An integrative design-oriented research approach to autonomous agents

Here are some notes about a guest lecture I will give in Dr. Angelica Lim’s course on Affective Computing (Dpt of Computer Science) at SFU on 2020-07-16. (Twitter handle)

I aim to inspire students about the importance, enjoyability and challenges of trying to understand entire minds of autonomous agents, using an integrative design-oriented approach. I will present several interesting problems and functions that call for such an understanding, and focus mainly on mental perturbance.
Continue reading An integrative design-oriented research approach to autonomous agents

Homage to Aaron Sloman, Winner of the 2020 APA K. Jon Barwise Prize

Last month, Professor Aaron Sloman was awarded the 2020 K. Jon Barwise Prize which recognizes “significant and sustained contributions to areas relevant to philosophy and computing by an APA member. The prize will serve to credit those within our profession for their life long efforts in this field.”

Aaron Sloman university Birmingham
Continue reading Homage to Aaron Sloman, Winner of the 2020 APA K. Jon Barwise Prize

What Causes Grief to Endure? Part 1: Your Turn

There are two sets of “emotions” the understanding of which are most helpful to understanding all perturbant emotions: grief and romantic love. To understand these two requires answering several questions about them. One of the questions is: what causes grief to endure? Continue reading What Causes Grief to Endure? Part 1: Your Turn

Fifty Years after Herbert Simon’s Landmark Contribution to Emotion Research: “Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition” (1967)

It is Labour Day week-end! This is a time to celebrate great knowledge work. It is also a time to ask “Have we been using the best conceptual tools?” And “how can we build better knowledge?” Let’s keep these questions in the back of our minds as we consider the following

Fifty years ago this year, Herbert A. Simon published “Motivational and emotional controls of cognition”. There, he expressed one of the most important insights about emotion and motivation (and hence perhaps of psychology) of the last century. Continue reading Fifty Years after Herbert Simon’s Landmark Contribution to Emotion Research: “Motivational and Emotional Controls of Cognition” (1967)

Media Responses to the Cognitive Shuffle: Much Ado about a Research Programme

My R&D on sleep onset and insomnia (including the cognitive shuffle / serial diverse imagining) has received several waves of media attention.  The last one started c. 10 days ago with the May edition of O Magazine (the print edition of Oprah), and then went crazy from there. Last week, I accepted over 20 interview invitations from TV stations, radio stations, web sites, and a magazine who were curious about this topic. Continue reading Media Responses to the Cognitive Shuffle: Much Ado about a Research Programme

The Benefits of Corporate Romance: Left is Right for Me

As you might recall, at ISRE-2015 in Geneva, I presented a paper on romantic emotions (“limerence”), in the context of our affect regulation project. The thing about romance is that like other emotions it is a state characterized by a certain loss of control. Control of what? One’s thinking processes. Continue reading The Benefits of Corporate Romance: Left is Right for Me

Experiencing and Analyzing Emotions on a Perturbing Election Night

The U.S. election this evening provides me with a good opportunity to test my understanding of emotion and my emotion regulation practices, as will the future, particularly given the apparent results. Continue reading Experiencing and Analyzing Emotions on a Perturbing Election Night

AISB-2017 (Bath) Symposium: “Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications”

At AISB 2017 (April, in Bath, England) there will be a symposium on Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications. The symposium chairs are Dr. Dean Petters (Psychology) and Dr. David Moffatt (Computer Science).

Dr. Sylwia Hyniewska and I will submit a paper on emotion as perturbance, using insomnia and limerence as windows onto this phenomenon. Continue reading AISB-2017 (Bath) Symposium: “Computational Modelling of Emotion: Theory and Applications”

Romantic Love (Limerence): A Workshop on Emotion

I’ve begun to offer a pair of workshops on emotion that focus primarily on romantic love, technically known as “limerence”. The first workshop is designed primarily to enhance participants’ understanding of their emotions, whereas the second is focused on “relating to” their emotions. This post is about the first workshop.

Why Understand Limerence (Romantic Love)?

So what does limerence have to do with cognitive productivity? As I argued at length in Cognitive Productivity, to learn effectively we must not merely develop dry, cognitive mechanisms and representations (the substrate of memory, skills, etc.). Otherwise, we will at most develop an “inert” storehouse of knowledge, as Alfred Whitehead put it. We must rather change ourselves affectively: develop inclinations, feelings, desires and tendencies to apply what we’ve learned. To this end, it helps to understand emotions.

Furthemore, emotions generally, and limerence in particular, can directly promote productivity and creativity. (Beethoven’s may have been fueled by his unrequited love. There are countless similar examples. Compare the reference to The Mating Mind below.) Emotions can also, of course, destroy our ability to focus.

Continue reading Romantic Love (Limerence): A Workshop on Emotion