Brain Scans Reveal 'Uncanny Valley'

In 1970, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori remarked in 1970 that, as robots become more humanlike in appearance, people will respond more positively. However, a point will be reached where people will be strongly repulsed; acceptance will fall. This uncanny valley (seen if you plot acceptance versus increasingly humanoid appearance), is of great concern to those who would like to see humanoid robots play a greater role in our daily lives.

In a recent study conducted by Ayse Pinar Saygin, an assistant professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, twenty test subjects were shown videos of the Repliee Q2 android.

As they did so, their brains were scanned using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner, which revealed significant differences in the way they viewed the android, a metallic robot and a person.


(Brain response revealed)

When viewed through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner, the activity of the subjects' brains suggested that a conflict arose when they were viewing the footage of the lifelike version of the android. More specifically, activity was noted in their parietal cortex, which connects the part of the brain that processes body movements with a section of the motor cortex that is believed to help us relate to such movements. In short, Saygin believed that there was a disconcerting difference between the way in which the test subjects expected the android to move, and the way in which it did move.

"The brain doesn't seem tuned to care about either biological appearance or biological motion per se," she said. "What it seems to be doing is looking for its expectations to be met - for appearance and motion to be congruent." She added that perhaps androids and lifelike animated film characters should be run past human volunteers while still in development, to see what kind of response they elicit.

Take a look at this video showing the HRP-4C robot dancing to encounter the uncanny valley yourself. (Find out more at Dancing HRP-4C Robot Uncanny Valley Girl.)


( HRP-4C Female cybernetic humanoid dancer)

Via Gizmag.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/20/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?' - Alice W. Fuller, 1895.

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. ' - Frank Herbert, 1977.

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....' Philip K. Dick, 1968.

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...' - Harry Harrison, 1962.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

China Social Credit System Like State-Run Whuffie
'At least there was no mandatory Whuffie check on the monorail platform...'

Project Soli Radar Gesture Chip Now FCC Approved
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. '

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....'

Johns Hopkins Says Asteroid Deflection Will Be Difficult
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'

Fabric Automatically Cools Or Insulates Based On Environment
'...a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system.'

Deepfakes From OpenAI GPT-2 Algorithm
'How can you compete with an IBM heavy-duty logomatic analogue?'

John Deere Self-Driving Tractor
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.