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Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Lawrence Weschler's articles have throughout his long career intrigued readers with his unique insight into everything he examines, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Uncanny Valley continues the page–turning conversation as Weschler collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. The title piece surveys the hapless efforts of digital animators to fashion a credible human face, the endlessly elusive gold standard of the profession. Other highlights include profiles of novelist Mark Salzman, as he wrestles with a hilariously harrowing bout of writer's block; the legendary film and sound editor Walter Murch, as he is forced to revisit his work on Apocalypse Now in the context of the more recent Iraqi war film Jarhead; and the artist Vincent Desiderio, as he labors over an epic canvas portraying no less than a dozen sleeping figures. With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the "world is strange, beautiful, and connected" (The Globe and Mail). Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world.
Book The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation Description/Summary:
Advances in technology have enabled animators and video game designers to design increasingly realistic, human-like characters in animation and games. Although it was intended that this increased realism would allow viewers to appreciate the emotional state of characters, research has shown that audiences often have a negative reaction as the human likeness of a character increases. This phenomenon, known as the Uncanny Valley, has become a benchmark for measuring if a character is believably realistic and authentically human like. This book is an essential guide on how to overcome the Uncanny Valley phenomenon when designing human-like characters in digital applications. In this book, the author provides a synopsis of literature about the Uncanny Valley phenomenon and explains how it was introduced into contemporary thought. She then presents her theories on its possible psychological causes based on a series of empirical studies. The book focuses on how aspects of facial expression and speech can be manipulated to overcome the Uncanny Valley in character design. The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation presents a novel theory that goes beyond previous research in that the cause of the Uncanny Valley is based on a perceived lack of empathy in a character. This book makes an original, scholarly contribution to our current understanding of the Uncanny Valley phenomenon and fills a gap in the literature by assessing the biological and social roots of the Uncanny Valley and its implications for computer-graphics animation.
The Uncanny Valley…“…is a macabre serenade to a small town that may or may not exist, peopled with alive and dead denizens who wander about the hills and houses with creepy fluidity. Told by individual inhabitants, the stories recount tales of disappearing dead deer, enchanted gardens, invisible killer dogs, and rattlesnakes that fall from the sky; each contribution adds to a composite portrait that skitters between eerie, ghoulish, and poignant. Miller is a master storyteller, clearly delighting in his mischievous creations.”Thirty-Three Tales. Thirty-Three Tellers. One Lost Town.
Book Beyond the Uncanny Valley Description/Summary:
An investigation of the cultural and academic discourse around new technology through a lens of artistic practice In 1970 Japanese engineer Masahiro Mori introduced the concept of the "uncanny valley" as a terrain of existential uncertainty that humans experience when confronted with autonomous machines that mimic their physical and mental properties. As subjectivities are increasingly organized and shaped by algorithms that track and evaluate our data, the question of what it means to be human has shifted. The featured artists mine the tropes and modalities of AI and machine learning for critical and aesthetic potential, proposing new ways of thinking about intelligence, nature, and artifice.
Book The Uncanny Valley Hypothesis and beyond Description/Summary:
A field of theory and research is evolving around the question highlighted in the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis: How does high realism in anthropomorphic design influence human experience and behaviour? The Uncanny Valley Hypothesis posits that a very humanlike character or object (e.g., robot, prosthetic limb, doll) can evoke a negative affective (i.e., uncanny) state. Recent advances in robotic and computer-graphic technologies in simulating aspects of human appearance, behaviour and interaction have been accompanied, therefore, by theorising and research on the meaning and relevance of the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis for anthropomorphic design. Current understanding of the "uncanny" idea is still fragmentary and further original research is needed. However, the emerging picture indicates that the relationship between humanlike realism and subjective experience and behaviour may not be as straightforward as the Uncanny Valley Hypothesis suggests. This Research Topic brings together researchers from traditionally separate domains (including robotics, computer graphics, cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience) to provide a snapshot of current work in this field. A diversity of issues and questions are addressed in contributions that include original research, review, theory, and opinion papers.
