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The Mary Sue

Creepy Cell Phone Homunculus Mimics Human Facial Expressions

No. No no no no no no no. no.

Yes, that is a sentence that I just wrote.

This little homunculus, known as Elfoid, is actually a cellphone, and was based on a larger robot created by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. A larger version, Telenoid, was designed to recreate the physical presence of a remote user in teleconferencing situations, making Elfoid the mobile version of the technology.

The idea is that the relatively featureless (and limbless, and hairless, and ear-less, and /shudder) look of Elfoid will capture the facial expression of who you’re talking to with a camera and cause your handheld to mimic them.

Says Ishiguro:

If you hold it, it will be a part of your body.

Well, I guess it’s true that since getting a smart phone I’ve come to regard it with a certain amount of affection.  It allows me to communicate in a variety of ways, I read books on it, I play games on it, I accept raid invitations with it, I browse r/F7U12 while on the bus… the question is, do I want to empathize with it as I would a conscious entity…

No. No no no no no no no. No.

This thing is somewhere between this:

And this:

When asked how he responds to comments that his Telenoid appears creepy, Ishiguro simply shrugged his shoulders and said that “it is not creepy.”


(via The Hairpin.)

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