Overcoming the uncanny valley : Displays of emotions reduce the uncanniness of humanlike robots

Koschate, Miriam and Potter, Richard and Bremner, Paul and Levine, Mark (2016) Overcoming the uncanny valley : Displays of emotions reduce the uncanniness of humanlike robots. In: HRI 2016 - 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction :. IEEE Computer Society Press, NZL, pp. 359-365. ISBN 9781467383707

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In this paper we show empirically that highly humanlike robots make thoughts of death more accessible, leading to perceptions of uncanniness and eeriness of such robots. Rather than reducing the humanlikeness of robots, our research suggests the addition of emotion displays to decrease a sense of uncanniness. We show that a highly humanlike robot displaying emotions in a social context reduces death-thought accessibility (DTA), which in turn reduces uncanniness. In a pre-test with N = 95 participants, we established that not all humanoid robots elicit thoughts of death and that the extent to which a robot appears humanlike may be linked to DTA. In our Main Study, N = 44 participants briefly interacted with a highly humanlike robotic head that either showed appropriate basic emotions or reacted by blinking. The display of emotions significantly reduced perceptions of uncanniness, which was mediated by a corresponding reduction in DTA. Implications for the design of humanoid robots are proposed.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? death-thought accessibility (dta)emotion displayhumanoid robotuncanny valleyartificial intelligencehuman-computer interactionelectrical and electronic engineering ??
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Deposited On:
22 Jun 2019 00:55
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 04:30