No empathy for robots? What about from robots?

I just read the following statement at

"We must continue to teach kids to appreciate beauty, and show them the value of empathy. These are things machines will only ever be able to simulate, never experience."

The first part of the statement is uncontroversial. In fact, it sounds like the basis for my own attempt at parenting.

But the second? What is the difference between simulation and experience? Isn't the monolithic conscious view of experience a holistic aggregate? In other words, a simulation? Can't we program machines to do what we want?

Haven't we just chosen not to program irrationality?