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Robotics Hardware Technology

Famous 'Uncanny Valley' Essay Translated, Published In Full 70

An anonymous reader writes "IEEE has published an English translation of the 1970 essay in which Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori introduced the now-famous concept of the Uncanny Valley. The original essay was in Japanese, and IEEE says this is the first publication of a translation authorized and reviewed by Mori. They also have an interview with Mori, who still thinks that robot designers should not attempt to 'cross' the Uncanny Valley."
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Famous 'Uncanny Valley' Essay Translated, Published In Full

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  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @10:43AM (#40295513)

    In his 1940s and 50s short stories, the science of robotics progressed from primitive metal men to humanoid form. But real humans objected that the robots acted unnaturally, and the government stepped in (per usual), and banned the production of human-looking robots.

  • Earlier hominids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Empiric ( 675968 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @11:03AM (#40295829)
    It would be interesting to see where earlier hominids would fall along the "uncanny valley" curve. Perhaps by VR simulation or even cloning if we found some viable DNA for that.

    I'd like to see how this would play into conceptual, rather than perceptual, differentiation of "human", as, it seems most have no actual specifiable basis for this.

    (Note to attentive mods: Yes, I am indeed going for the record for most-subtle troll today. The karma will be worth it, and such an experiment I actually would like to see...)
  • by drkstr1 ( 2072368 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @11:39AM (#40296279)
    Interesting read, but entirely subjective. How does one measure "affinity"? It seems as though the original author simply plotted a graph that matches his own perceptions. I suppose one could determine the data points through a survey, but I didn't see anything such in the essay (although I did just skim the second half, so maybe I missed it). Regardless, it doesn't seem very scientific to me. Interesting read though.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell