Katie Crompton – The Scientific Version of if You’re Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands

*title creds to Erinn*

In our group discussions on Thursday, I discovered exactly how universal my topic is. Though I was able to connect my topic with most discussions, there were a few big topics that really stuck out to me in relation to my topic of the connection between Being and emotion.

The first was discussions around AI. At first, I didn’t really expect to get much from this topic, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to make a big connection. The AI discussions made me think about the authenticity of emotions. If we are to say that emotions constitute Being then does that mean if AI expresses emotion, it is Being? Even though the emotions are programmed into them, can they still Be? Are the human emotions just programmed into us? If so, is it possible to be completely authentic? Authenticity is what creates the separation between being and Being, so if it’s impossible to be completely authentic, how can anyone Be?

Wall-e and Eve being happy gif from Tumblr

Another big idea I got from the discussions is that we as humans have a power that other species don’t. We have the ability to hide our emotions and feign different ones. Lying about our emotions has become so normal that if someone asks if another person is okay and they respond with, “I’m fine,” we know that may not be the case. So, if we are lying about our true emotions, are we being or Being? We are still experiencing our true emotions, but does the fact that we are trying to hide them mean we are being? If we don’t completely embrace every single one of our emotions, does that mean we are inauthentic? This whole idea also makes me think of actors. Is an actor Being or being while they are acting? They are faking their own emotions, but they have completely embraced the emotions of the character they are portraying. So, are they being because the emotions they are showing aren’t their own, or are they Being because they have “become” the person they are portraying and are authentically showing that character’s emotions? Before I have an existential crisis surrounding my future career path I should probably stop. This post is getting pretty long anyway so let’s just sum it all up.

Hades from Hercules gif from Tumblr

All in all, these discussions were really interesting, but definitely didn’t help clarify anything. I have so many new ideas and questions and I don’t really know where to go next. I will definitely continue to explore human’s ability to fake their emotions and also continue with how we express emotions, which was mentioned in my first post. I have finally come to accept that I won’t be able to answer any of the questions I have formed, but only make suggestions and just broaden the topic further.