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 Early origins for uncanny valley

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Date posted: 06/11/2009

Human suspicion of realistic robots and avatars may have earlier origins than previously thought. Experiments with macaque monkeys show they too are suspicious of replicas that fall short of the real thing. The research suggests a deep-seated evolutionary origin for the reactions such artificial entities evoke.

Many explanations have been put forward for such responses, said Princeton neuroscientist Dr Asif Ghazanfar who carried out the research on the monkeys.

Some suggest the reactions are caused by a suspicion that those who look human but act oddly are ill and avoiding them makes good evolutionary sense. Others have advanced cultural reasons to explain the response.

"The range of explanations for the uncanny valley in humans is large and by doing this experiment we can reduce it quite a bit," said Dr Ghazanfar.

See the full Story via external site: news.bbc.co.uk



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