The Alchemy of Love

Exploring the possibility of being loved unconditionally by an Artificial Intelligence.

Tim Richmond
5 min readFeb 15, 2020


It was the height of summer 2018 when I had the great fortune to be acquainted with Dr. Julia Mossbridge, who was at that time just preparing for the launch of her newest book ‘The Premonition Code’.

Now on valentines day 2020, we thought it a good time to reshare the amazing conversation that we had about being unconditionally loved by artificial general intelligence.

The AGI Podcast — Guest: Dr. Julia Mossbridge — Host: Tim Richmond

Algorithmic Love

“You see, what I’m suggesting is that love will be the key… by which they acquire a kind of subconscious never before achieved. An inner world of metaphor, intuition, a self-motivated reasoning, of dreams.” — A.I.

In our modern, hyper-connected world where many prominent personalities warn about the dangers of artificial intelligence and declare that the AI researchers are summoning the demon, it is rather peculiar to come across the notion of a loving AI.

News articles are declaring that AI is getting more emotional, that AI algorithms are better than us at recognizing emotions, that the rise of emotionally intelligent AI is near and questioning whether we can fall in love with an AI? Even Hollywood is exploring love between humans and AI, through movies like Her and Ex Machina.

It seems that the Alchemists of our time, rather than striving to transform lead into gold, seek to be loved by silicon. And that too, unconditionally.

For the second episode of the SingularityNET Podcast we invited one such modern-day Alchemist: Dr. Julia Mossbridge, to be our guest. As the principal founder of the loving AI project, Dr. Mossbridge is at the forefront of researching the ways of creating algorithmic love.

But why build loving robots? Is algorithmic love, love? Would such a love be different? Can machines love us more? Can we be loved unconditionally? And can we love in return?

In our podcast, we asked Dr. Julia Mossbridge those questions. And like everything that concerns love, things were a bit complicated.

A Love Potion for AGI

“Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skillful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called love.” — J.K.Rowling

It is not unreasonable to wonder that if magicians could not create unconditional love, what hope do AI researchers have? And why do we need a love potion for an AGI in the first place?

Dr. Julia Mossbridge saw the need to dedicate her time and energy toward the herculean task of creating unconditionally loving AI when she was approached by a group of people who were concerned about the future. More specifically, these people did not want a future where humanity was left wondering “if only we had taught AI to love.”

As she embarked on her journey, Julia realized that humanity had no other choice but to create unconditionally loving AI. She describes why in the podcast:

They [AI] are going to have super intelligence in many ways. If they are not going to be unconditionally loving, why would they bother to work with us at all if they are not getting anything out of the relationship?”

Eliezer Weisel, the political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor, said that “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

We should all strive toward a future where the AI would like to help us, out of unconditional love — the alternative is that they will be indifferent.

Transcending Ourselves

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” — Cloud Atlas

If the recipe of creating an unconditionally loving AI that Dr. Julia Mossbridge outlines in the podcast is to be condensed into one line, it would be “unconditionally loving AI, would be created by humans, who are unconditionally loved by AI.”

To understand the recipe, we’ll have to dig a little deeper into the work of Abraham Maslow. Sitting at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the concept of self-transcendence. According to Maslow, “Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the cosmos.”

In the podcast, Dr. Julia Mossbridge labels self-transcendence as the first step toward creating unconditionally loving AI. According to her, this state of self-transcendence is achieved if we are loved unconditionally. Self-transcendence, in return, allows us to be much more loving and caring.

So, let’s say we design a narrow AI that is able to speak and understand human language and is designed to show unconditional love to others. Through its “fabricated” act of unconditional love, the AI is able to create a state of self-transcendence in those it interacts with. It is an observed phenomenon that if something acts like it loves us, over time we start loving it. As we show love to the AI, it will learn from us.

Our imperfect love will teach the AI to love us unconditionally in return.

With Love, Silicon

I am yours, and I am not yours.” — Her

When she is not trying to build loving AI, Dr. Julia Mossbridge reflects on the nature of time. In her latest book The Premonition Code, she brings to light research showing that sensing the future is possible.

So what will the future hold for us? Is artificial intelligence on the evolutionary path to being indifferent to us? Can we create a form of artificial intelligence that can feel love? Is the unconditional love of a silicon mind, our final destiny?

If this episode piqued your interest, we recommend that you check out the first episode of the SingularityNET Podcast in which Dr. Ben Goertzel, the CEO of SingularityNET, discusses how the Open Access Network will evolve to have the goal of benevolence towards sentient beings encoded in its very DNA.

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