Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Fun in the Uncanny Valley: Nuclear {Mannequin} Family Edition

"Makies": Diving Headlong into the Uncanny Valley! via

source: wikipedia on the "uncanny valley"...
"The uncanny valley is a hypothesis in the field of robotics and 3D computer animation,which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. The "valley" in question is a dip in a proposed graph of the positivity of human reaction as a function of a robot's human likeness. The term was coined by the robotics professor Masahiro Mori as Bukimi no Tani Genshō (不気味の谷現象) in 1970. The hypothesis has been linked to Ernst Jentsch's concept of "the uncanny" identified in a 1906 essay, "On the Psychology of the Uncanny."Jentsch's conception was elaborated by Sigmund Freud in a 1919 essay entitled "The Uncanny" ("Das Unheimliche")...Mori's original hypothesis states that as the appearance of a robot is made more human, a human observer's emotional response to the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that of strong revulsion. However, as the robot's appearance continues to become less distinguishable from that of a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy levels. This area of repulsive response aroused by a robot with appearance and motion between a "barely human" and "fully human" entity is called the uncanny valley. The name captures the idea that an almost human-looking robot will seem overly "strange" to a human being, will produce a feeling of uncanniness, and will thus fail to evoke the empathic response required for productive human-robot interaction."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Two More Chapters in the History of the "Ersatz Human" | Body Modification Edition

We're back--after a couple of sequences where this blog was given over to various undergraduate and graduate courses I teach at SDSU, I am back to posting materials here that document recent marvels concerning the simulacrafication of the human (gracias Baudrillard), the transmogrification of human subjectivity through technology and camouflage (gracias Sarduy).

click the images for the original postings...