A really big truck


Ever wished your IM buddy icon looked more like you? Go to Abistation and try out the free Portrait Illustrator Maker, which lets you customize about 20 different vectors of your face and head. That icon above is the closest I could come to illustrating myself, though I’m not thrilled with the hair (a little too weirdly spiky on top) and the mouth (I look like a smug Great Ape).

Having said that, it’s an interesting gloss on my recent column about the Uncanny Valley — the robotocist theory stating that as emulations of humans become increasingly realistic, they become increasingly unsettling. Would a hyper-realistic CGI version of me look more true to life than the one above? Or would it look kind of creepy, because it’d look like an animation of my corpse? Is it possible one could get a better sense of my personality by looking at a highly stylized cartoon version of “me,” like the one above?

Assuming I didn’t look so freaking self-satisfied, of course.

(Thanks to Chris Shieh for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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