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uncanny valley Syllabification: un·can·ny val·ley

Definition of uncanny valley in English:


Used in reference to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bearing a near-identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it: anyone attempting to build a believable human facsimile also has to beware of the uncanny valley
More example sentences
  • There are no moments of physics-defying action or characters who reside in the uncanny valley.
  • Luckily, a number of practical and technological advances are allowing developers to span the Uncanny Valley in video games.
  • Beautifully scripted interactions between characters, enhanced by massive advances in facial mapping, has created the possibility of something heading for the other side of the Uncanny Valley.


1970s: from a translation of Japanese bukimi no tani, coined by the roboticist Masahiro Moti, who created a graph that plotted the emotional response of a human being to a robot against the increase in the perceived realism of a robot; the graph showed a significant dip at the point where the robot's resemblance to a human is perceived to be almost exact.

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