect this is a difference in definition; the one I've found to be generally-accepted in disability/medical circles is wide enough for both types of experiences you've outlined to be covered under the term, so I'm curious-but-cautious of yours?)

(fwiw, if you feel like replying to this (and there is no onus there); I find the allcaps stuff makes it a lot harder to read your posts, so I would struggle if you were to reply to me with large amounts of that (I couldn't read the 'See below' for this reason). So an access communication request, if you decide to reply?)

- Tri

Re: C/n clinical discussion of suicide.

Date: 2017-07-10 07:02 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional

Right, so, preemptive tl;dr: yes, it is a matter of definition, and tbh it’s only important in terms of THIS SPECIFIC CONVERSATION because what the neurologists describe in their studies of people with the brain-damage that removes emotional range completely is at a nitpicky technical enough level that the fact that different neurological architecture in the brain is responsible for the different cognitive aspects of this matters, and the “decisions” they’re talking about are at that very very deep level - the patients are unable to WANT either outcome more than the other one, because it doesn’t matter to them, rather than being able to want one, the other, or both, but unable to act on that decision or cognitively work through the process of sorting between both wants.

Very bluntly speaking, in terms of the actual clinical neuroanatomical vocabulary, “executive function” is often misused in colloquial discussions, and failure of motivation is often described as a failure of executive function. Which leads to a lot of confusion when you’re (again, general you) then, as in this case, talking about the effects of damage to the physical anatomy of the brain and how it affects the ability of the brain to work, period.

In terms of the actual neurological terminology, executive functions are cognitive processes that are necessary for cognitive control of behaviour: selecting and successfully monitoring behaviours that facilitate the attainment of chosen goals. This includes control of attention, cognitive inhibition, very basic impulse control, inhibitive control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. They aren’t related to choosing the goals - not to whether or not you DO want to do the thing - but rather to the process of attaining goals - now that you know you want to do the thing, can you actually do it?

However. In a lot of layperson discussions, “executive function” instead of referring to very specific cognitive processes, becomes a catch-all for “shit that makes me unable to function at the level I want to/is considered appropriate for me/etc”.

This is in part because colloquially speaking “motivation” very often takes on a moralistic tinge: it’s parsed as “willpower”, not as another neurological process. Anhedonia, for example, is a massive failure of motivation: the more anhedonic you are, the more you are incapable of feeling any positive feedback from your brain, and the less anything matters; eventually, at the EXTREME end, you also stop even being able to parse much of the difference between active negative stimulation and, well, the entire experience of reality. It all feels the same. At that point motivation, which is at heart an issue of that really deep want/not want shit in the amygdala, is non-existent. You stop being able to differentiate between anything as “bad” and “good”, or even “bad” and “worse”, because you feel the same about all of it.

There can be multiple parts to motivation going on, mind? And it again gets into huge things with moralistic shit that shouldn’t get attached to it, because for instance when I’m really depressed, what I want is to go to sleep. I am still aware of there being a different Feather, a different self of mine, who when she does not feel LIKE THIS wants a lot of other things, but what I, in that moment, want, is usually to go to sleep. My motivation to do anything else fails, because it becomes impossible to imagine any success or reward from any of those things that is worth doing anything other than sleeping, because by that point I am literally incapable of experiencing any positive stimulus. I could win the lottery and it wouldn’t matter: my brain has stopped being able to process positive stimulus, so nothing is positive. This destroys motivation.

(Which is why for me personally my brain’s one superpower is how fucking stubborn and contrary I am and how I can continue to get a twisted, kind of poisonous and fucked up but still present neurological reward from Being Fucking Stubborn And Contrary when all other rewards have totally vanished, and so for instance when I say that what has kept me alive thus far is spite I am totally serious.)

This is actually a neurological malfunction. But as a broad society we treat “motivation” as somehow linked to “willpower”, so people don’t want to say “I have a failure of motivation”, because colloquially that means “I am basically being lazy”. And sometimes medical professionals don’t know any better because it’s not their field, and sometimes they actively choose to go with the confusion because they know when their patient HEARS “motivation” in this sentence what the patient will take from it is “I’m saying you’re lazy and not trying hard enough” rather than “I’m saying that your brain has broken and we need to figure out how to make the reward chemicals happen again and this may require trying a bunch of different shit until we figure it out, including behavioural things that will be Hard”, so they go with “executive function” because it’s Clinical Sounding and won’t set off that cycle of either defensiveness or self-loathing.

(And then some really SHITTY docs go the OTHER way and maintain the “motivation” context but ALSO KEEP THE MORALISTIC SHIT which really sucks and just reinforces the whole thing.)

It’s sort of like how there’s a confusing difference in between how society colloquially uses the word “anxiety” (to mean “worry” or “timidity” or whatever), vs how it is clinically used (“the brain has just flooded this person with fight/flight chemicals and stimulated the various hormonal responses to Danger”, broadly speaking).

