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Robot Faces and the Uncanny Valley

Stashed in: Robots!, Turing, Bots, Psychology, Robot Jobs

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"The “uncanny valley” is a key concept to this discussion. The basic idea, first proposed by the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, is that while there’s an overall relationship between how human a robot looks and how friendly humans will find it, there’s a catch — as you approach humanness, there’s a point at which robots, from a human perspective, occupy an unnatural, uncomfortable-seeming middle ground — they’re pretty human, but still identifiably something else. As a result, they're likely to come across as weird, if not threatening, to many people. Whereas a robot like Wall-E can be easily parsed by our brain as being robotic, those in the uncanny valley often make elicit feelings of unease because they’re close to being human, but not. Robots that are very human-seeming don’t elicit these feelings because we perceive them as basically being human."

My understanding is that there's a spectrum. Too close to human IS human.

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