Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Uncanniest Valley

Are all my readers familiar with the concept of the Uncanny Valley? Essentially, people are generally attracted to other people, and to things that resemble human beings such as Cabbage Patch dolls or vaguely humanoid robots, except for things that are a little too close to human, but still clearly not; this is the "Uncanny Valley". The phenomenon is a way of explaining the otherwise inexplicable revulsion people feel toward creepy-realistic porcelain dolls, clowns, zombies, corpses, and lifelike robots. Meanwhile, certain line of modern technology seems to be dead-set on plumbing the deepest depths of the Uncanny Valley, creating abominations like this:

This thing needs to be destroyed. (HT Mike Elgan). Also, is it just me, or does it look like a creepy android Paul Dano (who is himself wandering awfully close to the brink of the Uncanny Valley)?

1 comment:

Elephantschild said...

That's an abomination. I imagine that's what gholas are like.

More than androids, though, I'm leery of a malevolent AI entity emerging from the depths of the web.

Not for nothing does SciFi handle that premise in so many books!