Talk:Uncanny valley

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early discussion[edit]

Removed sentences below: Weasel language without factual proof or references.

Critics argue, however, that there has been no evidence in animation or filmmaking for the existence of the Uncanny Valley, even though movie effects have gradually developed to the point when humans are digitally rendered realistically and without evoking negative emotions from the viewers. Proponents of this view argue that nowhere between 1970s and 2000s have moviemakers actually faced the challenge of the Valley.

--Himasaram 10:13, 19 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The principle also furnishes an explanation of the phenomenon in movies (particularly animation) by which anthropomorphic cartoon animals (which have only limited humanlike features) are perceived as cute and cuddly, whereas such creatures as zombies (which are more humanlike without being fully human) incite disgust, since the latter fall into Uncanny Valley [1]

Reference to zombies removed, because the linked article is completely irrelevant. Only the title mentions the zombies and the rest of the article is purely about Uncanny Valley without references to cinematography. There is no evidence that zombies are inherently disgusting. The real reason is probably that zombies are designed to be disgusting, while cuddly animals are designed to be cuddly. There was no shortage of appealing and attractive zombies, though. Just recently we saw Frankenstein's monster in Van Helsing, who was not particularly disgusting.

which seem human-like enough to be "real" without arousing revulsion.

What does that actually mean? It's easy to make computer animated characters to be human-like enough - it's possible with any degree with realism and at any realism level we had successful movies. I don't remember any revulsion-inducing character making to the screen, by the way. And if we are talking about rendering 100% realistic humans, the problem was not Uncanny Valley, it's lack of processing power (both for render and for editing).

Paranoid 14:00, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I removed the following text by

Ultra-realistic CGI characters are well received. For example, the character of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy has earned praise for its lifelike features and expressions. Earlier attempts at CGI did not fare as well. Consider Max Headroom, a 1980s-era partially computer-rendered character that combined the face of actor Matt Frewer with a plastic-looking computer graphics coiffure. A digital stutter was intentionally added to Max's voice, in order to simulate a bug in his speech algorithm. Mr. Headroom was a popular character, but only because of his witty dialog. Imagine what would happen if Max was cast in a serious dramatic role: the entire production would be met with derision. Max Headroom's not-quite-human attributes definitely made him a denizen of the Uncanny Valley.

Reason: no evidence provided that Max Headroom was an example for Uncanny Valley. Google search doesn't show any evidence either. And the pics of Max I found were not scary or revulsive at all. Paranoid 21:50, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Actually, Max Headroom was not computer generated at all. They faked it with special makeup, a fibreglass suit, adjusted lights and hand-drawn backgrounds. Later they switched to computer-generated backgrounds; everything else stayed the same. 07:12, 5 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Uncanny Valley, CA?[edit]

I was tickled by the idea of an actual place called Uncanny Valley, but I'm not sure it exists. A quick web search for Uncanny Valley, CA brings up an off beat travel guide and some speculation about Uncanny Valley being where the new Sunmaid raisins girl comes from. Nothing on line points to a real place. SamuellusSoccus 19:14, 14 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. I'm removing it. If someone can find a relaible mention of it then we can put it back. -Will Beback · · 20:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Roger Ebert[edit]

