Message To Computer: I Feel Your Pain

Computers don’t feel pain. At least, up until now. Trust me, I’ve done things to my computer that defy the Geneva Conventions and while acting surly for a week or so, it didn’t show any evidence of real pain.

But, a group of researchers at Florida Tech is exploring ways to have future computers experience pain.

The problem, according to Richard Ford, a computer science professor and head of the research team, it that computers, for all their computing ability, are essentially dumb.

“Computers are brittle,” Ford said. “Your computer will screw up in the same way every single time. It doesn’t learn. It doesn’t adapt. If there is a (string of code) that’s messed up in your computer, it’s going to crash in the same place every time. It’s all just ones and zeros at the end of the day.”

So he’s started looking at ways to teach a computer to feel pain so it can determine there’s a problem and heal itself, much like humans use fevers and antibodies to overcome infections.

The idea is to model the human immune system in computers – to become aware of an attack, overcome the attacker, repair the damage, and be immune from the same future malware attack, all without external assistance.

Estimated time to mass production? 10 – 15 years.

Further Reading:

Machine, Heal Thyself