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 The Uncanny Valley
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thenar
Curious Member



USA
69 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  01:42:20  Show Profile  Visit thenar's Homepage
As you develop your virtual humans, I have a tip. Don't make them look too human. As you do, they become LESS believable. Sylvie is a bit human-like, but she never pretends to be human. As your character looks more like a real human, user's find it easier and easier to suspend disbelief even if they don't want to. The Haptek characters were among the first to experience this effect. It is possible to cross the uncanny valley to true believablility, but the only people to do it so far are at ILM and the character was DAvy Jones in "Pirates". I did extensive research on this before it was commonly known. For example while designing the original Sylvie I had focus groups of ordinary people pick the characters they liked most and they were NEVER the photoreal humans. The Haptek characters move incorrectly and we notice it right away...they look a bit creepy/insane. It's a shame because that technology is quite good, but they look real, so we're hyper critical. If a cartoon character moved like that. we wouldn't mind so much.
-P-

-P-

jackgephart
Hooked Member



USA
463 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  10:21:04  Show Profile
I'm sorry to have to disagree with you sir, but I have been making Haptek head characters for over a year now and the closer I get to the "real thing" the more hits my site gets to download this certain head. But for example I will use my Bush heads, I made one and it looked more like a cartoon of him, next I fixed him and put him on the site and a lot more people visited the site. This and 3 other forums is where I advertise my heads and other things. Maybe you should look up GamerThom and jackgephart on the forums and read some of the reviews that we have gotten on our heads and skins and you may see that a lot of people do like the "real thing" better. I've also gotten critisized for not being close enough to the real person that I was trying to make. People want better and more real to life things cause they can relate to them better.

Myself, I don't even like computer animation that is cartoonie looking, but you give me a good photo realistic one and I will watch it many times over. Why do you think that Hollywood movie makers are using such real to life computer animations in their movies?

I'm not educated or lettered like you may be, but I do know that people don't want to talk to cartoons as a chat bot. Thanks for your time sir.

Jack Gephart
denise.gephart@mchsi.com
http://aidreams.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=0
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vrossi
Forum Admin



Italy
1455 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  13:50:10  Show Profile  Visit vrossi's Homepage
First of all, I want to thank Peter for contributing again in our Forum, after being absent for so long.

Jack

About Uncanny Valley, it's a concept which dates back to Sigmund Freud. There are several different opinions, and David Hanson, for example, agrees with you, since he creates human-looking robots.

Personally I agree with Peter: a robot which is too close to a real human would probably create a lot of moral, social, ethical issues.

For some more general info about this concept, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley


See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Polar_Express_(film)

Vittorio
virtualhumansforum.com
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mikmoth
Moderator



USA
2082 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  15:31:15  Show Profile  Visit mikmoth's Homepage
I think what is really going on is that real-life characters have to look really good in order to pass the human-likeable-test.

If we see some kind of funny cartoon avatar and some poorly-made human avatar - well humans can be very critical when it comes to their own race. If a human avatar has a small flaw it sticks out a lot more then if a cartoon type avatar has some small flaw.

I'm with you Jack... that focus group was probably looking at some very low quality hapteks. In fact I know so... You put Mickey Mouse next to the Venus De Milo and I assure you, people would pick the pretty human.

 http://lhandslide.com
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Freddy
Hooked Member



United Kingdom
257 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  16:10:10  Show Profile  Visit Freddy's Homepage
I am with Jack too, though I agree with Peter in that we are not all the way there yet. I have seen many of Jack's characters and some are really amazing. I do however agree that it is easier to find fault with photorealistic characters, but that's because we already have an idea of what humans should look like - but we have no pre-formed ideas about what a cartoon duck should look like, so we accept it. I do agree that the mechanics of things like movement need improvement though.

I think this is just a process of eliminating the flaws in realistic characters - eventually they will become more and more human. Then there may well be moral, social and ethical problems with totally realistic characters and just like with the early years of movies, some people will be turned off and others will love it. The Uncanney Valley is nothing new, but I don't think it will stand in the way and we needn't worry that much about it.

I'm not sure about the 'moral' problems. I mean - how come there aren't a lot of people banging drums about all the Photorealistic characters being used for porn over in the likes of Renderotica, Vixens, Renderosity and all those sites ?

Also, Davy Jones may have been good but what about Gollum in the Lord of the Rings - he was just a believeable I think...

www.aidreams.co.uk

Edited by - Freddy on Oct 17 2007 16:41:39
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hologenicman
Moderator



USA
3323 Posts

Posted - Oct 17 2007 :  18:27:13  Show Profile  Visit hologenicman's Homepage
I believe that The only reason for NOT having the avatar be photorealistic is if the AI behind it is not up to snuff.

Uncanny valley does not happen because the avatar is too realistis. Rather, Uncanny Valley is a combination of Realistic character and unrealistic AI.

The more realistic the AI is behind the Virtual Human, the more realistic the psychi will allow us to view the visual component of the Virtual Human.

John L>
IA|AI

HologenicMan
John A. Latimer
http://www.UniversalHologenics.com

"If the Human brain were so simple that we could understand it,
we would be so simple that we couldn't..."
-Emerson M Pugh-

Current project:http://www.vrconsulting.it/vhf/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=816&whichpage=1

DISCOVERY: The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.
GOAL: There's strength in simplicity.
NOTE: Goal not always achieved.
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jackgephart
Hooked Member



USA
463 Posts

Posted - Oct 19 2007 :  01:02:33  Show Profile
I agree with you John, the better the equipment you use the better the outcome of your AI bot. You can't have a 386 IBM computer and expect to run Haptek or anything now a days. Maybe the computers used by the group that was "tested" didn't have real good computers.

I'd rather have a beautiful life-like robot that would do everything for me, and I mean everything, than a cartoon lame a**ed Ren and Stimpy looking thing that just made me laugh or think to myself why the hell did I buy this thing. Is that uncanny, I think not.

Jack Gephart
denise.gephart@mchsi.com
http://aidreams.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=0

Edited by - jackgephart on Oct 19 2007 01:03:02
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art
Moderator



USA
374 Posts

Posted - Oct 19 2007 :  22:25:35  Show Profile
Hi Peter! It's been many years since we chatted. Glad to see you back for a visit!

Regarding this "Uncanny Valley" phenomenon...Please read the following...especially the last paragraph:

The Uncanny Valley is a hypothesis about robotics concerning the emotional response of humans to robots and other non-human entities. It was introduced by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970, although drawing heavily on Ernst Jentsch's concept of "the uncanny," identified in a 1906 essay, "On the Psychology of the Uncanny." Jentsch's conception is famously elaborated upon by Sigmund Freud in a 1919 essay, simply entitled "The Uncanny".

Mori's hypothesis states that as a robot is made more humanlike in its appearance and motion, the emotional response from a human being to the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic, until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that of strong repulsion. However, as the appearance and motion continue to become less distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy levels.

Some roboticists have heavily criticized the theory, arguing that Mori had no basis for the rightmost part of his chart, as human-like robots are only now technically possible (and still only partially). David Hanson, a roboticist who developed a realistic robotic copy of his girlfriend's head, said that the idea of the Uncanny Valley is "really pseudoscientific, but people treat it like it is science.

- Art -
In the world of AI it's the thought that counts!
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