Rob Abrazado (flatvurm) wrote,
Rob Abrazado


So, uh...Dinosaur Comics referenced the "uncanny valley" today, and I sorta know what that is, but I decided to look it up on Wikipedia anyway, and I'm glad I did, just for the collateral damage.

So, the uncanny valley refers to a theory that if a simulacrum of a person, say a robot that looks human, is close to looking like a human but just not quite there, then it will arouse largely negative reactions from human onlookers -- much more negative than, say, a robot that looks nothing like a human.

That's all well and good, but the real score was the graph that they included with the article. It's got an x-axis marked "human likeness" and a y-axis marked "familiarity." Here are the data points they point out: "industrial robot," "humanoid robot," "stuffed animal," "corpse," "zombie," "bunraku puppet," "prosthetic hand," and "healthy person." That's...that's just an awesome collection of items. It's like some kind of horrific story seed or something.

Anyway. From that article I also learned of a robotics designer named David Hanson who, and I quote the article directly, "has developed realistic robotic copies of several people, including Albert Einstein and Philip K. Dick." Dude. Who the FUCK makes a realistic robotic copy of Philip K. Dick?!?! Is that not just, like, asking for trouble?!
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