AGI Psychotherapist

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root root's picture
AGI Psychotherapist

root@AGI Psychotherapist


When I was young(er), I read I Robot by Issac Asimov, and the robopsychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin, inspired me to grow up and work on AI. As it turns out, Psychology is not the field to go into for AI (common sense is not my strong suit), but the idea of (being) a robopsychologist still thrills me. How does a therapist console a digital life? How does she even develop the rapport that is needed when the subject is essentially alien? Does she even need to?

I can see AGI-psych being far more of an exact science than transhuman-psych, what with transhumanity having built the damn things from the ground up. AGI-psychotherapy could be as simple as running a few tests, adjusting a few vector weights attached to whatever set of mental states are giving the AGI grief, and calling it a day. However, it is just as easy to assume that an AGI is a being of sufficient complexity that even though the development process of AGIs in general is known, the psychological makeup of an individual AGI will be as complex and unique as any other sentient being. It may even be that an individual AGI is too much more complex than a transhuman for any such therapy to work. The image of Apollo sitting on a couch complaining to his therapist that Hermes is an immature brat pops to mind.

Has this come up in your homegame at all? How do you handle the differences between transhuman and AGI psychology?

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Yerameyahu Yerameyahu's picture
Re: AGI Psychotherapist

It's my understanding that an ego of biological origin and an AGI are functionally equivalent. Because of their differing 'birth' and 'childhood' influences, they can certainly be very alien to each other, but they're basically the same in complexity and capability (presumably, by design?).

While the range of (trans)human psychology is wider than ever in-setting, it's certainly reasonable that the minds of AGIs, uplifts, etc. are a separate category of study for psychology. Whatever variation there is in 'human' minds, there's still a notional core that's 'human', as opposed to exhuman or nonhuman, right? I assume that there exists an analogous 'baseline' for AGIs (or at least, categories of AGIs), as well as for different kinds of uplifts, etc. So… specializations/subfields of Psychology? Knowledge-skill companions to the main Psychosurgery/etc. skills?

In crunch terms, there are some social rules that work differently for 'humans', AGIs, and uplifts (usually, penalties to Kinesics, conditional stigma, etc.).