More Human Than Human: Does The Uncanny Curve Really Matter?
Anthropomorphism is a common phenomenon known already in ancient times. It is not a thing of the past, but still has a profound impact on major aspects of our lives and on research in AI and HRI. Its importance in the field of HRI is emphasized by the hotly-discussed uncanny valley hypothesis. However, in spite of its popularity, the uncanny valley hypothesis lacks empirical evidence. In this paper we suggest that the community should stop trying to fit data to this hypothesis, but rather, based on the available evidence, start talking about the ‘uncanny curve’. Moreover, we point out mistakes in the previous studies of the uncanny curve and strongly encourage exploring it in a real HRI for it to be really relevant. We suggest that understanding the opposite process of anthropomorphisation, known as dehumanization, can help to cross the uncanny bottom of the graph.