Eva Krumhuber

Cognitive, Behavioural & Brain Sciences, UCL

Thursday 17/Oct/2013
17:00 (5pm)
Roberts Building 508 (>map<)

Moving beyond the uncanny valley: Social psychological aspects in face perception

Over the last years, rapid advances in technology have led to highly realistic-looking animations and avatars with human-like attributes. In terms of the agents’ displayed emotions, the criterion for design typically is clearly and easily recognizable expressions. In this talk I argue that the realism and emotional clarity of animations may not be sufficient to capture the complexities and subtleties of human perception. Based on a number of studies from my work I show that perceivers go beyond what is directly observable and make inferences about the underlying states, intentions, and qualities of others. This is seen in examples that involve the perception of emotions from facial expressions as well as the attribution of dispositional and mental aspects. Using recent examples from social psychology, I demonstrate that such inferences can even go beyond the human endpoint by denying human beings essential traits and emotions due to their group membership. The design of human-like agents therefore requires the consideration of purpose-related psychological processes (i.e., theory of mind) in users and poses future challenges for collaboration between computer science and psychology.

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