Encounters | The Uncanny Valley

uncanny valley

Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AB
16th April 2010, 6.30pm.

When is a smile not a smile? Things that are nearly – but not quite – like us, are somehow “uncanny”. There’s been a lot of progress recently in giving robots human-like heads and faces and humanoid bodies. But as soon they raise an eyebrow or try to crack a smile, we can tell they aren’t the real thing.

Professor Dave Perrett and Dr Sethu Vijayakumar explore what lies behind our fantastic skill at reading other people’s faces and imitating human motion. Whatever it is, it makes the roboticist’s job that much harder.

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uncanny valley