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4/10/12

Robots and Humans: I love You Very Much--You May Switch Me Off Now.

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The curiosity is not about the robot but about the human brain. In the video below, Jules says "I love you deeply and care for you very much. You may now switch me off."

An idea behind the creation of Jules has to do with the the human brain, which evolved to detect minor distortions that indicate disease, mental or physical problems." With Jules' appearance and words, he tests millions of years of evolutionary history.

In part, the creation of Jules can be traced to a theory of Sigmund Freud, who theorized that a sense of the uncanny arises when confronted with  something familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in discomfort. It is uncanny because the discomfort is mysteriously unsettling.

In 1970, a term was proposed by robotics professor Masahiro Mori--the uncanny valley. The term describes a hypothesis about human reaction to human replicas. When the replicas look and act almost human, people feel revulsion toward them--the uncanny valley--"valley" because a proposed brain graph shows a dip in brain activity from positive to negative. Mori's idea is linked to Freud's theory on the uncanny.

"Scientists have begun venturing deeper into the metaphorical valley to better understand why robots or virtual characters with certain human characteristics can trigger such mental uneasiness. That understanding may prove crucial as human-like robots or virtual companions enter homes and businesses in coming years."

The video can be watched below. Jules' face is made of Flubber, a plastic material  Here is an article on Jules.

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