Trespassing in the uncanny valley 

Friday, 4 March, 2016

More than 40 years ago, the pioneering Japanese roboticist, Mashahiro Mori, created the term “uncanny valley”. What does it mean?  Here goes: People will respond positively to a robot with a human appearance, said Mori, but when robots get too close to being life-like without attaining life, the thing that was endearing becomes repellent. 

The dilemma for robot makers today is that they may have to enter the uncanny valley to create machines that evoke empathy instead of disgust.

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