Tuesday, 3 September 2013

pinocchio or bukimi no tani

BBC Future unpacks (inactive link) an idea taken as a given with mixed results, ranging from gut-instincts, testimonials and test-groups to research studies that makes the parabolic projection of the the so-called “uncanny valley” a phrase first coined in robotics some forty years ago by a Japanese inventor who used the term in an essay more elusive.
As the imitation approaches closer and closer to the original, there is a proportional feeling of unease that ends in aversion—or that's what experience teaches at least and there is a general belief it is something vainglorious to romance the mirror. I think too I should feel pretty disturbed if I cannot distinguish a human from a replicant, an avatar or a zombie, and would reject aping perfection out-of-hand. More often, I think, I have mistook a living operator for something computerized. The article is definitely worth the read and I find it interesting that the topic is introduced via a project to build a humanoid robot to assist children diagnosed with autism to better read facial expressions and non-verbal communication. I wonder if that says more about how we perceive humanness and otherness than the cosmetics of an android.