The most recent discipline to have entered the debate on emotion is artificial intelligence. Since the early 1990s, computer scientists have become increasingly interested in building systems and devices that can recognize and simulate human emotions, and workers in robotics are already making some progress in this area. ‘The computer that cried’ discusses recent developments in affective computing and speculates on where it will lead. Will we succeed in building robots that have feelings just like we do? What might be the consequences of such technology? We may find that building artificial life forms with emotions—either virtual agents in a simulated world or real physical robots—helps us to understand more about our own emotions.