Do you lie awake at night wondering whether your friends and family members are robots? Well, you should stop because that’s not a reasonable thought. In science fiction shows and movies, androids are indistinguishable from humans. Your closest friend, family member, or even yourself could be a robot, and you’d never even know it. Robots in the real world are easy to identify, however. No one would mistake an industrial robot for their Uncle John, and even the humanoid robots that reside in the uncanny valley can’t really pass for human. In fact, new research shows that people can differentiate what’s really alive from what is simulated in a fraction of a second.
Inferring what is real
Research from UC Berkley suggests that people are “highly sensitive to lifelikeness of random objects and even groups of objects”. According to the findings, much of our perception is formed by implicit information, and determining whether or not an object is animate could be an inferential process rather than instantaneous.
It may seem instantaneous, however, because it occurs so quickly. A visual mechanism called “ensemble lifelikeness perception” lets us know if something is really alive in 250 milliseconds.
Fast and accurate
Not only can we quickly process whether or not something is lifelike, we can do so accurately. Participants in the study rated groups of images on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how lifelike they were. The study found that people can accurately place lifelikeness of objects, even when those objects are show very briefly.
This research suggests that perceptual mechanisms could exist to help us determine what is really living and what isn’t. This is great news for anyone who’s having nightmares after watching Blade Runner. Don’t worry, your loved ones aren’t actually robots. If they were, you would know it.
If you’re going to worry, worry about something that matters. Like your industrial motion control system. Make sure that your machinery runs like it should. Call us today for any of your Indramat service or repair needs!