Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weird Science!



Perhaps, not so unrealistic?




Wikipedia) The "uncanny valley" hypothesis holds that when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's life-likeness. This hypothesis was created by a robot-maker, Masahiro Mori.

Basically, it is the point at which a person observing the creature or object in question sees something that is nearly human, but just enough off-kilter to seem eerie or disquieting.

Have you ever seen a wax museum figure of say, Princess Di, but there’s something just a little bit off about the proportions of expression that makes it just wrong.

Have you seen those awful commercials where they use actors but the “cartoon” them up just slightly? Does it give you the shivers?

Ever see a video game where the animated characters are so human like, you have to study them closely to realize they aren’t and when you find that not-human aspect of them, they suddenly make you uncomfortable?

Ever seen a dog look at a stuffed dog and bark and get very upset, even though the doll is very dog-like?

Those are all examples of the uncanny valley.

Future development of robots might just depend on that brilliant theory.

With the exception of lonely nerds wanting a dream girlfriend in their home, the sale-ability of near-human robots looks very iffy. Personally, I'd like to think of a robot as a helpful machine. I don't want it to be human-like. I don't want to make an emotional connection with it. I don't want to transfer my bonding I should have with a living breathing being to a mechanical creation. It would be like talking to my vacuum cleaner and expecting it to care about me in return.

23 comments:

  1. Have you heard of David Levy? He wrote Love and Sex with Robots. In his book, he postulates that human/robot romantic relationships will replace human/human romantic relationships. Keep in mind, this is not a fictional story. It is a book written by an AI expert. I haven't read it, but it does sound interesting.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/20/AR2007122002662.html

    http://www.amazon.com/LOVE-SEX-ROBOTS-David-Levy/dp/0061359750

    ReplyDelete
  2. You haven't read it yet? Why, I would think as a healthy male, you'd be wanting to jump all over that talk! Yes, I can see where people with intimacy issues might really like a robot. Apparently, that's what my ex wanted. He wanted no talk back, be there when he wanted me, and otherwise just be cleaning the house. In other words, he wanted to bed Rosie from The Jetsons. Hope he's enjoying the companionship of his vacuum cleaner now...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You should check out this movie called Love Object. It is not a robot but a guy falls in love with a sex doll that he fantasizes is a women he actually works with but he is kind of awkward and doesn't know how to relate to people. Def weird but I liked it. Also there is a short film about a robot that is a must see called Blinky. I felt bad for the robot its a great short with a killer twist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcJ0pmoq6QE

    ReplyDelete
  4. I did hear about the Love Object one! I will definitely look that up. It's intriguing and an actual dilemma in the future. I can see all kinds of people wanting rights with their robots and perhaps even tax write offs for maintenance of their "spouse." Why not? Internet sexting has become the new intimacy for folks, so why not just take it a step further? Between cell phones and teleconferencing and Facebook, do we even need to meet humans face to face anymore? It's going to be a very weird world in the future. Ever the optimist, I'm wondering what the advantages of this are--perhaps that we can abuse a robot instead of a human being and hopefully all the freaks out there will hook up with a machine instead of ruining another human's life. Hmm.. That's optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I personally wouldn't want to be replaced by a Stepford Wife. I can see people who have intimacy problems and husbands that want the perfect wife might want a robot companion, but to me it is just too creepy.

    Adsila

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sis;
    I'm in total agreement. Imagine if men were replaced with devices of desired sizes and capabilities. Oh wait! My bad...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Human-like robots are creepy, no doubt about it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I gotta say, Pangs, after seeing that video, I couldn't stop staring and wondering if it was a person imitating a robot--now that's a mind fuck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow! I know that feeling of "not quite right". Kinda takes pediophobia to the extreme! Ick! It's a "doll" that's too human like, but not quite!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, thankfully Dale the Doll is totally not human-like or he'd have to leave the place. I couldn't live with that, especially with as much nagging as he does--it'd be like having a husband again!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sometimes I wonder just how much science-fiction influences science. I wonder if robots like this would have ever been in development if not for the droids or Star Wars or maybe more specifically in this case, Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He had a human appearance, and strived to act as human as he could. This robot has the ability to make human facial expressions, but 'she' still has a blank, soulless stare on her face throughout. She's still a long ways from the human form cylons of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. And that might be a good thing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jeff;
    I agree with you on that. Just look at da Vinci drawing up a helicopter or Jules Verne and a submarine. Those tricorders on Star Trek sure seemed like cell phones to me. I wonder as a civilization if we had focused instead of communications and transportation for our focuses of industry, had we focused on spirituality or perhaps the sea, what a different world we would have.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm afraid my Cherry 2000 will short-out

    ReplyDelete
  14. Damn! It could have made a very naughty sex robot name.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very strange movie but I liked Melanie Griffith

    ReplyDelete
  16. Showed the video to my husbeast and the minute I told him it was an android, he yelled out: "It's a F-ing TERMINATOR!". LOL

    Cherry 2000 is a classic! It's right up there with Buckaroo Bonsai, Spacehunter, and The Ice Pirates. :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. I see they got the bobbing motion down pat.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's extraordinary, isn't it? I stared at it a long time before I realized it wasn't a human imitating a robot.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hey R&S;
    I'm curious and I read a lot. I was interested in robots and why they are making them so life-like. My son mentioned to me the uncanny valley theory, so I looked it up and suddenly I understood why I don't like life-like robots. Isn't the one in the video creepy?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I think I would do that robot chick.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...