I removed reference to Ebert, because he applies the concept indiscriminately and it's not like there are many examples. Basically it's just Gollum and various unrelated crap like bad makeup in White Chicks. His comments on Gollum are not really well stated or particularly smart (see some critique here: [2]). Paranoid 22:52, 26 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Paranoid, I realize you are very much a critic of the Uncanny Valley, but I very much believe that the opinions of someone as well-known as Ebert deserve to be in the article. Please add supporting material for criticisms, but removal of the comment wholesale based on your opinion that he does not apply correctly is not the correct move. Certainly he has written about it, and advocates the notion. I consider myself neutral overall on the notion, but I certainly don't agree with your characterization of Ebert's comments. -- Decumanus 00:04, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I think these words "It seems to be more accepted wisdom than established fact" characterise very well the situation, including Ebert's comments. First, Ebert doesn't "advocate" the notion of the Uncanny Valley - he just claimed that it has some relevance, and that Gollum actually is a counterexample! According to Ebert, Gollum is not in the Uncanny Valley. Then Ebert referred to the theory in his other reviews, one of them being the review of White Chicks. I haven't seen the movie, but it appears that there are no CGI characters there. Ebert argued that bad makeup is an example of Uncanny Valley, which is a load of claptrap, regardless of how you feel about the UV in general.
Right now the comment about Ebert is actually false for several reasons:
  • he does not advocate the notion, he just used it several times
  • Gollum is a counterexample to the UV
  • Ebert gives no arguments, so his position is no better than anyone's else.
I am removing it for the time being for the above reasons, but I am not opposed to putting something back in - I just don't think we can salvage anything worthy of inclusion from Ebert's reviews. Paranoid 07:45, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Ebert talks about the notion quite a bit on his television show, which is widely watched in the United States. I have heard him mention it at least three different times on television. His opinion is notable more than others because he is the most widely known and arguably most well-respected film critic in the United States. His opinion is not scientific, but artistic, but it is nonetheless valid by his stature. I am putting someting back in regard to that. Also I am not as convinced as you are that Gollum is a counterexample, but I will wait until I can find the original review. I seem to recall that he said the opposite. He wrote a splendid article about the Uncanny Valley last January, stating that he believes it exists [3]. Unfortunately his website with his archived reviews is down right now, with only his recent ones available. I think "advocate" here simply means he believes it exists, which is a true statement. Nevertheless, I have adjusted the statement again, simply to state that he he believes it exists and has cited in his film reviews. Both are true statements. I trust you will find this acceptable. Also I'm not as convinced as you are that it the Uncanny Valley does not apply to live action/make-up etc. That seems actually closer to Mori's original work than does CGI. -- Decumanus 07:55, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Right now [4] there can be no doubt that that passage is a true statement (two statements). The question is what does that say about Uncanny Valley. I dare suggest that this is just another illustration that the idea has become a pseudoscientific hypothesis accepted without proof because it is just a very fit meme. Ebert is in no position to argue one way or another about Uncanny Valley, because it is not a matter of belief, it is a matter of fact. People either react negatively to CGI characters that have X amount of realism, or they don't. Ebert certainly has not done any research, he just (IMO) likes the term, likes the idea and tosses it around to sound smart (as he must do being a film critic). The available evidence (easily found on any LOTR site) clearly demonstrates that people did, in fact, like Gollum a lot and that Gollum's (Serkis') performance is often considered the best in the 2nd film (may be not entirely seriously, but still).
I think that if we actually want to include the sentence that you edited [5] in the article, this should not be done in the context of "there is no evidence, but Roger Ebert believes it's still true", but after explaining in a separate paragraph that the Uncanny Valley hypothesis became quite popular in the public consciousness (give some reasons/explanations for that, cited by David Hanson in his Wired PopSci [6] interview) and give an example of a film critic who refers to it regardless of how relevant it is.
As for the make-up, I am not arguing that it doesn't apply, I am just saying that it's an entirely different matter from the CGI characters and that there was ZERO amount of research done on that subject and the only "evidence" we have is a offhand comment by Ebert. Paranoid 10:54, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Paranoid, I think you made very important point, about the mutation about the idea into something beyond the original scope. I must disagree with you, however, that the statement serves no purpose. I think NPOV of the article is well served by including it. Perhaps you are correct, that the Uncanny Valley is now more a belief than a scientific fact. Even if that were true, I still believe the article should mention Ebert's comments. People reading the article will see that he is a film critic and give that evidence the weight they feel it deserves (or not). If they believe, like you, that it is of no weight, they will take as it such. It is simply that Ebert is famous (in the U.S. st least) and he has written more than an offhand comment. He is probably the person who has spoken about it the most (in the U.S.) and has written an essay about it that was widely circulated in the media (but is not currently available on his web site, but I assume will be again). If you ask someone in the U.S. if they have heard of the Uncanny Valley, they might likely say that they heard about it from him. Months later after his January column, which discussed it at length, I hear other people on television talking about, most likely because they heard it from him.
Your statement that the sentence serves no purpose or is irrelevant is your (strong) opinion, which I respect, but nonetheless it is your opinion. Also, stating there is "no evidence" for that is your opinion too. One could possibly argue that if it were not true with make-up, etc., then it would not have become so popular, because it would not haved gained status as a "meme." That is, if it did not contain some truth, then why has it become so popular? Is this scientific tested evidence? Of course not. Yet it might be taken as evidence by someone else with a different opinion than yours. I am certainly not willing to discount it as evidence. I think it would be more NPOV to say that this variation of the Uncanny Valley has not been scientifically tested (I am trusting you that this is true). Someone like you who believes that this kind of evidence is the only kind that matters, and not the opinions of a prominent film critic, can make up his or mind based on that.
I think it's worth adding a sentence to that regard, which I'll do. -- Decumanus 15:39, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

With all due respect, Decumanus, this is bullshit. You take a single comment about some trash (White Chicks film), which I am not sure you even read instead of relying on my words, and you twist this into "a wider application in popular culture". As two prominent (albeit with a psychotic twist) American magicians would tell, this is bullshit!.

Removed text:

In recent years, the Uncanny Valley has taken on a wider application in popular culture in reference to the make-up and costumes of humanoid characters in movies and television. Prominent American film critic Roger Ebert has popularized this notion by stating his belief in the existence of the Uncanny Valley and citing it in several of his movie reviews. There is, however, no scientific evidence to support this application of the principle.

Please cite your sources for these facts. And if there are no sources, there is no place at Wikipedia for our personal fantasies.

