Uncanny Doesn’t Begin to Describe It…

You know how, once you see something, you can’t un-see it?

Yeah, well take a look at this Taiwanese singing robot head (courtesy of io9, my favorite science/fiction website). I personally guarantee you will never be able to un-see it.

Honestly, I think the scariest part of this whole thing is the cold, dead eyes that makes it look as though these Taiwanese researchers dug up, preserved and shoved animatronics and other puppet-stuffs into the head of some poor dead woman. The eyes don’t even appear to reflect light, which might give them at least a bit of the life-like sparkle… instead they just stare, wide, dead… like a fucking robot zombie.

See, now, there’s also a Japanese talking robot who is equally creepy, but in an entirely different way. The Japanese robot is not scary because it looks like a zombie, but instead because it’s actually quite convincing… except that the eyes aren’t quite right (what is it about eyes, man? Artists have the same problem… fuck up the eyes, especially when drawing portraits or realism of any kind, and nobody will like your stuff) and there’s something weird about her mouth when it opens. Still, though, at about 1:32 in this video, when the girl’s eyes start flicking back and forth, it looks as though suddenly someone has awakened inside that robotic mask, and it actually gave me a chill.

Amusingly, here’s a video that I found (when browsing YouTube for similar stuff) of a Japanese android eating fried rice. When you get to the end, go back and review the one above about  the Japanese talking robot, and you will see for yourself the true measure of the uncanny valley.

Will we ever have convincingly created robots that look like us?

When we do… will it be a great accomplishment, or the latest instrument of our own demise as a species?

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