In a sixth floor walk-up on New York City's Lower East Side, you'll find The Troll Museum
. Run by a woman in elf ears named Reverend Jen Miller
, along with her pet chihuahua, Reverend Jen Jr., it's dedicated to her admitted obsession
with vintage Troll Dolls and memorabilia. Admission is free, however there is a suggested donation of $3000
. [more inside]
Jordan Wolfson and Spectral Motion take us another step closer to the singularity with a vision of the exotic dancers of 20 minutes from now
. [more inside]
Lip Flip with Jiimmy Fallon & Tina Fey
: After Tina expresses interest in interviewing herself, she and Jimmy swap mouths for an in-depth chat that ends with a duet of Endless Love. [SLYT]
within a browser. The demo applications (which recommend Chrome, although other recent browsers also appear to work) will accept input from your webcam if available, and include facial tracking
, emotion detection
(requires webcam input) and the creepier face substitution
] [more inside]
: Artist Mike Pelletier's guaranteed-to-induce-nightmares attempt to find beauty in the uncanny valley. Via
: There is no plot, no antagonist, just a group of androgynous characters staring, smiling, and baring their teeth in a stilted manner as if they were robots or aliens attempting to act human. [...] “I found the collision of data recorded from the real world, mixed with the frozen expression really triggered the ‘uncanny valley’ effect for me,” he says. “It just highlights a feeling of awkwardness, that something isn’t entirely right, that there’s some sort of translation error happening.
"Between the mountains of safety and danger there is a valley of creepiness, where the limits of our knowledge and trust and security aren't very clear."
A closer look at the science behind the third element in Stephen King's taxonomy of scary stuff: terror
. Which is coming home to find that everything that you own has been replaced with an exact copy.
In 1959 Fred Astaire hired renowned makeup artist John Chambers
to work on his television special, Another Evening with Fred Astaire
. The assignment? Turn Fred Astaire into Alfred E. Neuman
. The results were predictably strange
. [more inside]
Knitters say that you should never
knit your boyfriend a sweater. But what if you just knit your boyfriend? Artist Noortje de Keijer decided to try to avert the curse
. [more inside]
The Control Revolution And Its Discontents
- "the long process of algorithmisation
over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
Meet the Geminoid DK
, who looks exactly like Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark. If you're wondering why on Earth someone would want an exact robotic double of themselves, besides being TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY AWESOME, the Geminoid
is going to be used for researching "emotional affordances" in human-robot interaction, the novel notion of "blended presence," as well as cultural differences (from different continents) in the perception of robots.
"A ball-throwing robot with visual feedback" sounds dull, so let's hide the robot arm in a plush seal suit
! Now that ball-throwing robot with stereo vision
looks like a seal playing basketball
! Just ignore the robotic hand coming out of it's mouth, and the un-seal-like movements. (via
Videogames reach the uncanny valley with the facial animations
(yt video) in Rockstar's L.A. Noir
, their 1940s Los Angeles set detective game.
, the "world's first true Android", unveiled
this month at a laboratory fair at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions, the robot can replicate surprisingly subtle facial movements. Previously.
1. Robot mouse
2. Robot muppet
3. Robot mouse
fulfills all your robot needs
, from balancing
); through other combined
flying bots (though the birds object
sometimes); to the hideous dancing
of the uncanny valley
; to the dextrous
of horrific, Japanese maggot-man robot allegedly designed to act as a physical presence during phone calls. More info and photos here
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
, and other
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.
David Byrne writes three thoughtful essays on robots, song, and the uncanny valley on the occasion of the creation of a robot which sings in his voice
at a Madrid museum: Visiting the robot factory in Texas
, regarding the uncanny valley
, on machines and souls
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]
The Waseda-Docomo face robot No. 2
is a 3D robotic model of a human face with 56 degrees of freedom. It can mimic any human face with an average accuracy of 3.5mm. Watching it in action
is kind of creepy
. [via Make]
The tradition of making Japanese dolls
, called ningyo—meaning human figure—goes back as far as 10,000 years to clay figures made during the Jomon period. The more recent rise in popularity, though, is most often traced to Hina Matsuri
--Girls' Day, or the Doll Festival, celebrated on March 3--originating during the Edo period. These antique ningyo
are highly sought after by collectors
, such as the American expert Alan Pate
, who has written a number of articles
on the subject. The modern Japanese doll culture, however, is anything but traditional. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ningyo tradition was exported to make toys for the West
on MeFi), and has culminated in popular Barbie-type dolls such as Superdollfie
. Contemporary artists have transformed the Japanese doll tradition into something else entirely: Simon Yotsuya
, Ryo Yoshida
, Yoko Ueno
, Mario A.
, Etsuko Miura
, and Kai Akemi.
A number of these artists were featured in the Dolls of Innocence
exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Of course, notable artists outside Japan have worked with dolls before, including Hans Bellmer
, who inspired much of the artwork in Innocence
, the follow-up to Ghost in the Shell. Explore more:     
. [Several links are nsfw.]
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'.
fun with faces.
using applets, ken perlin
built an interactive facial-expression thingy.
i found this site because ken is responsible for the cute lil heart animation at google. there are quite a few interesting thingamabobs to check out at his site.