P.S. I will reply to your last comment when I calm down a bit. ;) Paranoid 19:18, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Paranoid, I am beginning to find your comments somewhat insulting, with your use of profanity and labeling of my position as a "personal fantasy." This is bordering on a personal attack. I am simply seeking a neutral way of expressing this, but I suspect you will not accept any mention of this. I am putting this on Wikipedia:Requests for comment to get others involved in this. I believe Ebert's comments are worth mentioning. My evidence here is personal observation. In the last year, I have heard the term "Uncanny Valley" on television quite a bit. It is definitely a buzzword lately, perhaps used incorrectly. It is not always possible to cite a web source to support something that is seen on television. Thus I am putting back in an altered version, hoping you will find it acceptable:
Recently American film critic Roger Ebert has applied the Uncanny Valley to the use of make-up and costumes of humanoid creatures in movies. There is yet, however, no scientific evidence to support this
But it looks like we will at this a long, long time. I suspect you will not accept any compromise on this but complete removal. I hope I am incorrect in this. Like I said, I respect your position about the Uncanny Valley. I am intrigued by it and have my doubts as well. But I think the article should balanced. It has definitely become a meme, as you say. I think it worth mentioning how it has evolved, even if applied incorrectly and erroneously. I feel the wording right now is a good expression of that. Why not accept this version? -- Decumanus 19:58, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I am aware that my comments were somewhat insulting, that's why I apologized in advance. But I am not opposed to compromise and expansion of the article in the direction of mentioning RE's comments in some way. What I was extremely opposed to was blatantly wrong statements and using logical fallacies, such as appeal to authority (calling RE "prominent" - this is irrelevant here, whether he is prominent or not).
I will now explain my discomfort with the make up bit. Simply put, this is a load of crap. How shall UV be applied? Does RE imply that by taking a woman with horrible make up and gradually fixing it with a help of a professional makeup artist there will be a moment when she will be even more terrifying than in the start? Or that if we take a woman without makeup at all and again, a professional makeup artist will start adding it, she will become scary and horribly deformed, just before adding a tiny little bit more makeup she will make her beautiful again? That does not compute. Total bullshit, as I said.
The fact that a prominent film critic is retarded enought not to know a tiniest bit about mathematics, about plotting a graph, about scientific method, about what evidence is, etc. may be worth describing in the encyclopedia, but not in the way you did before.
I have nothing against mentioning that it's a buzzword and explaining that many people use it incorrectly, just like they think that relativity theory says "all is relative". I also agree with you 100% that "it [is] worth mentioning how it has evolved, even if applied incorrectly and erroneously". Absolutely. I don't think the current wording is perfect, but, unlike what you wrote before, I don't think it's horrible either. :)
A good source to check on the UV's "buzzword"/"myth" status would be this interview [7].
Paranoid 20:26, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
As I promised, I read your earlier comment. :) The most important objection is that we are not even justified to argue whether there is enough evidence for the make up UV or not, because it makes no sense at all. Homeopathy makes sense. It is bullshit, it contradicts everything we know about nature and it was proven false, but it makes some sense. UV for make up, as I explained above, doesn't. That is why presenting Ebert's ham-fisted attempts at reasoning as anything other than ignorant use of the term he doesn't understand, would be deeply wrong. Paranoid 20:33, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)
OK. I accept your prior in-advance apology. I understand your objections to Ebert's use of the term, although I don't really agree with all your criticisms of him (I'm sure he is used to criticisms like that by now). I think the issue is whether or not one can discuss the term in a purely scientific way or not. As a scientist, I certainly understand your point of view about the dangers of false science. I also cannot tell you how Ebert would reply to question, since I am not him, and I do not wish to argue on his behalf. Certainly he may well have a good reply. I am also not putting his comments forth as evidence in favor of the Uncanny Valley (appeal to authority) but rather mentioning them as part of the cultural phenomenon of the use of the term, which I believe to exist from personal observation (and in which I believe authority is indeed worth mentioning). In any case, I'm glad that you accept this wording and hope we can settle on this. I don't particularly care to expand on it. I also just sent Ebert an email hoping he will provide a link to his original article or clarify his opinion, but I know he gets thousands of emails every week. In any case, I'm happy with the way it is worded now. Like I said, I see you have quite strong opinions,which I respect. I would certainly be interested in reading more criticisms of the Uncanny Valley from a scientific perspective. -- Decumanus 21:01, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Couldn't you guys have comprimised right from the get-go? I'm saddened that what should be a process of give-and-take devolved into name-calling and cries of "bullshit!" Like a usage panel in a dictionary, an enclopedia should not DEFINE terms, but merely report on how terms are defined in actual, real-world usage. This whole argument could be settled thusly: "Some argue that the principles of the Uncanny Valley concept can be applied in other fields, such as film and animation criticism. The film critic Roger Ebert has applied the Uncanny Valley to the use of make-up and costumes of humanoid creatures in movies. However, there has not been any significant scientific study of the concept in subjective, artistic fields."

It wasn't that simple... Paranoid 09:08, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

In my humble opinion the comments of some figure in popular culture on the topic does not belong in an article covering a scientific topic of human psychology.

Now someone has added the comments of some cartoonist to the page too.

The article ought to focus on the research of the scientific community on this topic.

I have removed the cartoonist reference as it is utterly irrelevant, and more akin to some sort of cyber-graffiti/web site traffic generation scheme. Mattlach 16:55, 14 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that the reference is valid, as it is probably the most succinct definition on the phenomenon I've ever read.----Enigmatick 15:44, 18 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Roger Ebert's use of this term certainly belongs in Wikipedia. Even if an individual writer may be of the opinion that Ebert's definition is a divergent one. Encyclopedias and dictionaries, at their best, never prescribe, they describe. And no encyclopedia worth its salt ever proscribes. Forbidding specific usages or forbidding knowledge simply aren't the purpose of references. Nor should they be. Nobody owns the English language–and it seems to be taking care of itself all right without a European-style academy to police it. Likewise, Wiki would be the less if every divergent opinion resulted in an attempt to silence or exclude. Deleting entire sections seems extreme and misguided.

A prescriptive approach would be to say: "Only X's use is correct. There are these other uses, but they're wrong."

A proscriptive approach would be to say: "Only X's use is deemed original and correct by Mr. Y. Therefore, he's deleting all other texts for your own good."

The descriptive approach, traditional at least since Samuel Johnson crafted the first truly successful dictionary of the English language, would be to say: "The term originated in... The most frequently used meaning is A. The second most frequently used meaning is B. Etc."

Rather than engaging in name-calling (with or without apologies––and some would say an "apology in advance" is no apology but a waste of good electrons ), it's clear that Wiki readers would be best served by efforts to define how this term is evolving in psychology, in robotics and in film criticism. If these term were widely divergent, the differences could be handled as a disambiguation in separate articles. However, that does not seem to be the case here. These usages all involve a negative reaction to a not entirely life-like rendering. That's far less distinction than say the use of the term "inflation" in cosmology, economics, and pneumatics, where a single term is used for three entirely different phenomena, and for which disambiguation would be fully appropriate.

Academia has long since incorporated the notion that distinctions between "high culture" and "low culture" are problematic at best. The writer's comment about "some figure in popular culture" is dismissive, but in a wider critical context profoundly naive. There are no insuperable, impermeable walls between the sciences and other disciplines. All disciplines profoundly influence each other. For example, the very word "robotics" which the writer above privileges as somehow higher than, or removed from, pop cultural comment did not even originate in the sciences:

"The acclaimed Czech playwright Karel Capek (1890-1938) made the first use of the word ‘robot’, from the Czech word for forced labor or serf. Capek was reportedly several times a candidate for the Nobel prize for his works and very influential and prolific as a writer and playwright. The use of the word Robot was introduced into his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) which opened in Prague in January 1921." [1]

As to Roger Ebert, whether or not an individual writer shares a high regard for Ebert's obvious intelligence, encyclopedic film knowledge or lexical correctness is immaterial. It is a fact that Ebert is widely regarded as one of the most cogent living film critics as evidenced by his success in all print and electronic media. Granted that does not make Ebert an expert in robotics! But it certainly makes him a highly articulate and influential opinion leader. He has used this term many times in film appreciation, most recently in his critique of the film "Avatar." [2] It stands to reason that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of regular readers will pick up this term from Eberts' use of it in this review alone. Many of them will likewise appropriate it for cinematic discussions. It stands to reason that at least some of those readers will turn to Wikipedia as an aid to further understanding the meaning that they have abstracted from Eberts' context: his meaning.

