Tag: Anthropomorphobia


Feeling Sad? Ladies in Korea Go Under the Knife for a Perma-Smile

In South Korea, the global epicenter of plastic surgery, a newly popular form of augmentation is the “liptail”. Originally invented to help middle-aged folks reverse the downturned lips brought on by aging, this surgery is reportedly being adopted by the younger set to permanently create a cute, cheerful smile. While most opt for a more subtle lift, some girls go for the full-on duckface. Unlike other surgeries that merely change the body’s form, this one permanently alters its expression – perhaps an effort to be more happy by looking more happy.

Via Kotaku.


Sexual Fetishes Evolve with Technology

Greek and Roman writings are filled with accounts of people doing the dirty with statues – a sexual fetish so common that it had its own term, agalmatophilia. The scholars Alex Scobie and Tony Taylor argued in 1975 that these sculptures were

… representational in appearance, coloring and size. The statues were placed on street level rather than high up on pedestals. Hence the statues were life-size, life-like and so conveniently accessible as to enable the populace to form personal relationships with them.

Despite its prevalence in ancient times, agalmatophilia is all but unknown today. Over at Scientific American, author Jesse Bering theorizes that the disappearance of this sexual paraphilia is due to changing technology. People who might have been statute-lovers now own RealDolls and robots. According to Bering, “advances in technology mean that we’ve since gained everything from latex fetishism to mechanophilic arousal by automobiles to the electrophile’s sexual dependence on electric currents.” Our sexual natures change along with us.


Did Monogamy Make Us Human?

Want to justify the amount of time you spend on your online dating profile? It turns out that monogamy (along with language, booze, cooking, and bipedalism) may be one of those unique traits that “made us human”. While primates as a whole are an unusually monogamous for mammals, our closest relatives, the great apes, are all into promiscuous free-love. Though the benefits of the human pair bond are obvious now – it’s helpful for rearing big-brained, energy-intensive offspring – scientists are still split on why human monogamy evolved in the first place.

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barbie 1

If Barbie Had Human Proportions

With the daily use of Photoshop to retouch celebrities, it’s not surprising that women feel the pressure to conform to what is essentially an illusion. Starting from this reflection, artist Nickolay Lamm decided to change Barbie’s body proportions to more accurately reflect reality.

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Amazon in Rugeley for the Financial Times Magazine

World’s Worst Job? Being a Human Robot at Amazon’s Fulfillment Center

Amazon.com’s fulfillment center in Rugeley, England, is a sterile kingdom where the algorithm is king – and humans do their best to perform its bidding. Workers’ every movement is dictated by a tracking algorithm, which can send them on trips of up to 24 kilometers per day on the quest for packages. The silence is total. Workers can be fired for talking, even as smiling cardboard cutouts remind them that “this is the best job I’ve ever had!”.

With zero-hour contracts – and jobs that evaporate from one day to the next – workers are treated more like cogs than humans. According to photojournalist Ben Roberts, who chronicled the Rugeley center in Amazon Unpacked, “the only reason Amazon doesn’t actually replace them with robots is they’ve yet to find a machine that can handle so many different sized packages.” It’s dismal proof that if we don’t domesticate technology, it ends up domesticating us.

Read more at Fast Company.

self made robot

Homemade Robot Designed from Recycled Scraps

Chinese inventor Tao Xiangli manufactured a robot in the yard of his house in Beijing. He spent almost a year and about 150,000 Yuan, corresponding to $24,500 dollars, to build the robot. His “newborn” is 6.8 feet tall and around 529 pounds in weight. It is made out of recycled scrap metals and electric wires bought from a second-hand market. The question is: what is he going to do with it?

Source NBC News


We are already Cyborgs

Buckle up for another cinematic espresso shot from our favorite performance philosopher Jason Silva, who recently also appeared on the wonderful London Real.
If you care for a longer version of the ‘We are already Cyborg’ argument check out Amber Chase.


The First Recorded Attack on a Cyborg

By his own account Steve Mann, also known as “the father of wearable computing” and “the first cyborg,” was attacked by McDonald’s employees for wearing his “EyeTap” digital eye glass last July in Paris. Still far away from the intelligence gathering “gargoyles” described in Neal Stephenson’s cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” the EyeTap allows Mann to improve sight and film his surroundings while projecting the captured image with an added layer of augmented reality to his eye.

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The “Actroid” Lives in the Uncanny Valley

Deep, Deep in the uncanny valley lives this Japanese humanoid robot, aptly called an ‘actroid’. She can function autonomously, talking and gesturing while interacting with people. While her appearance may not be as hyper-realistic as her cousin Geminoid F, her interaction is autonomous instead of tele-operated. This makes her at the same time more effective and a bit creepier.

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