An emotion is your body’s response to events. This is ruled by the Moon. You have both positive and negative emotions. When you have a positive emotion such as Joy, oxytocin is secreted in your blood. While an emotion like Anger produces cortisol. While we don’t have much control over our emotions, they can be mastered by choosing our reaction to an event that has happened. Sometimes we react to situations like surprise and disgust. Amygdala in our brain is responsible for knee-jerk reactions. It has a memory of all the emotions that were felt by our ancestors. By meditating more, we can raise our elevations to alpha like states where we are quite peaceful, no matter what happens outside. To take control of our emotions, we have to become aware of it. This can happen only if we consciously understand it and eliminate it.
While Joy is an emotion, Happiness is a feeling. Feelings are ruled by the planet Mercury. Feelings are a trace of neurons written deep inside our subconscious. External events can trigger it; however, it sustains for a longer time. All our five senses responsible for collecting information from the outside world generally can trigger a subconscious response. This is a feeling. Feelings are generated in the heart and relates to our highest truth or Dharma. While emotions are egoic in nature, feelings are things you can choose from the inner depths of your soul. Feelings are responsible for intuitions. They are related to the air element. While emotions can be measured (blood flow, facial expressions etc.), feelings cannot be precisely measured, as they originate from the heart. While emotions are better understood, feelings are subtle in nature.
Now let’s talk about machines. Do they have emotions? Not yet. Because they don’t have a part of their mind which is responsible for it. However, they can store all events and their responses, maybe for the whole humankind. Whatever data is available with them, they can probably simulate an emotion. For example, they clearly know the body status triggered by an emotion. They could possibly emote their body for such a situation. If we are talking of a robot (humanoid), it can possibly smile if it feels joy or frown if it feels uncomfortable. By feel, I don’t mean feelings. I’m referring here to the emotions. For a robot, it’s a very simple task and in order for us to co-exist with machines, they should become more like us rather than the other way around. Although, they won’t be feeling the emotion in their body’s like us.
Feelings for a machine is a difficult proposition. Because they emanate from the heart and a machine doesn’t have one. Also, feelings are very subtle in nature and cannot be measured. We just experience a feeling without knowing what made it happen. In AI (artificial intelligence) there are a special kind called neural networks. They are good at achieving the goal without knowing how they stumbled upon the answer. Such networks may be capable of feeling as they learn more and more from the data that we have fed it. Computers already have intuition, in this sense. However, they are not aware. If intuition is a nothing but arriving at a ‘a-ha’ moment (solution) without knowing how it got there, then computers are already intuitive. But self-awareness is a distant dream. Maybe one day we will see a new world with the rise of machines (a new breed). In the future, man and machine shall coexist, complementing each other in a world where lots of difficult problems yet remain unsolved.
God Bless !