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uncanny valley Line breaks: un|canny 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
  • In a way, the uncanny valley starts to pose a problem too.
  • The technical accomplishments of Avatar were seriously amazing (leaping over the uncanny valley with ease, legitimizing three dimensionality, for instance), and it really is this generation's Star Wars, terrible PCness and all.
  • A similar psychological dissonance might color your opinion of "Gene(sis)," a traveling exhibit of genetics-themed artworks now at the Weisman that doubles as a disquieting stroll through an 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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