The Uncanny Valley
By user12652314 on Mar 06, 2008
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.
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.
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