The Uncanny Valley

The Uncanny Valley is not a place, but a feeling. A discomforting feeling of experiencing something human-like, but not human, scary. The effect was first introduced by a Japanese roboticist named Masahiro Mori in  the 1970's and ranges from positive to negative to positive again.

From Wikipedia
Mori's hypothesis states that as a robot is made more humanlike in
its appearance and motion, the emotional response from a human being to
the robot will become increasingly positive and empathic,
until a point is reached beyond which the response quickly becomes that
of strong repulsion. However, as the appearance and motion continue to
become less distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response
becomes positive once more and approaches human-to-human empathy
levels. This area of repulsive response aroused by a robot with appearance
and motion between a "barely-human" and "fully human" entity is called
the uncanny valley. The name captures the idea that a robot which is
"almost human" will seem overly "strange" to a human being and thus
will fail to evoke the empathetic response required for productive
interaction.

Here's just how fast it's getting real from this year's Game Developer Conference and the Avatar technology from Mova

 


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