Cognition 125 (1):125-130 (2012)

The uncanny valley—the unnerving nature of humanlike robots—is an intriguing idea, but both its existence and its underlying cause are debated. We propose that humanlike robots are not only unnerving, but are so because their appearance prompts attributions of mind. In particular, we suggest that machines become unnerving when people ascribe to them experience, rather than agency. Experiment 1 examined whether a machine’s humanlike appearance prompts both ascriptions of experience and feelings of unease. Experiment 2 tested whether a machine capable of experience remains unnerving, even without a humanlike appearance. Experiment 3 investigated whether the perceived lack of experience can also help explain the creepiness of unfeeling humans and philosophical zombies. These experiments demonstrate that feelings of uncanniness are tied to perceptions of experience, and also suggest that experience—but not agency—is seen as fundamental to humans, and fundamentally lacking in machines
Keywords artificial intelligence  Human–computer interaction  Humanness  Robots  Turing test  Uncanny valley
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2012.06.007
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References found in this work BETA

Minds, Brains, and Programs.John Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Computing Machinery and Intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.
Intuitions About Consciousness: Experimental Studies.Joshua Knobe & Jesse Prinz - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.
Mind Perception is the Essence of Morality.Kurt Gray, Liane Young & Adam Waytz - 2012 - Psychological Inquiry 23 (2):101-124.

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Citations of this work BETA

Visually Perceiving the Intentions of Others.Grace Helton - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):243-264.
Panpsychism, Intuitions, and the Great Chain of Being.Luke Roelofs & Jed Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2991-3017.

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