So for instance I’ve had people go “you can’t have an anxiety disorder, you’re not shy/timid/[whatever Piglet like behaviour they associate with anxiety] at all!” And this is correct - because when I’m anxious I get pissed off, irritable and impatient and avoidant in ways that parse as hostility. Because anxiety just means that my brain thinks there’s a tiger about to eat me - and MY brain thinks the correct thing to do when a tiger is going to eat me is to kill the tiger very very dead first.

Similarly, colloquially “motivation” is coopted by bullshit “life-coach” crap and people think it’s something that comes out of thin air and it takes on a moralistic tinge. Actually, motivation is just a matter of where your brain expects/believes in the reward-stimulus. This is why it gets fucked over by things like whether or not people actually believe that consequences/rewards will come through: a child who believes that they really WILL get two marshmallows if they don’t eat the marshmallow on the table right now will probably wait and get two marshmallows, but a child who is consistently lied to by adults will just eat the marshmallow now - what’s the point of waiting? There’s no motivation to wait because they don’t really believe that the course of action will lead to the promised reward. (Same thing with consequences, actually: while a certain level of negative consequence is necessary for it to be unwanted, period, past a very basic level they have done significant numbers of studies that indicate very strongly that what deters criminal behaviour is much more whether or not the criminals believe they WILL suffer consequences, period, or if they believe they CAN get away with it - rather than the severity of those consequences. Lower consequences but strong belief that the consequences will be suffered is actually a much better deterrent than high consequences erratically enforced. Thus the absolute necessity of consistency with kids.)

(Brains being brains, “reward” and “positive stimulus” does not necessarily, again, line up with the colloquial meanings of “pleasure” or “fun”; we’re talking here on the level of the ways that gambling stimulates the reward-centres in many people’s brains so that even when on some levels they are DEAD BORED with it on that very primitive level they’re still getting a hit every single time the right combination comes up in the game, so it’s very hard to break away. See also: why Candy Crush does so well, and why people will indeed eventually default to “negative attention is still attention".)

Whereas executive functions govern not whether or not the child chooses to do the one thing or the other, but whether the child is physically capable of remembering what they chose, or making that choice govern their actions. This is where you get the ADHD kid or the kid with cognitive impairments that make it difficult to imagine the future (including, as it happens, “being very young” as a cognitive impairment), or similar, who has genuinely chosen to Wait For The Two Marshmallows and then forgets or is distracted or similar and finds that the marshmallow is in their mouth and being swallowed and then is INCREDIBLY UPSET EVEN AT THEMSELVES because they MEANT to wait.

Of course, where it gets complicated is that motivation and executive function are very intertwined and it can take a lot of work to figure out which one is actually going wrong. This is particularly true in terms of picking which “want” is more important! Like: you want to have a nice, healthy dinner, but you also don’t want to get up off the couch! Sorting through which of these wants to act on and how is a factor of executive function, especially since the one want involves many different steps and significant maintenance of attention in the face of potential distraction, but wanting them at ALL is a factor of motivation. Clinically speaking, in terms of actual neurological processes, they do come from different things and are different aspects of cognitive function at work.

When the brain is damaged so that any emotional information is inhibited, motivation fails or is at least severely reduced. (Most of the people it happens to who are still alive have a minimum of motivation: they usually find the experience of doing what people tell them to do either more pleasant or less unpleasant than the experience of not doing so. It’s just when it gets more complicated than that that everything falls apart, because no emotions attach themselves to either outcome.) They may still have excellent executive function! When they have decided to do something, or gone with the path of least effort in doing as they’re told, they do so quite effectively and with no difficulties. But their intrinsic motivational function is trashed. They are continually in the situation of being confronted with cases where they literally don’t care which option is chosen, and none of the fallbacks we use to get them to a point where they do work anymore, because all of those are still based on emotion.

Ask them to choose two restaurants and they can’t. No facet of the restaurant will elicit an emotional response, so no facet of either restaurant will suggest it as a choice. Not even truly minor and idiosyncratic ones (“this restaurant is twenty feet further away from you”) NOR big huge obvious ones (“this restaurant will serve you poison”) will make a difference, because they have no feelings about the outcomes so there is nothing to guide the choice.

Conversely people with various executive function disorders can actually want, and even want DESPERATELY, to do something, and be unable to - because they can’t remember, because they got distracted, because they can’t overcome the inhibition, because they can’t manage to even think of a way it could actually happen.

And then of course a lot of disorders, ESPECIALLY on the mood-disorder side, can fuck with both at once, and as each reinforces the other it becomes exponentially harder: when you have low (clinical sense) motivation, overcoming executive dysfunction gets exponentially harder and less rewarding, which tends to lead to things which increase the depression, which in turn fucks further with the executive function . . . and down we go.

