Could AI have emotions?

In principle, future AIs could gain the capacity to experience emotions. If functionalism is true, then an emotion is anything that plays the same role emotions play in a human mind. One possible way to build AI with human-like emotions would be to emulate the way the human brain works (whole brain emulation).

However, even though AI systems could experience emotions, they probably won’t. Relatively few AI researchers are working on whole brain emulation, and there currently appear to be no plans to build AI with emotional capability. AI didn’t need emotions nor consciousness to play chess at a superhuman level, and there is little reason to suppose it will need them for general intelligence. Even if we ended up with AIs that appear to have human emotions, we don’t currently have the framework to determine if such manifestations could be considered analogous to the emotions that humans feel.

Thus, emotions in AI are expected to arise either accidentally or not at all. The researchers that will build the first AGI will likely prioritize efficiency and capability, rather than the complexities of human emotion.