More views of the Uncanny Valley

God, what’s wrong with me? I enjoy any mention of the Uncanny Valley, especially when there is scientific evidence about the existence of it/how our brains react to it.

It appears that there is evidence of an issue in our brain when we encounter the Uncanny Valley. The activity in our brain when we see three different types of objects were scanned using fMRI: robot, android, and human. From my understanding of the scans, it looks like our brains reacted JUST similarly enough to both Android and Human motion/appearance to make it seem unsettling that the android was not human. In simpler terms,  I guess you could say that there was just something off about the motion of the Android that made us aware of the fact that it wasn’t human.

Maybe it is the fight or flight response – our brain is taking in all of these cues regarding the person in front of us, processing it for behavior, action, appearance, and then encouraging us to act on what we see. A human moves how we expect it to me, with fluidity, bending motions, etc, whereas an android, no matter how well designed the gears, motors, rotors, moving parts, still moves similarly to a robot. We see what we think is a human, but it moves like a robot – induce panic, fear, action. In some cases, it just creates a sense of unease.

I have never actually experienced the Uncanny Valley before, but I have felt in my gut that things were off in things that aren’t related to human/android interactions. I may be looking at a book or some kind of print, and feel ill at ease regarding it – maybe I subconsciously realized that it was offset, or had typos and I get this vague feeling that something was wrong. I wonder if the Uncanny Valley is applicable to this feeling, or if I’m just hoping to put a phrase to it. Maybe it’s intuition, or just being particular. Any clues?

Brainscans in the Uncanny Valley – Boing Boing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.