Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Neil Van Leeuwen
I argue against the commonly held intuition that robots and virtual agents will never have emotions by contending robots can have emotions in a sense that is functionally similar to humans, even if the robots' emotions are not exactly equivalent to those of humans. To establish a foundation for assessing the robots' emotional capacities, I first define what emotions are by characterizing the components of emotion consistent across emotion theories. Second, I dissect the affective-cognitive architecture of MIT's Kismet and Leonardo, two robots explicitly designed to express emotions and to interact with humans, in order to explore whether they have emotions. I argue that, although Kismet and Leonardo lack the subjective feelings component of emotion, they are capable of having emotions.
Hamilton, Cameron, "On the Possibility of Robots Having Emotions." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2014.