Robots, the 'uncanny valley' and learning to love the alien
Can we rewire our human distrust of robots that look like us?
We humans have evolved to relate emotionally to inanimate artefacts, which is strange when you think about it. Children play with dolls and toy soldiers as if they were people. Adults talk to their cars. As long as they are robot-like and “mechanical”, we are comfortable around them, and can display affection (as for an old car). But when it comes to human-like robots, something unnerving happens.
As they acquire more human-like features, our affection wanes and we begin to get a creepy feeling. Our liking turns to revulsion. Androids that look too human freak us out.