Tag: Anthropomorphobia

Anthropomorphobia

The Soft Touch of a Human Hand

When using devices nowadays everything feels like plastic. Nissan’s engineers are trying to change just that.

The inside of cars usually are built with plastic and can feel cheap instead of the pleasant feeling of human skin. The most comfortable materials, according to Nissan’s engineers, are soft, warm, smooth and even moist. When creating the most naturally feeling plastic the engineers are using these qualities to recreate the feeling of human skin. These qualities, however, are not the only factors in making plastic feel naturally.

The natural feeling comes from pressure resistance and texture as well. Nissan’s engineers are replicating the softness of human skin and applying it to the plastics. The most attractive texture according to Nissan’s research approximates that of the human fingerprint. The implementation of these new natural feeling plastics should lead to the most comfortable cars ever. Drivers will love the soft, natural feeling of the steering wheel.

Anthropomorphobia

Robot Fridge Forces You to Smile for Food

Feeling grumpy and hungry? Unfortunately, the University of Tokyo’s Happiness Counter refrigerator won’t open up until you give it a big smile. The concept is based on the fact that smiling releases endorphins, but it seems like the pushy fridge is a quicker route to rage than to true happiness.

Via Buzzfeed.

Anthropomorphobia

Pantone SkinTone

Should made-to-order babies become a reality in the near future, one piece of the design puzzle has been solved now Pantone has release their SkinTone system. Indexing 110 skin tones they might have set a standard to work with. Racists could never be more precise in their practice. Forget about the “skin color” label on stockings and find a Pantone color to match.

The Pantone SkinTone is available here at $89. And there’s a really corny Pantone video below.

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Anthropomorphobia

Video Game-Playing Robot Acts More “Human” than Humans

Computer-controlled players in video games can usually be spotted for their repetitive, illogical or unemotional behavior. Unlike humans, non-player characters (NPCs) don’t get angry, frustrated or scared in stressful game situations, and have trouble planning ahead. In order to address this problem, 2KGames launched the BotPrize, a Turing-style Test aimed at creating more convincing artificial players.

A human audience watched players in battling their way through Unreal Tournament 2004 and rated them on their apparent “humanness”. A team from the University of Texas at Austin tied for the win, creating an NPC so realistic that it scored a humanness rating of 52%. That’s impressive, and even more so taking into account that plain-ole real humans only clocked in at 40%.

The UT team was able to create their more-human-than-human bot through a process called “neuroevolution”. Using existing models of in-game human behavior, the researchers created different NPCs that were weeded out via a Darwinian process. As with mutations in genetic evolution, each new generation of the different NPCs lineages were tweaked slightly with behaviors that could either prove to be adaptive (more human) or maladaptive (less human). After five years of digital evolution, the game bot finally outperformed its human competition.

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Anthropomorphobia

Converse Sneaker Tattoo

Today, shoes have been naturalized to the extend that we hardly can imagine life without them. Yet, shoes didn’t exist in old nature, hence there must have been a day when footwear was a radical new technology people had to get attuned to. At that time, some ten-thousand of years ago, one had to decide whether to embrace or decline the emerging footwear technology, similar to mobile technology in our time.

Over the years, footwear moved from being an unfamiliar to an accepted phenomenon, from a second nature to a first nature. Like the mobile phones we carry only more recently, we can still decide to take off our shoes and experience life without them today. Indeed almost no one ever does that for a longer period, but at least we can.

The unidentified wearer of the Converse Sneaker Tattoo apparently decided he didn’t want to experience any shoe-less moments in life anymore? Or he just wanted to get his feet on a blog? In any case, he got what he wanted. Peculiar image of the week. Via BoingBong.

Anthropomorphobia

Close Personal Friend

Here’s one for the retro-trendwatchers. This 24-minute self-directed film was made in 1996 by artist-writer Douglas Coupland as a portrait of postmodern culture. Soon after it was abandoned and forgotten, yet if you watch it now it is striking how the film anticipates contemporary phenomena like social media and self-branding. You may want to spend 24-minutes on this Close Personal Friend.

Anthropomorphobia

Cake Made from Human Skin

If human skin was made of fondant, that is, and our muscles were made of flour. With the advent of lab-grown meat, the vegetarian Slice cake reminds us that our food doesn’t need to be restricted to boring old t-bones and chicken legs. Meat can be knit like scarves, rolled into balls or, yes, grown into multi-tiered cakes. Perhaps a new wedding tradition will be to serve steak-cakes cultured from the bride and groom’s own muscle. Think that’s disgusting? Just look at what goes into normal chicken nuggets

Image via Behance.

Anthropomorphobia

One Generation in, Dolphins Still Transmit Human Tricks

Dolphins in Port Adelaide, Australia, have been observed performing a remarkable trick: tail-walking, a trait so rare it has only been seen in the wild one other time. More remarkable still, these dolphins seem to have picked up this move from Billie, a female dolphin who briefly lived in a tourist attraction before being returned to the wild. Billie, who learned this skill from human trainers, has now taught it to her calves, and to another adult female and her calves. In animals, most cultural transmission of behavior is linked to finding food. Chimpanzees fishs for termites, and certain groups of dolphins hydroplane to catch fish. The behavior of Billie and her companions is unusual in that it is performed just for fun. Dolphins’ reputation for playfulness may be well-deserved.

Thanks to Tensai Hilra for the tip. Photo via Jared422_80.

Anthropomorphobia

Lowtech Plastic Surgery

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So this is what you get when artists Lucyandbart practice their low-tech plastic surgery techniques on visitors of the MU gallery in Eindhoven. We are clueless on whether it was actually their objective to end up in the blend between tribal Africa & Beverly Hills. Peculiar image of the week.

Anthropomorphobia

Robots Invade Stores to Steal Our Jobs

There’s a new threat to the world’s unemployed. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a robot that helps to organize shop inventories, making that trip to the store simpler for shoppers, cheaper for bosses, and harder on workers. AndyVision, as our newest retail overlord is called, is programmed to roll through the aisles, checking to see if products are low or out of stock, and if its puny human coworkers have incorrectly shelved an item. Human employees get the bot’s updates on iPads, and are sent scurrying to restock the shelves. Customers short on time can access AndyVision’s map to more quickly locate their canned goods and hunting supplies for the impending robot apocalypse.

With a Kinect sensor, learning algorithms and floor plans, AndyVision is well-equipped to make his takeover of minimum-wage jobs even more effective. The robot currently only works at Carnegie Mellon’s campus store, but customers can expect to see these automated workers in other local stores sometime in 2013. AndyVision might look cute and inoffensive, but remember: In the United States alone, 5 million fewer workers are needed now to produce more goods than they did in 2006, all thanks to automation. Robots are coming to make our cameras, our sushi, and in a sure sign of the singularity end-times, our Starbucks.

Via Smithsonian Magazine.