Friday, September 25, 2009

Revisiting the Uncanny Valley

The latest research by Karl MacDorman and his team of researchers at Indiana University questions Mori's theory that robots whose features differ slightly from those of humans will by necessity appear eerie. "Even abstract faces can look eerie if they contain facets that seem unintended or arbitrary," MacDorman said. His latest research on the uncanny valley was published in an article entitled Too real for comfort? Uncanny responses to computer generated faces, which appears in the Journel Computers in Human Behavior.

A September 22nd article in titled, To scary to be real, research looks to quantify eeriness in virtual characters, also reports that:
a research paper now in review, "Gender Differences in the Impact of Presentational Factors in Human Character Animation on Ethical Decisions about Medical Dilemmas," indicates that under certain similar conditions men and women make different decisions.

MacDorman, Chin-Chang Ho, Joseph Coram and Himalaya Patel found that using a computer-generated character instead of a human character, or using jerky movements instead of fluid movements, to present participants with an ethical dilemma produced no significant effect on female participants. Male participants, however, were much more likely to rule against the computer-generated character with jerky movements.

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