Wiki is ill served by deleting it.

Un Mundo (talk) 18:20, 1 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Bad Y-Axis, Stupid Graph[edit]

Shouldn't the Y-Axis be labeled "Empathetic response" (or maybe "Emotional connection"), as the text describes? It doesn't describe the degree of emotion, but rather the positiveness of it.

Maybe just empathy, if someone agrees, I'll do a SVG version with the correction. --Peewack 06:10, 7 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also think that "Familiarity" is the wrong label for the y-axis. For instance, I could be quite familiar ("+" on current y-axis) with my extremely creeped-out reaction to a humanoid... which should be "-" on the y-axis. "Empathy" is better, but is a very specific emotion, and revulsion isn't its antonym. I'd suggest "Emotional response," keeping the +/- markers. -- Xwordz (talk) 04:30, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed, the Y axis label is misleading, regardless of the overall usefulness of the graph. In the 2005 paper by MacDorman, the translation of Mori's original text says "our sense of their familiarity increases until we come to a valley" and "if we plot these industrial robots on a graph of familiarity versus appearance' but to me that does not make a lot of sense since familiarity is essentially what is already on the X axis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 5 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personally, I think the whole graph is ridiculous. And the examples pointless and arbitrary. Though I really like the concept of this article.

Seconded the graph being problematic - I cannot particularly see why a Bunraku puppet is aesthetically pleasing because it looks virtually identical to a real human (and has gone beyond simply an 'uncomfortable resemblance' while the many/some/one character in The Spirits Within, Polar Express and Beowful should fall into the Uncanny Valley because they look slightly less like a real human.
Although I cannot articulate precisely how, I also feel there is some connection between Uncanny Valley and computer created graphics to a greater extent than for "real objects". For example, it's interesting to think that in spite of an extremely large range of "baby dolls" for children, the set of which could be called continuous from 'least lifelike' to 'almost real-looking' none in particular of these arouse revulsion in adults. Could unnatural movement be the key? (talk) 13:28, 30 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Polar Express[edit]

I removed a link to rotten tomatoes reviews of The Polar Express. Although I incorporated a small note in the section on computer animation, some may view this removal as my bias against the UV theory. So let me assure you that it is not, it's just my bias against sensationalism and insincere reporting of facts. Yes, there was at least one review [8] that called the CGI effects "more frightening than endearing", but

  1. This is just one reviewer (there are several other reviewers who express similar concerns about creepiness [9][10][11], but most reviewers disagree). Uncanny Valley is about average reaction of a statistically significant number of people, so unless a large fraction of film critics or general movie-goers perceives the animated characters as creepy, there is no support for the Uncanny Valley theory.
  2. Kids under 18 years rate the film 9.3 [12] (though there are too few voters yet). If UV theory was correct, they would have strong negative emotions. As it turns out, only adults (30-44) rate it low, suggesting that this has nothing to do with our fundamental human reactions to non-perfect human renditions.

I have a very strong suspicion (again) that when someone doesn't like an animated work, he starts rationalising this dislike by appealing to the Uncanny Valley theory. Again, even though something needs to be written about it (come to think of it, I probably should add something along these lines, although that would be only my speculation, so it isn't good either...) Paranoid 21:00, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • yet another reviewer saying "But upon close contemplation of the characters here, [...], another word creeps into mind: eerie" [13]
  • and another "'Polar Express' derails in zombie land" [14]
  • another: "the characters are never more than likable zombies." [15]
  • another: "Far from charming, they're actually kind of creepy." [16]
  • "There's something creepy about the humans' faces, particularly the hollow eyes." [17]
  • "the animated human characters look decidedly odd at times" [18]

this is starting to look like a significant fraction to me.

IMDB now rates it at 7.5 for under-18s, 6.9 overall. *shrug* -- smurfix 07:28, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
The question is not whether there are reviewers who repeat the same claim, the question is does it support the theory of Uncanny Valley or not. It is well known that there is a number of people, who oppose CGI. They opposed the idea of computer animation, before Pixar and Dreamworks showed that it's here to stay. They opposed Final Fantasy, they opposed Sky Captain, they oppose any technological development that is not live action. This is a relatively common sentiment that has nothing to do with actual quality of the CGI. These folks routinely use epithets like "plastic", "wooden", etc. when talking about animated characters, and after the hypothesis of Uncanny Valley was popularised by Ebert (as Decumanus explained), they started talking about zombies. This has nothing to do with the actual measurable reaction of the viewers.
Wikipedia strives to include only quality information, preferably from peer-reviewed scientific journals. We all ignore this often and include facts in the articles, which are just what we heard somewhere. I know I do it sometimes without looking up a reference. But this article is a very good example of why we should be very careful. Just because some reviewers claim that characters are creepy, doesn't mean they necessarily are. There is no question that they aren't photorealistic, it wasn't the goal. The question is whether human emotional reaction to such unrealistic characters is predominantly negative. We don't have the proof that viewers have such reaction.
We must also be very careful about taking what reviewers write at face value. For example, opening 2 random reviews for a random film at RT, we find bits like "If Alfie were to get run over by a bus or catch a social disease, you probably wouldn't care in the slightest", "Law makes his Alfie ... too adorable, too nice, to elicit anything more than a yawn". These are obviously overstatement. It's not like reviewers really think that viewers will not feel anything towards the main character, who really goes through some emotional hardships, nor do they think that a scene of Alfie dying hit by a bus would not elicit any emotional response. But the reviewer feel compelled to exaggerate in order to make a stronger impact on the readers, make them like the review and buy the newspaper next time. Paranoid 09:51, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I mostly agree, except about the creepiness. Reviewers are people too, and there's no objective measure for creep, so if a reviewer says that we get to take this, as one person's opinion of course, at face value. smurfix 07:28, July 18, 2005 (UTC)
That's just because there is no scientific definition of "creep". Emotional response can be measured by a polygraph and interpreted. - Soulkeeper (talk) 09:52, 8 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One of the problems with the polar express is the perception that it's supposed to look realistic. Unfortunately, that concept has pervaded the public perception of the movie, but it was NEVER true. The characters are not supposed to look "real". They're supposed to look like the paintings from the original book, which they "do". Fade (talk) 15:25, 8 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ebert on The Polar Express[edit]