(I did a shitload of study on this and related memory problems for writing purposes and got lucky in having a couple of my mom’s neurologist colleagues around to bounce it off of until I actually managed to grasp it. >.>)

Re: C/n clinical discussion of suicide.

Date: 2017-07-10 10:42 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
I thought the term was broader than that?

...guess I have reading to do after work

Re: C/n clinical discussion of suicide.

Date: 2017-07-10 10:43 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
Went into it a bunch in other comment on this thread. :3

Re: C/n clinical discussion of suicide.

Date: 2017-07-10 10:44 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Noted. After work. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 08:12 pm (UTC)
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)
From: [personal profile] niqaeli
Emotions are just a coded preference: the coding is in neuron and flesh and primarily the systems persist because they improve survival/reproduction but it's still just a coded preference. So I find saying that the AIs had no real emotions... a dubious pronouncement? I mean if they aren't, is there any emotion or that an AI could experience that would be real? And if it's a matter of the sophistication of the intelligence making it real or not, by that metric then the expressed preferences of a lot of "lower" animals aren't emotions and therefore aren't real. And that's honestly the same reasoning writ a little larger that ablist assholes use in justifying their abuse of intellectually disabled people, so. *hands*

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 10:39 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
...I'm go think.

I mean it's not the AIs saying Alice wants exclusively books and Bob prefers teacups to fish? It's the coders. But it's not little Mary over there deciding she likes pink and baby dolls, either. It's society.

I'm go think.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 10:48 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
It's not even Mary deciding she likes hugs and doesn't like nausea. It's the entire evolution of our species that hardwired "physical contact" to positive neural feedback because more babies that had that association lived, and the physiological processes in response to throwing up to negative feedback because ditto.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-11 12:28 am (UTC)
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)
From: [personal profile] niqaeli

To be fair, I have chewed this one over previously quite a bit and as you can tell came down hard on the side of "it's real". My thinking pretty much resulted directly from the combination of a biology degree and me getting very, very tired of the "can a golem/metal-man/robot/AI/whatever-we're-calling-it-THIS-decade ever experience Real Emotions?!" question in SF, which hinges on whether someone else programming something means that it's experience isn't Real and Means Nothing.

Well, fundamentally nothing means anything, the universe itself doesn't care about any of it. Meanwhile, I am a bundle of biological directives that serve no deep purpose; they persist because life happened and reproducing happened and these directives increased survival and reproduction. How is that in any way more real or meaningful a base of experience than any deliberate decisions made by a coder?

Many people disagree with me, obviously, but I refuse animistic arguments that flesh is in any way uniquely special. If an argument or a question is predicated on that premise, I'm done. wry

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 01:25 pm (UTC)
sfred: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sfred
I feel like I have lots of responses to make to this but I am missing actual words.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 02:29 pm (UTC)
jedusor: (neuron art)
From: [personal profile] jedusor
Have you read Descartes' Error? I was dead set on doing my grad work with Antonio Damasio for a while because this stuff about how emotion plays into decision-making was so fascinating to me.
Edited (lolwhoops used the kink icon instead of the brain icon) Date: 2017-07-10 02:29 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 03:36 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
The thing is, emotions in this context are actually right down to the very primal "want/not-want". All of which are arbitrary.

There is no "purely" logical basis for preferring any outcome over any other outcome. Even pain is, objectively, merely a configuration of electrical impulses between neurons. The quote "there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so" is actually quite true - it's just that "thinking" here isn't the actual active conscious, it's the deep amygdala responses of "WANT/NOT-WANT".

The AI don't need emotion to FACILITATE making arbitrary decisions. They need emotions - that is, a set of responses designed to privilege one outcome over another outcome - because otherwise all decisions are arbitrary. No outcome is INHERENTLY, "logically" better than another. Logic isn't a moral force; logic is only a set of calculations. You literally cannot create "ought to be" purely out of "is".

Genocide is only bad because we have a moral system that assumes that overall, death and pain are bad. That may seem like a "duh" thing, but there is nothing in the universe itself, outside of us and our FEELINGS, that states this. This, as Death notes in Hogfather, is because the Universe is indifferent: there is no atom of mercy or justice, there is no MORAL IMPERATIVE in blind force. Outside of intelligence, the universe is rocks moving in curves. You can still plot the curves using logic, but you can't make a moral judgement about them.

In order to make any kind of judgement, you HAVE to take the step of asserting "ought", and that in and of itself is an emotional decision. If you destroy the capacity of our brains to feel emotion, then we cannot make any decisions. Because without that feeling there are just rocks moving in curves, and all rocks and all curves are equally valid, with literally nothing to choose between.

