Thrish interviewed by Sky News (2013-03-19)

In a report discussing the increasing presence of robots in our daily lives, Sky News interviewed Dr. Thrishantha Nanayakkara on his views of how robots can be perceived.

“Machines are machines, and humans are humans. Is there not a line that we simply shouldn’t be crossing there?” Sky asks. To which Thrish replied, “Actually, avatars in the future will be a magnificent way to communicate with humans.”

Thrish discussed the “uncanny valley” many experience when facing robots. It is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when human-like robots look and act almost like actual human beings, but their subtle imperfections cause a response of discontent among human observers. However, technology is beginning to overcome this threshold.

Thrish then discusses how the study of robots will help us learn more about ourselves. For example, walking seems trivial, yet many robots struggle to do so. The analysis and research into robot walking will help us understand how humans perform it so well.

“Robots can be a mirror on which humanity can be reflected, one day.”