October 07, 2005

Uncanny Valley

While reading another's post on the 1st Ave Machine. The writer says the videos are "Model citizens of "Uncanny Alley." I didn't know what that was...

"The Uncanny Valley is a principle of robotics concerning the emotional response of humans to robots and other non-human entities. It was theorized by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970. The principle states that as a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion the emotional response from a human being to robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached at which the response suddenly becomes strongly repulsive; as the appearance and motion are made to be indistinguishable to that of human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-human empathy levels."

I like to think that the highest level of "fully human" bots as an impossibility. I like these bots because they exemplify our emotional response on a different scale. They are abstract, designed objects. Our response can be equally extreme, yet not as a matter of literal "empathy."


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