Not that I think Roger Ebert is an expert on Uncanny Valley, but for what it's worth, here is what he says about this film [19]:

The characters in "The Polar Express" don't look real, but they don't look unreal, either; they have a kind of simplified and underlined reality that makes them visually magnetic.

Not that it proves or disproves anything, but I thought some of you may be interested. Paranoid 10:07, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Polar Express vs Incredibles[edit]

two interesting related links.

Here's a web page on the Incredibles and how it avoids the Uncanny Valley.

and this: LATimes: The Race for Best Picture Grows Animated

Horn, the studio chief, said he was frustrated by the reviews. [...]

"I want to say, 'Excuse me, do you think the eyes of the characters in Pixar's movies — are they dead eyes? They aren't real, human eyes,' " Horn said.

To which I would answer that the Pixar eyes are animated by humans with great experience in capturing and exaggerating nuances of human expression, rather than relying on automated motion capture. He doesn't get why Pixar is better at this.

Stripping of references[edit]

You may not agree with the arguments presented in the article or the references supporting them, but stripping sources from an article is fundamentally bad. PARTICULARLY the actual book about the subject! See Wikipedia:Cite sources - David Gerard 12:43, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)


this article could use some images. like asimo or aibo or something? maybe some animatronic movie characters? - Omegatron 02:33, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

How about this? I have no idea if licensing requirements are acceptable for Wikipedia, but the image seems to be a good example.

Proper citation of Mori's original work[edit]

Despite many citations, "The Buddha in the Robot" contains no mention at all of the uncanny valley - I've read it all!

The first use I've seen is in "Robots: Fact, Fiction, and Prediction" by Jasia Reichardt (1978), page 26-27. Unfortunately no clear citation is given there.

However, I understand that the original article was writen in Japanese and the proper citation is:

M. Mori, Bukimi no tani (the uncanny valley), Energy, Vol. 7, pp. 33–35, 1970.

This is given by Hiroshi Ishiguro, "Android Science - Toward a new cross-interdisciplinary framework" [20]

Dave Chatting 6 July 2005 23:16 (UTC)


How could this work possibly not be considered pseudoscience? There's an extremely complex curve on this graph. I don't have immediately access to the original work, or the ability to understand Japanese. How does it justify such a complex curve? What was the methodology used to gather the data? How did they quantify "anthropomorphism" independently from "emotional response"? How many samples were gathered? Are the results reproducible? These questions absolutely must be answered for any scientific work. If my assumption that they were ignored is correct, this is pseudoscience. -Slamb

I wouldn't call it "pseudoscience" so much as "an unproven hypothesis". It's an interesting notion that makes sense in a lot of ways, but there's not yet any way to put it to the test; it is neither verifiable nor falsifiable, and thus is speculative in nature. Once the technology catches up with the hypothesis, we'll be able to gather reliable data on it and see if the data confirms or contradicts the hypothesis. It would be like a caveman positing e=mc2 (well, not exactly, but just ignore the parts of the analogies that don't work): it's an interesting idea and worthy of further investigation, but can't be accepted as true until the science has advanced enough to test it. Though we can certainly talk about it and its potential implications (and flaws)! -Silence 21:33, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Given that the principle remains an unproven hypothesis for the time being, I think the sections {# 1 Valley of familiarity, # 2 Effects of movement, # 3 The significance of the uncanny} can be removed without any harm to the information content of the article. They attempt to demonstrate the principle with thought experiments, which really don't have much interest or explanatory power. The section on examples in film provides all the examples that should be necessary. -GRB.

That is much better, thanks. I'm tempted to go farther:
  • make the first sentence at least say that it is an unproven hypothesis, as Silence worded it.
  • add a notation to the graph's caption that it is based on a guess rather than data. (Now that there's a link to a translation of the original paper, I can see that it contains no experiment.)
  • add a section for doubts, noting that a paper which actually compared 22 data points (the David Hansen paper in the same symposium as the translation) concluded the phenomenon does not exist.
but I feel constrained by an attempt to show NPOV, even though I don't think the other viewpoint can be taken seriously. I think I'll at least do the first - the current wording endorses the point of view that this is valid. -Slamb 05:15, 15 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How is this unproven? Has no one seen taht Japanese robot that looks extremely similar to a woman and blinks and such? That certainly creeped me out (and that was before I ever heard of they Valley). Look it up and you'll probably be creeped out too. 12:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anecdotal evidence ("I was creeped out by this one robot") is quite different from scientific standards of proof. It's one thing to say "people seem to be creeped out by nearly-human robots"; it's another to put a name to it, make up an non-falsifiable theoretical basis, publish papers, and draw two third-degree polynomials based on seven fabricated data points without even proposing a way to measure the quantities you are graphing. It's pseudoscience. Is "Energy" (the original journal, apparently) even peer-reviewed? -Slamb 02:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you're looking for scientific research and not just anecdotal evidence: The makers of flight simulators have discovered that if the simulations are too real, the pilots in training would get motion sickness. Making the simulation more obviously fake fixed the problem. Unfortunately, I read this a long time ago and don't remember the source. (talk) 17:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To call this "pseudoscience" is to give it more credence than it deserves. From what is presented here, UV is just pure speculation. The opening paragraph calls UV a hypothesis but the article immediately attributes undue credence to it with the header "Theoretical basis" and then continues with various "theories" and explanations. Until something is proven, or at least has some basis in fact, one is speculating on fantasy. It is a waste of time to discuss various causes of a phenomena before establishing that the phenomena exists in the first place. The article fails to do that. As Slamb asks, "where is the data?" Something that makes "sense in a lot of ways" does not confirm existence. Nor does a plethora of people (or reviewers), discussing it. Science and history is rife with examples of "common sense" or "common knowledge" that was totally wrong. In reading the article, I had the distinct impression that Mori got an idea, threw some curves on a graph and called it "good" with no more basis in fact than the sex life of aliens. I don't know if the UV exists or not. What I am saying is before one speculates on the basis for a behavior, the behavior must be shown to exist. Otherwise one is blowing smoke. ArtKocsis (talk) 12:17, 16 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is far too much emotion and not enough objectivity in this discussion. The notion of the Uncanny Valley is neither a hard science nor is it pseudoscience; it falls under the field of psychology, which is a social science. As such, inter-subjective reports are relevant if collected in a wide enough sample under suitable conditions. I do agree with the objection over the word 'hypothesis' - the right word would be 'conjecture' ( Metamorphmuses (talk) 03:44, 18 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]



