Replicant

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All Too Human: A Robot that Would Make Freud Uncomfortable

If this video doesn't creep you out, you might be a replicant. 

Researchers at Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International have developed a robot called Geminoid|DK, which not only looks like a human, but can also mimic the facial expressions and head movements of humans.

Geminoid|DK ought to make you fell uncomfortable, if Masahiro Mori's "uncanny valley" hypothesis holds true. Mori's hypothesis states that a negative emotional response linked to revulsion occurs when humans interact with replicas that look almost like humans. 

Mori's hypothesis is derived in part from Sigmund Freud's 1919 essay The Uncanny which studies the concept of the uncanny in literature, particularly in E.T.A. Hoffmann's short story  "The Sandman."

In Freud's view, the uncanny, or what is uncomfortably familiar, unconsciously reminds us of our repressed impulses. These impulses are threatening to us, and we experience the Oedipal fear of "being robbed of one's eyes."

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

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