Event Date/Time: Dec 05, 2005 End Date/Time: Dec 05, 2005
Abstract Submission Date: Sep 01, 2005
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Views on the Uncanny Valley
A Humanoids 2005 Workshop
Tsukuba, Japan, 5 December 2005

Call for Speakers
If you would like to participate in the workshop as a speaker or on a discussion panel please send an expression of interest that outlines your proposed contribution. Please send this as soon as possible to humanoids2005@theuncannyvalley.org by (latest September 1) at the latest.

Theme and goals
The term "bukimi no tani" or "uncanny valley" was coined 35 years ago by Dr. Masahiro Mori, and it stands today as one of the most commonly known design considerations of humanoid robots and synthetic characters. In this workshop we bring together researchers in robotics, visual perception, and neuroscience to discuss the uncanny valley from these different perspectives. The goal will be to examine how the perception of human and robot motions are transformed into an appreciation of the events being observed. In addition, we will try to direct our findings to a discussion of potential theoretical bases of human-humanoid interaction and to obtaining a method for accurate navigation around the uncanny valley.

Christian Keysers: In the last ten years, it has become evident that when humans observe the actions and sensations of others, these are transformed in the brain of the observer into the observer?fs own actions and sensations through a series of mechanisms called ?eshared circuits?f or mirror circuits. We will review this literature, suggesting an essential mechanism for understanding others. In particular, we will show that the perception of robots performing actions appears to be processed in much the same way as the perception of other humans. These findings open the way for a neuroscience of human-robot social interactions.

Karl MacDorman: Robots that lie in the uncanny valley may act as a subconscious reminder of death. We explore this hypothesis by reproducing seminal experiments from terror management theory, substituting an uncanny robot for the reminder of death in the control group.

Frank Pollick: The existence of the uncanny valley presupposes several basic properties of visual cognition. We will first outline these properties and then show evidence for their existence and how they delineate the scope of the uncanny valley.

Target participants
Robotics engineers and computer scientists with an interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, pattern recognition, and control, especially those whose target platform includes humanoid robots; psychologists and sociologists who are concerned with real-time embodied communication or social development; cognitive scientists who are concerned with the relationship between brain processes and social dynamics; social and comparative biologists; and philosophers.