Saturday, April 3, 2010

Geminoid experiment

I've read the H. Ishiguro's new book, "What is Robot?"(in Japanese, Kodansha, 2009).
[Ishiguro, H. (2009). What is Robot (in Japanese). Kodansha.]

His Geminoid (a humanoid robot that resembles himself!) raises many questions about mind-body relations.

In Ishguro's experiment, 70% of the participants who observed the female android for 2 seconds, noticed that it was not human.

But when they observed the same android with microactions (eye movements, small shoulder movements, etc.) , equally 70% of them believed it to be human.

The appearance of the robot seems very important. Ishiguro gives many other curious examples like this.

Another curious example. When his stuff opened up the geminoid's head to fix it up, he felt 'a curious sensation' as if he was touched and operated.

So, he projected himself to the geminoid's body, in the very similar way in the experiments in rubberhand illusion.

When the robot has the similar appearance to human being and it moves, we can easily project ouselves to the robots.

We can feel touch on the robot's body. The body schema incorporates the robot's body into itself, in the same way as it incorporates tools.

The rubberhand illusion is based on the same principle. We can feel the extended 'touch' on the rubber hand as the body schema incorporates the rubberhand.