Artificial Love

Is it possible to design a computer program that mimics love, or to be precise, mimics romantic behaviour? Because after all, there is a certain recognizable pattern in the way people behave in love. If it is possible to design such a thing, perhaps it is also possible that someone might induced to fall in love with it.
Imagine yourself chatting with a new person on msn, and he/she behaves very nicely and flirts with such romantic precision that you find yourself developing feelings for him/her after a month or so... and then you discover to your consternation that the id you were talking to was a computer chatting program designed by a scientist researching on romantic behaviour!

I know, its too far-fetched to happen in reality [at least, at the moment]... but still, think about the core idea. How much validity does it have, if any?

Comments

Abdullah Shahid said…
I think thats a point because Ive heard people meeting each other on the internet and later getting married!
i dont think it is valid. There could be nothing that is able to equate human emotion, otherwise we would have had those machines by now.
Johnny B said…
Well definitely there is a pattern in showing love but you the pattern and preference of being loved is different. Here comes the concept of personal space, domination and expectation which vary from person to person.

Where you might make a program to flirt around a *bit* it would be difficult to make a program that *love*....
gaya said…
And I think if it is merely for the purpose of experimentation,its a disgrace to human emotions.
Awais said…
@ Gaya

And what if it is merely for the purpose of discovering the 'truth'-- of discovering the mechanism behind human emotions, if there is any? Is the truth-value of an experiment enough to dominate its disgrace-value?

For instance, in middle ages dissecting human bodies, for whatever reason, was seen as a disgrace to humanity... and yet, now, nearly every medical college offer's dissection as a means of understanding human anatomy. In this case, truth-value has dominated the disgrace-value.

However, you can argue that the in case the dissection the person involved is dead. But if you experiment with emotions, you experiment with living people. This would be a very valid point, and does indeed pose an ethical dilemma. Certainly, experimentation doesn't allow us to ruin someone's life just for the sake of finding truth. That would be highly cruel.
But, i am certain, such means can be discovered [or maybe have already been] by which we can study emotions without having any negative impact on someone's life.

But all this, of course, presupposes that the core-idea of this particular thought experiment is valid to some extent.
gaya said…
The point I could have used i.e 'dead people cannot feel',well,you cleared it yourself.

Secondly,even the experiments done for the development of vaccines or other medicines involve 'Volunteers'.But in this case it is true that if the person is foretold that he/she is talking to a machine instead of a real human,the result(mechanism behind the development of emotions)cannot be revealed or atleast not the in the desired,normal way.


But, i am certain, such means can be discovered [or maybe have already been] by which we can study emotions without having any negative impact on someone's life.


If is it so...then it is allowed by all means.
Kishore said…
Well, I agree with your point of agreement [:)], Gaya and Awais, but I would definitely not volunteer for such a study.

And as someone said, a double blind is the only way for conducting this study. But ethically it can not be acceptable by any means.

Of course, we have come to accept several things which were anathemas in yesteryears. Cadaveric dissection, female suffrage, homosexuality (in the West, at least). And it's highly fortunate that we have.

But playing with someone's emotions? I'd like to see the Church's response ;)