04/14/2024, 13:05, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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To develop an artificial mental apparatus - to make it sound great - is misleading for many, even an affront to some. These are reactions that psychoanalysis has known too since its beginnings. The cause for such opinions may lie in legitimate concerns about a possible misuse - keyword artificial intelligence - or perhaps the fear of revealing valid deep insights about us. The work of SiMA (Simulation of the Mental Apparatus and Applications) at the Vienna University of Technology, initiated by Prof. Dietmar Dietrich and led by Samer Schaat in the last three years, has already shown how useful the cooperation between psychoanalysis and computer technology is. Because of the development of an artificial mental apparatus, i.e., the simulation of a metapsychological model as an information-processing system in the computer, psychoanalytic theories are sharpened, evaluated and subsequently applied to the investigation of socially relevant questions, for example those of cooperative and environmentally friendly behavior. In order to achieve this, both the methods and the theories of psychoanalysis and Computer Science combines - a complement and cooperation, that is actually quite logical. After all Computer science is, on the one hand, the discipline that deals with information-processing systems - and as such, the mental apparatus can be viewed - and, on the other hand, psychoanalysis is the only discipline that offers a holistic model of the psyche.

Even the claim to an integrative and functional model in the development of a computer model of the mental apparatus is achieved by the metapsychology. By showing the causal interaction of basic individual and social (possibly conflicting) demands in a dynamic process, the metapsychological model provides a suitable framework to research the interaction of different factors. This allows not only thorough explanations of human thought and action, but also pointing out its complexity. Theoretically, this is a good prerequisite for a psychological science. Practically, however, psychoanalysis has often been accused of not being able to keep its high promises....

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