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Robotics Hardware

The Uncanny Valley Explained 172

ColdWetDog writes "Scientists now believe they've figured out what causes the uncanny valley response. They compared functional MRI scans of volunteers watching two different types of videos: those showing human-appearing androids, and those showing the humans that the robots were created to mimic. 'The results suggest that the uneasiness we feel could be caused by a "perceptual mismatch between appearance and motion."' Basically, the brain seemed to react in a strongly negative manner when the robotic motions of the android didn't match its human-like appearance."
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The Uncanny Valley Explained

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  • by seifried (12921) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:30PM (#36890616) Homepage

    Brain is hard wired to do a lot of things, some of which are: recognize other humans, read their body language and assess their mood/threat level. Your brain does this in fractions of a second. It's why you flinch if someone raises a hand while moving towards you suddenly.

    I suspect the brain's thought process goes something like this when it encounters something that has a semi-human but obviously not real human appearance: "oh something that looks a bit like a human but obviously isn't, ok let's figure out if it's a threat (is it showing teeth? is it bigger than me? etc.)".

    But when we enter uncanny valley territory I suspect the thought process goes like this "Oh wow that looks like another human, I wonder what they're intention is... HOLY S*IT BALLS IT'S NOT A HUMAN! Ok something obviously not human is trying very hard to look human. Sure there's probably a lot of innocent explanations but I can't think of one right away so I'm going to go with insanely dangerous predator trying to mask itself, Time to alert the tribe, kill it with pointy sticks and burn the corpse with fire.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @11:40PM (#36890948)

    Your extreme lack of empathy suggests that you are perhaps borderline psychopathic?

  • by crossmr (957846) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @11:55PM (#36891014) Journal

    No, it suggests he realizes that Asperger's syndrome is the probably one of the most self-diagnosed mental illnesses out there, and 9 times out of 10 it's just some neckbeard trying to justify their anti-social behaviour.
    It ranks up there with "bisexual" teenage girls.

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