Robot Baby

(YouTube link)

I'm sure it doesn't really want to hurt you. If it's programmed at all, it's to love and be nurtured. But, from Frankenstein to Battlestar Galactica, you'd really think we'd have learned by now that this sort of thing can't possibly end well.

Uncanny valley, heard of it? No worries, you're knee-deep in it right now. It's the revulsion you feel to robots, prostheses, or zombies that try, but don't quite duplicate their human models. As the robot becomes more humanlike, however, our emotional response becomes increasingly positive and empathetic. Unfortunately, the goal of Osaka University's AFFETTO was to create a robot modeled after ayoung child that could produce realistic facial expressions in order to endear it to a human caregiver in a more natural way. Impressive, sure, but we're not ready to let it suckle from our teat just yet.

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