“Robots are transitioning from something that’s part of a technological environment to something that’s a feature of our social environment,” she says, “always teetering on this boundary of being really creepy and really likeable. That’s something we need to understand.”
The Ultra Hal chatbot converses with itself. Ultra Hal is a learning chatbot and virtual assistant from zabbaware, as well as a $29 ticket to an Uncanny Valley of sexism, materialism and banality.
"With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear" - How creepypasta is reinventing folklore, via io9.
Nvidia showed their new face-rendering tech, FaceWorks, at the annual GPU Technology Conference this week. It runs on a Titan ($1000) graphics card. More info here. Compare. [more inside]
Computer modeling, along with new materials, has done wonders for contemporary architecture, allowing practitioners to render seemingly organic shapes from inert materials. Mimicking biological shapes could soon cross a threshold: behold Shahira Hammad's proposal for the Westbahnhof train station. Again, before and after.
The uncanny valley effect (too many previous posts to list) has been blamed for poor acceptance of human-analogue robots (YT) and computer simulations (not to mention the box office results for The Polar Express, Beowulf, and other computer-animated movies). But did you know that humans are not the only primate species to experience this "too close for comfort" effect? A recent behavioral study in macaque monkeys suggests (pdf) that the uncanny valley may be hardwired into our brains at a deeper level (i.e., earlier-evolved) than previously thought.
A bald, child-like creature dangles its legs from a chair as its shoulders rise and fall with rythmic breathing and its black eyes follow movements across the room. It's not human -- but it is paying attention. (via)
Emily is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as 'uncanny valley' (watch the video) - from the team who, in part, brought you GTA4. [more inside]
Charting the Uncanny Valley [2 3 4 5 6 7] is a thorough explanation of Masahiro Mori's hypothesis. Of course, if you're short on time, there's always 30 Rock. [more inside]
When did we jump to the other side of the "uncanny valley"?
Making huge leaps between memepool and Stanislaw Lem (all in one day), I stumbled upon an interesting connection. This link describes an extremely interesting phenomenon that I find tangentally represented in Solaris. Simulacra of all kinds in literature and film has always interested me, from Blade Runner, to A.I. As Halloween approaches, I'd like to know what other MeFiers have seen or read that has hit them in the deepest part of their 'uncanny valley'.