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The Uncanny Valley

by on October 18, 2012

The link is another video similar to the one we watched in class, Only one thing really struck me as different about it, and that was a comment made that said technology was close to “building a bridge over the uncanny valley”. Some of the examples they used were interesting. They suggest that technology has advanced so far that “photo-realism” is becoming more and more realistic and so soon, animated characters in films and video games will be close to indistinguishable to real life. I’m not sure whether I believe this because it’s hard to imagine, because obviously, it doesn’t exist yet. But, if we assume it is possible, what does that mean for the way we perceive robots and automaton?

In the video they look at examples of a company called Image metrics ( who have managed to create software which changes the face to animation, which really is convincing. They also look at the opposite idea: a craze in Japan where girls actually have surgery in order to make themselves look like anime characters. 

This blurring of the lines between the real and the created make me wonder what will actually happen to the uncanny valley. Does this new software actually mean people will be able to build a bridge over the valley? Or does it just mean people will drop even further into it when they realise what they originally thought was a human is actually an automaton or animation, or what they thought was an automaton is a human? I don’t really know the answer, but I think it’s interesting to think about the consequences of trying to make this act or look like something else.

A human who has tried to look like an object

The girl from image metrics, with an animated face


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