The Uncanny Valley
The Uncanny Valley (2011)
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro is the head of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at the university of Osaka, Japan. His team investigates the interaction between robots and humans.
Ishiguro builds robots that look like human beings. “Our brains are wired to relate to other humans. A humanlike robot or humanoid can help to understand our brain activity when we face a machine that looks like a person.”
Most famous is the Geminoid, an android robot based on an existing person. The professor made a copy of himself, of his 6 year old daughter and of a well-known Japanese anchor woman. The Geminoid synchronically imitates verbal and non-verbal communication from his human archetype, by teleoperation. Subject of Ishiguro’s research is what the Japanese call Sonzai-Kan: The feeling of being in the presence of a human being. Can a machine convey human presence?
“With the Geminoid-system, I can exist on a different place, where visitors can feel my presence. We hope to understand human behaviour better by robotising each other. In the near future the border between human beings and machines will disappear.” (Hiroshi Ishiguro)
The Uncanny Valley was realized during a residence in Japan, organized by Flanders Centre in Osaka. This series was exhibited at the group show Facing Japan at the Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent in 2015.
Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, Osaka University