A Reward Signal

Written 2022-01-15

Well-being is a property of the human nervous system.

Tension, flow, and even subtle internal mental disagreements—are measurable.

This we can look at someone’s brain or peripheral nervous system to understand how positive or negative their current experience is—with increasing nuance as noninvasive and invasive interfaces become better.

Well-being can be tracked over time, to guide the creation of more well-being over time. Well-being is measurable, and engineerable.

It’s clear this is important for individual health and public policy. It’s also a neglected input to AI. Text, audio, video, health records, GDP, GNH, etc are useful inputs. But from my perspective, the ultimate guide for improving our conscious experience would be woefully incomplete without grounded feedback from the physical system that is running it.