Immortality, but at what price, in what form, and how could you be you? In the near future it’s possible to build a new you, a better you, one that could carry on forever. But if you could carry on, if you could make choices about who you would be forever, how much of your past would you bring with you? Would you be tempted to maybe...edit? Adam isn’t all that he used to be, but he wants to be. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
THE STORY: Drawing on current research in artificial intelligence and robotics, UNCANNY VALLEY charts the relationship between Claire, a neuroscientist, and Julian, a nonbiological human. As Julian is “born” a few body parts at a time over the course of the play, Claire teaches him how to be as human as possible: mirroring people’s speech, engaging in small-talk, playing a musical instrument. Their deepening friendship and Julian’s growing “humanity” lead to the revelations of an unhealed sorrow in Claire’s personal life and, ultimately, the purpose for which Julian has been created. UNCANNY VALLEY explores the painful divide between creator and creation, the inherent unpredictability of consciousness, and how we are redefining what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.
Book The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation Description/Summary:
Advances in technology have enabled animators and video game designers to design increasingly realistic, human-like characters in animation and games. Although it was intended that this increased realism would allow viewers to appreciate the emotional state of characters, research has shown that audiences often have a negative reaction as the human
Book An exploration of the Uncanny Valley and its consequences Description/Summary:
Seminar paper from the year 2016 in the subject Computer Science - Internet, New Technologies, grade: 1.0, LMU Munich (Institut für Informatik), course: Hauptseminar Medieninformatik, language: English, abstract: Humans usually favor the company of beings similar to them and it is therefore natural to assume that with increasing human likeness, robots and artificial characters become more likeable and accepted. However, this is only true up to a point where the dynamic is reversed and synthetic characters appear uncanny. Thus, increased realism does not necessarily lead to an increase in acceptance. This phenomenon is called the "Uncanny Valley" and was first proposed by Masahiro Mori in 1970. It has recently sparked more interest due to advancements in robot development and computer animation and therefore a potential relevance in the robot, movie and video game industries as well as for scientific computer simulations. The theory of the Uncanny Valley is not undisputed, which is why this paper aims to present both evidence in favor and arguments against its existence or interpretation. Furthermore, the phenomenon shall be examined in more detail, investigating its backgrounds, possible explanations, influencing factors and its consequences on android design. Among the issues to be further investigated that were found in the discussion are alternative stimuli, the empirical measurement of the uncanny response, a universal categorization system, and the usefulness of the Uncanny Valley as a design guide. There are indications that the relationship between human likeness and likeability may not be as clear as proposed by Mori, but more-dimensional with additional factors to consider.
Book Intelligent Virtual Agents Description/Summary:
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, IVA 2012, held in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, in September 2012. The 17 revised full papers presented together with 31 short papers and 18 poster papers were carefully reviewed and selected from numerous submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on IVAs on learning environments; emotion and personality; evaluation and empirical studies; multimodal perception and expression; narrative and interactive applications; social interaction; authoring and tools; conceptual frameworks.
This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-conference proceedings of the First International Conference, UCMedia 2009, which was held on 9-11 December 2009 at Hotel Novotel Venezia Mestre Castellana in Venice, Italy. The conference`s focus was on forms and production, delivery, access, discovery and consumption of user centric media. After a thorough review process of the papers received, 23 were accepted from open call for the main conference and 20 papers for the workshops.
Japan is arguably the first postindustrial society to embrace the prospect of human-robot coexistence. Over the past decade, Japanese humanoid robots designed for use in homes, hospitals, offices, and schools have become celebrated in mass and social media throughout the world. In Robo sapiens japanicus, Jennifer Robertson casts a critical eye on press releases and public relations videos that misrepresent robots as being as versatile and agile as their science fiction counterparts. An ethnography and sociocultural history of governmental and academic discourse of human-robot relations in Japan, this book explores how actual robots—humanoids, androids, and animaloids—are “imagineered” in ways that reinforce the conventional sex/gender system and political-economic status quo. In addition, Robertson interrogates the notion of human exceptionalism as she considers whether “civil rights” should be granted to robots. Similarly, she juxtaposes how robots and robotic exoskeletons reinforce a conception of the “normal” body with a deconstruction of the much-invoked Theory of the Uncanny Valley.
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER * A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE * A WASHINGTON POST BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR "An invigorating work, deadly precise in its skewering of people, places and things . . . Stylish, despairing and very funny, Fake Accounts . . . adroitly maps the dwindling gap between the individual and the world." —Katie Kitamura, The New York Times Book Review A woman in a tailspin discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous online conspiracy theorist in this “absolutely brilliant take on the bizarre and despicable ways the internet has warped our perception of reality” (Elle, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year). On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend's phone and makes a startling discovery: he's an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she's not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she's relieved--he was always a little distant--and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women's March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies. Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can't trust anyone--shouldn't the feeling be mutual? Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.
