News & Events

National Public Radio (NPR) features MacDorman, virtual humans and the entertainment industry

Published: March 8, 2010

Karl MacDorman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Human Computer Interaction at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, was recently featured on National Public Radio’s (NPR) “All Things Considered” and “On the Media.

MacDorman, also director of the Android Science Center at IUPUI, discussed the “uncanny valley,” the phenomenon that occurs when virtual depictions of humans are so lifelike that real humans are left unsettled. NPR examines the uncanny valley’s implications for both society’s future and the entertainment industry, citing Avatar, Final Fantasy, The Polar Express, Shrek and other recent films as examples where the uncanny valley has been successfully – or unsuccessfully – navigated for audiences.

Audio and transcripts of NPR programming featuring MacDorman and the uncanny valley can be found at the following links:

“All Things Considered“ – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124371580

“On the Media” - http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/03/05/07

More information about the uncanny valley can be found here.