In the context of AI, can a dog feel disappointment?
This strange question needs to be unpacked and to confirm no aminal was hurt in the writing! This post is NOT addressing do animals feel emotions. Anyone who has had a mouse to an elephant can easily answer that question; animals do present what humans interrupt as feeling and emotions.
Can a dog feel disappointment is the wrong question! If the question is, can a dog feel doggy-disappointment, surly the answer is yes? What is doggy-disappointment, we don’t know as we are unable to determine the gap of expectation between what the dog thought they were getting and what actually happened.
Why is this important? What do we really mean when we ask when we think about, “can a dog feel disappointment?” Is it, can a dog process the same feelings and emotions as a human as we understand disappointment? We project onto the dog what we think and understand, without knowing what the dog does understand. Given that emotions are chemistry/ biology and our chemistry/biology is very different to a dogs - including our bacteria and gut flora that supports how we feeling and think, a dog cannot feel disappointment as humans do.
We project our thinking, feeling and emotions as a way to rationalise and understand. A stone can become loved and indeed worshiped, a stick can be a friend. There is nothing wrong with this, but it has bias and is emotive to an outcome.
Now let’s unpack this in the contest of AI. Can dogs feel disappointment becomes can an AI feel disappointment?
What does it mean to ask if an AI can feel AI-Disappointment?
Should the question be rephrased and not be determined by us trying to project our view that AI should or should not have feelings/ emotions but rather as the question can AI feel AI-Disappointment. In this case what is it that AI could feel and how?