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Uncanny Valley

The uncanny valley is a term used to describe the feeling of unease that people experience when they encounter an AI or robot that is almost human.

What is the uncanny valley?

The uncanny valley is a term used to describe the feeling of unease that some people experience when they encounter an artificial intelligence or robot that is almost, but not quite, human.

This feeling is thought to be caused by the mismatch between our expectations and the reality of the AI or robot's appearance and behavior. The result is a sense of unease, or even fear, that can be difficult to shake.

While the term was originally coined in reference to robots, it can also apply to other types of artificial intelligence, such as digital assistants or chatbots.

What is uncanny valley?

Why is it called uncanny valley?

The name comes from a graph that shows how people's feelings of familiarity and comfort toward something decrease as it becomes more and more like a real person.

The valley part of the graph comes from the dip in the curve that represents this decrease in comfort levels. Things that fall into the uncanny valley can appear oddly familiar, but also slightly off, which can create a feeling of unease or even revulsion.

Uncanny Valley


Did you know? 🤯

Not all AI or robots fall under the “uncanny valley” umbrella.

Read about the future of synthetic media and realistic AI avatars to find out why:



Related terms

AI Avatar

An AI avatar is a digital representation of a human in the online space. ‘AI’ indicates that the avatar is powered by artificial intelligence.

Synthetic Actor

A synthetic actor is a computer-generated character that is used to represent a real person in a digital environment.

Synthetic Media

Synthetic media is a catch-all term to describe video, image, text, or voice that has been fully or partially generated using artificial intelligence.