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Androids by Thomas Talbot, Bryan Bergeron

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CHAPTER 9Affect and Expression

What is it that makes something appear lifelike? Movement and functionality help, but people tend to pick up on certain perceptual cues that instinctively tell them that something is lifelike or a creature worth relating to as opposed to a machine. The first thing that can help with this perception is anthropomorphism—making things in a human-like shape convey the impression of being a creature. We see this principle in action with children’s toys, dolls, and teddy bears. People are also attuned to seeing and recognizing faces. In fact, newborn infants instinctively show a preference for looking at human faces. We also see it in industrial applications: the fronts of cars resemble a face with two headlights for ...

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