Biological motion is a label attached to a kind of motion typical of an animal; it is distinct from trees waving in the wind, rocks tumbling down a cliff, waves in the sea, or eddies in a stream (...) In many animals, including humans, a disposition to recognize biological motion is hardwired; there is no question of learning a concept of biological motion: we recognize it instinctively without training.

James R. Hurford, The Origins of Meaning, Oxford University Press, 2007

There is empathy if: (i) one is in an affective state; (ii) this state is isomorphic to another person's affective state; (iii) this state is elicited by the observation or imagination of another person's affective state; (iv) one knows that the other person is the source of one's own affective state.

Frederique de Vignemont 1 and Tania Singer, The empathic brain: how, when and why? Trends iin Cognitive Sciences Volume 10, Issue 10, October 2006

The size is nothing; what matters is the scale.

Barnett Newman, in Pierre Schneider, Through the Louvre with Barnett Newman, 1969

The propensity of people to respond to virtually generated data as if they were real.

Sanchez-Vives & Slater, From presence to consciousness through virtual reality. Nature, Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 2005

I have noticed that, as robots appear more humanlike, our sense of their familiarity increases until we come to a valley. I call this relation the "uncanny valley."

Masahiro Mori, The Uncanny Valley, Energy, 7(4), 1970

We're cheap dates. If an entity makes eye contact with you, if an entity reaches toward you in friendship, we believe there is somebody there ... But that doesn't mean that there is. That just means that our Darwinian buttons are being pushed.

Sherry Turkle, in "Scientists try to make robots more human", interviewed by Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press, USA Today, 2006

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Albert Einstein

Ces hésitations, ces reprises, ces tâtonnements, ces maladresses,ces brusques décisions et surtout cette merveilleuse noblesse de cygne font des mobiles de Calder des êtres étranges, à mi-chemin entre la matière et la vie.

J.P. Sartre, Situations 111, Editions Gallimard, 1949

Due to a programming error, Shrimp occasionally peppers his ongoing behavior with what seems to be a nervous tick causing him repeatedly to hit hsi head against the ground.This attracts people's attention immediately but to our surprise they build psychological theories, always incorrect, about Shrimp's mental state and seem to find him much more interesting and alive for having this behavior.

Joseph Bates, The role of emotion in believable agents, Communications of the ACM archive, Volume 37, Issue 7, 1994

Thus a neurobiologically based definition of ambiguity is the opposite of the dictionary definition; it is not uncertainty, but certainty—the certainty of many, equally plausible interpretations, each one of which is sovereign when it occupies the conscious stage.

Semir Zeki,The neurology of ambiguity, Consciousness and Cognition 13, 2004

Je cherche des amis. Qu'est-ce que signifie "apprivoiser" ?
C'est une chose trop oubliée - dit le renard. Ça signifie "créer des liens".

A. de Saint Expéry, Le Petit Prince

Anthropomorphization, the incurable disease.

David McFarland, Ethologist, Oxford University

There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves (...). We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds.

David Hume, The Natural History of Religion

A man has planned to meet a girl, and the girl comes along with another man. The first man tells the second to go; the second tells the first, and he shakes his head...

Beginning of the account of a subject describing moving geometric shapes, in Heider and Simmel, Attribution of intention to geometrical figures, 1944

The claim that "machines cannot make mistakes" seems a curious one. One is tempted to retort, "Are they any worse for that?"

A. M. Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, 1950

Touch is the most demystifying of all senses, unlike sight, which is the most magical.

Roland Barthes, Mythologies, 1957

How are you today ... What would you like to discuss?

We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.

John Locke

Evil is unspectacular and always human
And shares our bed and eats at our own table.

W.H. AUDEN, Herman Melville