Along the Mogollon Rim in Arizona, hikers and campers have been disappearing with astonishing frequency for years. When an eyewitness comes forward, she's dismissed as being crazy for claiming that Bigfoot abducted a woman right in front of her. The people that are supposed to help only threaten her to keep silent. When the police won't believe her, the witness calls the Nightmare Hunter for help. What begins as simply taking the report of a cryptid encounter turns into the fight of his life. This investigation will take him into the heart of the Nightmare, deeper than ever before. Can he solve the mystery of the Mogollon rim and save the missing hikers, or will he too, fall victim to the Mogollon Monster?
In an unnamed New York-based company, the employees are getting restless as everything around them unravels. There’s Pru, the former grad student turned spreadsheet drone; Laars, the hysteric whose work anxiety stalks him in his tooth-grinding dreams; and Jack II, who distributes unwanted backrubs–aka “jackrubs”–to his co-workers. On a Sunday, one of them is called at home. And the Firings begin. Rich with Orwellian doublespeak, filled with sabotage and romance, this astonishing literary debut is at once a comic delight and a narrative tour de force. It’s a novel for anyone who has ever worked in an office and wondered: “Where does the time go? Where does the life go? And whose banana is in the fridge?” Praise for PERSONAL DAYS "Witty and appealing...Anyone who has ever groaned to hear 'impact' used as a verb will cheer as Park skewers the avatars of corporate speak, hellbent on debasing the language....Park has written what one of his characters calls 'a layoff narrative' for our times. As the economy continues its free fall, Park's book may serve as a handy guide for navigating unemployment and uncertainty. Does anyone who isn't a journalist think there can't be two books on the same subject at the same time? We need as many as we can get right now." —The New York Times Book Review "Never have the minutiae of office life been so lovingly cataloged and collated." —"Three First Novels that Just Might Last," —Time A "comic and creepy début...Park transforms the banal into the eerie, rendering ominous the familiar request "Does anyone want anything from the outside world?" —The New Yorker "The modern corporate office is to Ed Park's debut novel Personal Days what World War II was to Joseph Heller's Catch-22—a theater of absurdity and injustice so profound as to defy all reason....Park may be in line to fill the shoes left by Kurt Vonnegut and other satirists par excellence."—Samantha Dunn, Los Angeles Times "In Personal Days Ed Park has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always adroit novel about office life...Sharp and lovely language." —Newsweek "A warm and winning fiction debut." — Publishers Weekly "I laughed until they put me in a mental hospital. But Personal Days is so much more than satire. Underneath Park's masterly portrait of wasted workaday lives is a pulsating heart, and an odd, buoyant hope." — Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan "The funniest book I've read about the way we work now." –William Poundstone, author of Fortune's Formula "Ed Park joins Andy Warhol and Don DeLillo as a master of the deadpan vernacular." —Helen DeWitt, author of The Last Samurai
The Higher Reality of Business The health of business is inextricably linked with the health of humanity and nature. But our current approaches to leadership treat business as entirely separate—and the result has been recurring economic, environmental, and human crises. In this extraordinary book, Ram Nidumolu uses evocative parables and stories from the ancient Indian wisdom texts, the Upanishads, to introduce Being-centered leadership. This new kind of leadership is anchored in the concept of Being, the fundamental reality that underlies all phenomena. Being-centered leaders are guided by an innate sense of interconnection—the good of the whole becomes an integral part of their decisions and actions. Using the experiences of over twenty trailblazing CEOs, as well as those from his own life, Nidumolu describes a four-stage road map every aspiring leader can use to reconnect business to the wider world—to the benefit of all.
Social robotics is a cutting edge research area gathering researchers and stakeholders from various disciplines and organizations. The transformational potential that these machines, in the form of, for example, caregiving, entertainment or partner robots, pose to our societies and to us as individuals seems to be limited by our technical limitations and phantasy alone. This collection contributes to the field of social robotics by exploring its boundaries from a philosophically informed standpoint. It constructively outlines central potentials and challenges and thereby also provides a stable fundament for further research of empirical, qualitative or methodological nature.