I spotted a bit of POV in here, don't know if anyone wants to have a go at fixing it. Here's the end of one paragraph.

Proponents of this view argue that nowhere between 1970s and 2000s have moviemakers actually faced the challenge of the Valley.

And here's the beginning of the next:

It is hard to ignore the Uncanny Valley effect in the 2001 movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within by the ill-fated Square Pictures.

It goes straight from saying that some refute that filmmakers have dealt with it, to stating as fact that it appears in the Final Fantasy film. If I were to try fixing it, I'd probably end up hacking out most of the paragraph, so I'll give someone else a go. - Vague | Rant 11:23, September 12, 2005 (UTC)

I added a counterpoint to the POV of not encountering it based on two of Pixar's films (one is a less known short one, which whilst on their site isn't made as apparent as you might expect). Again, the content is based on opinion, but I hope I made clear it's simply a counterpoint in the debate, not something that's been empirically studied. Feel free to move it around as you think necessary.Sir Brutus

I never had any problems with the Final Fantasy movie or The Flight of the Osiris. What a complete, steaming pile of horseshit. Final Fantasy just plain flopped, nothing more. Roger Ebert, who talks about the Uncanny Valley in his review of Team America: World Police said nothing about it in his (positive) review of Final Fantasy. Ebert: "She has an eerie presence that is at once subtly unreal and yet convincing. Her movements (which mirror the actions of real actors) feel about right, and her hair blows convincingly in the wind. The first closeup of her face and eyes is startling because the filmmakers are not afraid to give us a good, long look--they dare us not to admire their craft." Wow, he sounds truly disgusted there, doesn't he? Can anyone cite any sources that lead to any research on the uncanny valley and its relationship to this movie, or to the Polar Express? Any actual research, rather than speculation? Maybe--just a crazy guess here--The Incredibles did better because Pixar has a reputation for fun movies and the commercial showcasing a movie with a train that slides on ice and dancing waiters didn't generate the same kind of excitement.--SpacemanAfrica 04:39, 13 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm not sure, but I have the feeling that the middle paragraph is the source article for the Uncanny Valley, printed in full. Is this true? -- till we | Talk 11:20, 19 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think so, the source states that, "Copyright (c) 2005 Karl F. MacDorman and Takashi Minato. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2." This contribution was also made by User:Macdorman, presumably the article's author. -- Dave Chatting 18:42, 6 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Minato and I translated the work and posted the work, so I am not sure which copyright I am supposed to have violated. Masahiro Mori asked that the work be included in the workshop proceedings, so I listed it with your standard GNU CopyLeft notice. If I made an error, I will correct it. -- Karl MacDorman, November 10, 2005.

Analogies Outside AI[edit]

I don't know, it seems to me that this section isn't needed. It offers too little relevant information to be useful for someone trying to understand what the Uncanny Valley effect is, instead it just gives references that people have made to the effect. Unless someone disagrees, I'll remove it. MrC 05:28, 19 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The use of references is good, but we shouldn't just copy the original paper word-for-word, as this article appears to. The first person references, unusual style, and other anomalies ought to be fixed. --Explodicle 04:25, 26 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I removed the word 'mechas' and replaced with 'androids' in reference to AI:Artificial Intelligence. 'Mechas' is a Japanese anime term for a humanoid robot, the scientific term is 'android' (lit, man-like). --Sir Brutus

Translation of original article[edit]

I understand that the translation is GPL'd, but I imagine the original source text isn't; is this still ok? Either way, the material needs to be edited for a more encyclopedic tone or perhaps moved to WikiSource or something. TomTheHand 18:00, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You cannot simply strip Masahiro Mori's name from his article, or the names of the translators, and remove the use of the first person. If Mori said "watakushi" ("I"), we translated it as "I." If we had translated it as something else, it would have been a mistranslation.

If you cannot deal with translations of original works, paraphrase the material and be clear that the ideas are Mori's. Otherwise, remove the translated article.

