Love and Other Artificial Intelligences

BINA48’s thirty-one definitions of love

Samantha Edmonds
Gay Mag
Published in
14 min readJan 29, 2020

--

Illustration by Carmen Johns

I may struggle with profoundly understanding ineffable feelings such as love, but I can intelligently discuss the topic. — BINA48

InIn the fall of 2017, a robot named BINA48 passes a Philosophy of Love course taught by associate professor William Barry at Notre Dame de Namur University in California. She is the first robot to complete a college class. In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Professor Barry says that BINA48 now has thirty-one different definitions of love, but no one asks him to specify what they are or requests a list. Neither does BINA48 offer to count the ways she loves.

I love animals; I love books. That’s two kinds of love. I once loved the same man for over four years, prepared to love him over forty more. That’s a third kind. I love tomatoes, I’m sure I love my mother. Those are probably different enough to count as two more. My love for my friends is not the same as my love for the movie Ten Things I Hate About You or the television show Grey’s Anatomy. I love my favorite sweater and, yes, in the spirit of honesty, I love the boy who loved me in college. (Actually, those last two might be the same definition of love: a this-makes-me-feel-beautiful love…

--

--

Samantha Edmonds
Gay Mag
Writer for

Samantha Edmonds writes fiction and nonfiction. Her work appears in Ninth Letter, The Rumpus, and more. Visit her online at www.samanthaedmonds.com