Sunday, August 22, 2010

Canny Valleys

The concept of the "uncanny valley" has come to my attention.  The phrase was invented by a Japanese robotics scientist, Masahiro Mori.  The definition we find in wikipedia, that bastion of belief that anonymous contributors are reliable, and personal knowledge irrelevant, is : 

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 phenomenon is meant to explain the revulsion felt by people when contronted by a robot which is very human, but not fully human, looking.  Well, you can read the article as well as I can. What interested me was that perhaps we should call this a "canny valley," or perhaps, "uncanny peak." Because this revulsion may derive from the reminder,  a robot presents, a reminder that makes a person  forcibly glance at, this: his own mechanical, robotic, MIND. 

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