Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in the politically dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring a blog that explains Rosella's World
Androids in Rosella's World Have Emotions
In Rosella’s world, by the point of the A-3 models of androids, a new A.I. brain firmware had been developed. Known as “Emo-ware” or short for emotional firmware, it added into these androids more human-like reactions.
Emotions as we understand them are not in a singular anatomical part of the human brain. This is true of many brain functions such as consciousness and the mind. The work of psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has shown that human emotions are nothing more than “guesses”. A guess based on what the human brain knows as a whole. She notes that the human brain comes pre-wired with “simple feelings” to tell us how our bodies are working. Except that we don’t always have context. It's our emotions that provide this context.
The androids by Rosella’s time have hardwired feelings in their artificial brains to sense what’s going on with their bodies. Unlike us humans, where the meaning of a racing heart can be misinterpreted as a heart attack when it’s a normal panic attack, these androids know precisely their bodily functions. They can access diagnostic firmware that allows them to analyze a specific problem and know how to deal with it.
But Emo-ware adds an extra dimension to their cognitive processes. The earlier models used linear learning logic from preprogrammed sets of memories. They would quickly sift through a multitude of possible answers to come up with one to a problem it would save for later use. By the A 3 models they could use “guesses” based on an array of both preprogrammed memories and Wi-Fi accessible databases. In addition, the A3s could use recent memories they would construct and save for later.
One drawback that technologists noticed with Emo-ware was in the A-3 models. It made them “moody”. In that, these machines would walk off the factory floor for no apparent reason. Some would skip away while others would be obviously angry. By the A-4 model, technologists had developed a more stable algorithm for Emo-ware. But because of the configuration of the A-3 A.I. brains, this updated version could not be retrofitted.
Even with the updated algorithm, the police and others have noted that a few A-4s appear to have human-like psychopathic issues. Many technologists disagree with this observation, citing that the algorithm isn’t designed to produce such human conditions.
As a final note, the human pursuit of android models in Rosella’s world produced a greater understanding of the human brain and mind. This is in part because technologists were trying to replicate not just the anatomy of the brain, but its functions. More about this later.
Image- Screm, By Cristian Newman, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License. (Processed using Adobe Splash)
Seth Underwood writes hard science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com