(Indeed, in some ways EVERY decision is LOGICAL - you just have to figure out what the ACTUAL PREDICATES and variables are to the decision, as opposed to what someone THINKS they are.)

We ARE intelligences programmed to prefer a set of stimuli, based fundamentally on the maintenance of the meatsuit. We may also have some kind of "soul" or more complicated part that adds another set of preferences, but the point is that they are just as emotional as any of the others. Every preference is emotional. Even preferences that are "wait I need to calm down, take a deep breath and think WAY FORWARD about cause and effect here" - that IS EMOTIONAL, it's an emotional preference, it's just a more COMPLICATED and widely-considered emotional preference.

"Logic" is neutral. Logic is not a moral or ethical standard; logic is a process. Logic is an equation. If you accept that what your radical fundamentalist of any religion believes is CORRECT - if that variable in the equation is CORRECT - then almost all of their conclusions are perfectly logical - as long as you also plug into the equation a set of emotionally based values (because ALL VALUES are emotional) which assume that the outcomes they project from the predicate carry the emotional value they project onto them.

Emotion is part of what you plug into logic in order to make your calculations.

When someone like you or I examines a set of emotions or emotional reactions and choose to examine them and discount them, or whatever, we're not being "unemotional" - there's no such thing. We're just privileging a DIFFERENT SET of emotions, usually ones that are way more complicated and, tbh, also more productive and useful in the long run. It isn't a matter of logic-vs-emotions: it's one set of emotions vs another set of emotions.

It just takes a hell of a lot of practice to make the bigger-wider set feel more compelling than the amygdalic SCREAMING set. Now for those people who have stable attachment and un-disordered mood and appropriate cognitive development, their amygdala don't scream very often, and generally only start screaming more or less in response to shit it SHOULD be screaming about - that is, their amygdala tends only to scream about tigers when there is, in fact, a tiger. Within a certain range of this.

But, you know. There are only a very few people who are THAT stable. And then there are quite a lot of people who are . . .sort of close-ish to that stable but have a few things that cause the amydalic emotional centres to scream about tigers inaccurately, but these happen so infrequently that they still treat all screams as if they were Totally Accurate and react accordingly, and this is REALLY FUCKING FRUSTRATING.

And then there are people whose screaming-alert-systems are as broken as ours, and we're more or less divided into people who still treat every scream as A Correct Indicator (oh gods) and those of us who are like " . . . Fucking stupid thing is on the blitz AGAIN" but often have to, you know, take very careful diagnostic precautions ANYWAY because we also know that it isn't always wrong.

And sometimes have to say "okay look I know it's a false alarm but I still need to go into lockdown until I can get the fucking alarm system to turn off so bear with me."

To torture a metaphor.

BUT. The point is: it's all emotion. Logic is only a language to assess steps of sequential facts: it doesn't offer solutions. Logic is rocks moving in curves, and to logic, all the curves are equal. It takes emotion to determine that the curve that ends up with the rock smashing your face in is a BAD curve that should be terminated, before it hits.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
From: [personal profile] hilarita
The thing I take from the AIs in fiction using emotions to make decisions isn't so much that, but more that they have to construct a way to make decisions and evaluate the world, based on logic and emotion. It's the construction that's the interesting bit for me, and the way of logically introspecting to then construct a way of dealing with the external world, which is confusing and arbitrary and full of stoats.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-11 12:41 am (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
Thinking about this, I wonder if the difference may be not so much logic and emotion, but that you've had to construct models of behaviour, which you consult regularly, whereas other people tend to be much less introspective. Immediate responses likely prioritize immediate emotional response in a way that just isn't possible for retrospective re-examinations, where the emotions are muted by time and distance. So it's possible the models aren't so different, but it's the data that's changing

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-06 08:32 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
For me, being told "okay but behold this alternative model for this thing I am doing that is distressing you" ranges from de-escalation from Right Weeping Tizzy to placidly calm in about as much time as it takes to process the words, through "That's what you say" to immediate fury at an obvious gaslighting attempt. How it lands is a combination of my trust in the other party to not mean to hurt me, my assessment of their self-awareness, and their track record.

(Track record means that there have been a few people who absolutely mean well and I trust them to report their states accurately, but who nonetheless have poked me square in tender places more often than I'm willing to put up with. Some folks have a perverse genius for doing that entirely unintentionally.)

The best good example was when I was apocalyptically upset with belovedest for having ignored our planned date; whereupon they told me that they'd entirely forgotten our planned date, I calmed right down. Because I knew their memory was a sieve, and that their love for me would not prevent their brain from dropping random things, no matter how important. That was a scenario that I could accept, unlike the "you knew you had this thing planned and you decided that [something else] was more fun, and did not think that I was important enough to tell about your change in plans" that I'd been fearing based on trauma.
Edited Date: 2017-08-06 08:37 am (UTC)


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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