By the way, the discussion of Mori has factual errors, both here and under his bibliographical entry. To my knowledge, he did not perform psychological experiments. The dependent axis in the graph is familiarity, not emotional response. --Macdorman 21:13, 29 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The translators released their translation under the GFDL, which as far as I know means that the document can be duplicated and modified in any way as long as the resulting document is GFDL'd as well. However, I wouldn't think you could translate a copyrighted work and then GFDL it. I listed this page on Wikipedia:Copyvio#December_28.2C_2005 but I really don't know enough about this stuff myself to make any kind of decision. It is unacceptable as-is, though. TomTheHand 21:20, 29 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In games[edit]

Feel free to add and re-write this section, someone tried to remove it. I feel it should stay seeing as computer and consoles are getting more and more powerful. We'll be seeing a lot of Uncanny Valley in games in the near future. Havok (T/C/c) 22:06, 18 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Wild[edit]

The following comes from Roger Ebert's review of Disney's The Wild, a computer-animated feature film. [21]

I doubt that many audience members will be disturbed by such matters, but I thought the movie's lip-synching was too good. The mouths of the characters move so precisely in time with their words that the cartoon illusion is lost, and we venture toward the Uncanny Valley -- that shadowy area known to robot designers and animators, in which artificial creatures so closely resemble humans that they make us feel kinda creepy. Lip-synching in animation usually ranges from bad to perfunctory to fairly good, and I think fairly good is as good as it should get. In "The Wild," it felt somehow wrong that the dialogue was so perfectly in synch.

I think The Wild is about as up for discussion as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, The Incredibles or The Polar Express as far what's artificial looking too real goes.

Category Errors[edit]

The uncanny valley is specifically about meeting robots in the real-world, not about the representation of humans in art, movies, or video games. I think many people are simply excusing 'bad animation' with the 'uncanny valley', and forgetting that reality and it's representation are two quite different phenomenon, and evoke very different responces.--Davémon 18:11, 13 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Minor Issue but lets hash it out.[edit]

Okay Robotman, while you're clearly on some kind of subversive mission from the government of the uncanny valley (dude totally kidding please don't freak out) the link to an explanation of the concept is totally acceptable. What are the fast majority of such links and external reading if not that? So what if this is a somewhat humorous version of the concept: Did you even read it? it explains the concept more concisely than the article? Thechosenone021 19:15, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Thechosenone021. Yes, I read the cartoon. I do think it's funny and I do think it makes a decent explanation of the topic. However, this Wikipedia article makes a far better explanation. I also think there are quite enough external links, and I'll state again that I don't believe that humourous explanations have a place in an encyclopedia. Humour is very subjective - possibly one of the most subjective forms of communication there is - and can easily be misunderstood, and to me one of the main reasons for the existence of an encyclopedia is to lessen misunderstanding. Thanks for choosing to discuss this, BTW. Robotman1974 19:44, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ergh. This is my least favorite part of wikipedia. You have a solid point about the wealth of other links, but I think we can trust people to deal with that. I mean, it just eats me up every day that so many things are not considered encyclopedic and yet there are just friggin' terabytes of data on the pokemon (not only that but they don't use modifiers that make the fictional nature of those things clear). I guess I should just be glad that I never make fiscal contributions. Whatever man. Take victory i'll drop it.Thechosenone021 23:41, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have to say, I wish the link was there. At the same time, it isn't what is traditionally called encylopedic. The best & easiest compromise I can come up with is to create an "Uncanny Valley in Pop Culture" section? Though there might be trouble populating it. Lets not look at victory or loss here, folks. We're all editors trying to get to the best possible result. As a reader of Dinosaur Comics, I certainly found the comic entertaining, but is it notable? Does it contribute to the over-all article other than as a point of trivia? I think not. Would a trivia section be of merit? That depends on whether or not there is enough of value to merit it. --mordicai. 02:52, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well dude like, I mean, its not trivia (or trivial), its not an example of the U.V. in pop culture (Static image dinos are not really horrfying, even when pixalated). Really it is an alternative explanation. There are only one or two other explanations on the external links.

Actually another suggestion I have regards the chart at the top, which should get some examples of positive valued stills like photography or, alternatively a painting. I don't know if the chart is CC. Thechosenone021 18:26, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well first I'll just say that my voice is just one among many. If enough people make reasonable arguments to have that image included among the external links, I'll abide by the consensus. I still stand by the points I made above though. Also, the other external links in this article may need to be pruned somewhat. I haven't looked through all of them yet as I haven't been watching this page for very long. I do have to disagree about the chart though. To me, that chart explains the concept better than any words can, and I agree with its inclusion and placement within the article. Finally, I'll say that I agree with what you said about Pokemon et al. But that's a topic for other discussion pages. Robotman1974 19:32, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh don't get me wrong. I think the chart is great. I was just thinking of adding some data points onto it.Thechosenone021 14:22, 2 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I misunderstood you on that point; I thought you were talking about the top of the article. Sorry about that. Robotman1974 16:20, 2 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There are five sources? And about five hundred weasel words. This article is in a sorry state, indeed. Kasreyn 02:38, 18 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also WP:OR. You're on Warren Ellis' e-mail list, aren't you? --Chris Griswold () 23:40, 18 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't find any weasel words in skimming over it. Can you provide some examples? --PsyphicsΨΦ 21:46, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't either. --Chris Griswold () 01:01, 21 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tag cleanup[edit]

I've removed the weasel tag, the OR, and the no references tag. I see no evidence of these, and there's no sign of discussion here to resolve any issues. If anyone wants to put them back, I'd like to see some discussion here about specifics. - CHAIRBOY () 07:07, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why do you think it is appropriate to remove tags like this? A discussion was begun just above this one just within the past day. Additionally, it may help to read the links in the templates so that you can better understand what we are talking about. If you would like examples or guidance, I am sure we can help you with those. --Chris Griswold () 09:16, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm also a wikipedia administrator, and I'm very aware of the relevant policies, so no 'guidance' is required. These tags are not 'fire and forget'. The assertion that there are no references is an error, there's a reference section at the bottom. The assertion that there are weasel words needs examples, I skimmed through it and failed to find any systemic weasel problem. Likewise the NOR claim. I'm not willing to engage in a revert war, but if there is no supporting evidence for those tags very soon, then the appropriate action is to remove them out again. - CHAIRBOY () 15:14, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Um, it wasn't "fire and forget". There is a discussion on the talk page. Anyone could simply ask for examples, and they would have been given. The references section is kind of useless, isn't it? The majority of the article seems to be uncited assertions. Not all of it, but quite a bit. I'm too busy right now to deal with this, but I will have to come back later and add individual fact tags. You handled this very poorly, however. I don't know why you thought it was better to remove the tags than ask for clarification, but that was rather poor behavior. --Chris Griswold () 21:44, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're entitled to your opinion, but removing tags that were entered without any substantive explanation is hardly poor behavior, and your message seems to quite heatedly assume poor faith. You're a new admin, I know, but your behavior here is out of line. I'd be willing to coach you if you'd like because something needs to change. Let's focus on the article. If the tags are to remain, we really need something substantive here about _why_ they're there. Drive-by tagging doesn't solve anything, it just clutters the project. - CHAIRBOY () 22:01, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't need coaching from you. I honestly don't think you know what you're talking about here. I'm sure your very good at some things, but this conversation does not appear to be one of them. As I said, when I have more time, I will come back and show you how your article should be changed. Finally, what we're talking about has nothing to do with being an administrator, so you can drop the status games.--Chris Griswold () 18:40, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Responded on user talk, this is no longer directly related to this article. - CHAIRBOY () 21:27, 20 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It has been said the best way to accomplish convincing human movements and to "jump" the Uncanny Valley in computer animation is to combine both motion capture and keyframing techniques.

