2
$\begingroup$

If a Robot system with an advanced A.I. operating system had the 'ability' to 'do' 'undirected' or 'semi-undirected' introspection and 'form' all sorts of 'thought' structures about any subject matter (that didn't directly have something to do with important 'operating' functions) could these not-necessarily important 'thought structures' and the 'managing' of such cause something analogous to psychological problems in the robot?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ According to the site rules hypothetical questions are off-topic. See: cogsci.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask $\endgroup$ – user3116 Oct 4 '14 at 14:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @what This question is not a open ended hypothetical question. He asks specifically if networks are capable of psychological disorders. This allows for a deterministic answer: Either AI's are, or are not capable of having psychological problems. This can be backed with current examples of evidence and research. A re-wording of the question may possibly be appropriate, but asking if biological-like mental illness is, by strict definition (i.e. not opinion), possible in AI, is not off-topic. $\endgroup$ – JRFerrell Oct 4 '14 at 16:48
3
$\begingroup$

Depending on the definition of "psychology" and "psychological problems" sure. The APA defines psychology as "the scientific study of the behavior of individuals and their mental processes." If we take this to only apply to biological systems (as I am sure many researchers do) then no, because the robot is not a biological system and therefore we can not study it under the heading of psychology and we would probably study it under something more akin to "engineering". However, if one is happy applying the same to robots, as I assuming you are, then yes.

Assuming the latter, and if you think that a being's "'ability' to 'do' 'undirected' or 'semi-undirected' introspection and 'form' all sorts of 'thought' structures about any subject matter" is a cause of psychological problems, and we are further assuming that a robot could do this, then yes, the robot will have psychological problems by definition. (Is there direct evidence suggesting these are causes though?)

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A lot of introspection for a human being can create all sorts of worries and fixation about interpretations of one's 'own''cognitive' environment especially with personal emotions added to these interpretations. One goal of A.I. theorists is to mimic the human mind-brain and if introspection can cause processing instability in a human being it will probably do the same in a 'robot' that mimics the mind-brain. Also cats and dogs are not occupied a lot of the time with survival so they can 'do' a limited form of introspection hence their behavioral instabilities or personality quirks. $\endgroup$ – user128932 Oct 3 '14 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ @user128932 Do you have any sources with evidence backing this up? $\endgroup$ – James Oct 3 '14 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Any psychological studies on human behavior will mention ( I think) the effects of 'introspection' a subject may subject themselves to will 'cause' depressant effects on the person's sense of well-being and any measure of self-confidence they may use. IF there are no studies that show this what the 'blank' are researchers doing. I, myself have emotional problems and I have known many people with psychological instabilities ; It seems OBVIOUS to someone who has been depressed that a lot of introspection can EASILY help to cause depression or serious lack of confidence or other instabilities. $\endgroup$ – user128932 Oct 3 '14 at 19:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user128932 It may seem obvious, however 'introspection' is difficult to pin down scientifically. It could be the case that what you describe is the case, and if this is so, and a robot also does this, then it could be that the robot has psychological problems (depending on definition) as I described in my answer. But at the moment, it seems to me, that this is a hypothesis (unless some sources can be provided). Both, whether the hypothesis is true, or not, is included in my answer. $\endgroup$ – James Oct 4 '14 at 8:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.