In 1970, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori described what he called the "uncanny valley", which was a graph showing our affinity for a machine to its likeness of humans. As robots look and act more human-like, our fondness for them increases, but when machines reach a point where they look so much like us that we can barely tell they're different, we feel repulsed instead of affectionate.
31 years later, we're still in that uncanny valley but the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute in Japan is not giving up. These are the guys who brought us Japanese Fembots, after all.
A recent Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute summit brought three people and their robotic doppelgangers, what they termed Geminoids. These "hyper-realistic humanoids" were of Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro and Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe and they had "an unnerving tea party with their synthetic twins", as described by The Guardian. The third Geminoid is a female model whose identity was not disclosed.
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro from The Guardian
What would you talk about with your robotic twin? Mine would likely annoy me. Big know-it-all. He would have nice hair, though.
Link: Japanese robot twins fail to bridge the 'uncanny valley' by Olivia Stone. H/T RealClearScience
Realistic Robots - Uncanny Valley Still Pretty Wide
By Hank Campbell | May 7th 2011 06:09 PM | Print | E-mail