Facebook AI director Yann LeCun on the importance of emotional machines


Yann LeCun, the deep learning expert and recently appointed director of artificial intelligence research at Facebook, held an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit last week. He went deep into the methodologies of AI and deep learning, the best academic training for excelling in the field and even touched on how to deal with the ethical issues that will arise from the advent of advanced AI. The most interesting exchange, however, might have been about the role of emotions in AI systems.

Yann LeCun. Source: New York University Yann LeCun. Source: New York University

Essentially, LeCun argued that a system like the one popularized in the recent film Her is nowhere near the realm of possibility right now because of its deep understanding of human emotions, but that understanding of emotions is critical to truly useful systems. “Science fiction often depicts AI systems as devoid of emotions,” he wrote, “but I don’t think real AI is possible without…

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