UNCANNY VALLEYThe uncanny valley is a hypothesis (byJapanese roboticist Doctor MasahiroMori) in the ﬁeld of robotics and 3Dcomputer animation, which holds thatwhen human replicas look and actalmost, but not perfectly, like actualhuman beings, it causes a responseof revulsion among human observers
UNCANNY VALLEYThe name captures the idea that analmost human-looking robot willseem overly "strange" to a humanbeing, will produce a feeling ofuncanniness, and will thus fail toevoke the empathic responserequired for productive human-robotinteraction.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLEIf we were to see a dead body wewould know that the form andlikeness of the ﬁgure was human, butthe pale skin and and empty eyestrigger the brain enacting a responsethat something is not quite right.
PIXAR AND THEUNCANNY VALLEYWhen Pixar screened a computer-animatedshort ﬁlm called "Tin Toy" in 1988, testaudiences hated the sight of thepseudo-realistic baby named "Billy" whoterrorized the toys. Such a strong reactionpersuaded Pixar to avoid making uncannilyrealistic human characters
Tin Toy, 1988 Pixar human characters"Anyone who thinks that emulating reality is theHoly Grail is not a great animator. Because the goalisnt to emulate humans. The goal is to create worksof art and to tell stories."Pixar co-founder and President Ed Catmull
ZOMBIESUp to a point, we ﬁnd human-likecharacteristics appealing and evenendearing in robots and animatedcharacters (think C-3PO and BartSimpson). But when theirappearance—particularly that of theirface—becomes almost life-like, weoften ﬁnd them eerie, andzombie-like.
"Tintin looks simultaneously too human and not human atall, his face weirdly fetal, his eyes glassy and vacant insteadof bursting with animated life." New York Magazine
COULROPHOBIA (FEAR OF CLOWNS)According to a psychologyprofessor at California StateUniversity, Northridge, youngchildren are "very reactive to afamiliar body type with anunfamiliar face".In July 2006, the Bestival, had to withdraw a requestto festival goers to come dressed as clowns due tothe unexpectedly high prevalence of claimedcoulrophobia among the potential audience