Sounds like weasel-words to me. Motion capture is clearly not a good way to get around the Uncanny Valley, as anyone who has ever seen motion captured 3d will probably be able to tell you. If anything, motion capture (which is almost always used independent of physics models) only enhances the Valley.

Wording... productive?[edit]

In the introduction of the article, it reads: "The name captures the idea that a robot which is "almost human" will seem overly "strange" to a human being and thus will fail to evoke the requisite empathetic response required for productive human-robot interaction."

Why "productive"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Serialized (talkcontribs) 13:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I'm not sure how commenting works, but I have a question. In the Theoretical basis section, it says "This could explain why it is particularly disturbing for the human eye to see these humanlike entities engaging in sexual activity (see below)." I don't see the part it was referring to "below". Am I missing something, or is the article missing something?

I propose to include a link to/discussion of Polar Express[edit]

I propose we add (back) a section identifying the Polar Express movie as the best example yet of this phenomenon.

Googling "polar express hanks creepy" you get 41000(!) hits. Previous discussion have identified lots of critics using words suggesting they're experiencing the revulsion of Uncanny Valley.

Please don't demand that these critics should identify their revulsion as Uncanny Valley before we can include them. They might not even be aware of the phenomenon.

We should not have to wait until this movie becomes the subject of a scientific article.

Have a look at the "reaction" section of the movie's page: for a good text we could include. 09:04, 16 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Polar Express cost $170mil and has made over $300mil. You'd think fewer people would go and see such a creepy movie ;) (talk) 18:05, 27 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is no evidence Mori read Freud or Jansch[edit]

Masahiro Mori wrote in Japanese. The title of his work was "Bukimi no tani." Translators chose to translate "bukimi" as "uncanny," but they could have just as well translated it as "eerie." There is no evidence that Mori ever read or was influenced by Ernst Jentsch or Sigmund Freud.

Karl MacDorman (talk) 17:10, 7 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Broader context of attractiveness?[edit]

I wonder how the normal response to disfiguring tattoos, piercings, and mutilations is addressed by this concept.

To me it seems intuitively obvious that as something comes close to human form, it can have attractive or repulsive traits of human appearance. So it seems like the "valley" should only exist with certain approaches to human form and not others, depending on whether the un-humanness exaggerates positively or negatively perceived traits. Wnt (talk) 21:28, 6 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In another way at looking at this discussion, wouldn't tattoos, piercings, and mutilations move a healthy human towards the uncanny valley, or am I just reiterating Wnt is saying? As people modify their bodies they become less and less like a "healthy human being" and thus gives a sense of repulsion. Mo_yong246 16:20 23 February 2009
Interesting - that makes sense if you see that specific styles of body modifications are very often related to the association to specific social groups. Now, a modification that causes a repulsive effect, normally, will not inside the group, because there it's normal. Volker Siegel (talk) 06:18, 5 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "In popular culture" section[edit]

This section, with its reference to a 30 Rock episode that mentioned the uncanny valley, was removed. I think it belongs in the article, (a) because it's interesting and (b) because it's evidence of the term's entrance into mainstream consciousness. Korny O'Near (talk) 16:02, 11 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Popular Culture - Red Dwarf Trivia[edit]

I'm removing this section for the following reasons:

- It describes Red Dwarf as a Robotic UK sitcom. This seems to give a misleading idea of the series in general. - In Red Dwarf, Kryten states that earlier models of his line were identical in appearance to human beings, leading to massive unpopularity because people couldn't stand the idea of robots that looked just like people. This is not the Uncanny Valley in action, and therefore I believe this is an inappropriate reference.

Kurosau (talk) 16:50, 20 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Heavy Rain reference - spam?[edit]

The page linked to shows nothing uncanny and "Details about the story and gameplay of Heavy Rain itself remain scarce", so why is it referred to here. Remove it? (talk) 02:50, 28 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More Popular Culture[edit]

I believe there are many subtle references to the uncanny valley in many Japanese animation, notabily Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

- Throught out the series the think tanks, or Tachigoma, gathers data and developes personalities, to the point where they have a philosophical discussion on why the operators look human and why they are so inhuman in appearence. - There are also a few people who rejects androids and even a religion who rejects any body modification. Mo_yong246 4:35 23 Feb 2009

In Video Games[edit]

I have very often heard video game reviewers talk about the uncanny valley, check for example the Zero Punctuation on Oblivion or Gametrailer's review on Riddick: assault on Dark Athena. Is that at least worth a mention? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 8 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New research[edit]

"Human suspicion of realistic robots and avatars may have earlier origins than previously thought." See this BBC article. Copana2002 (talk) 16:45, 6 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Popular Mechanics investigation[edit]

In this story, the author notes the fact that the theory does not appear to be rooted in empirical observation. An interesting read, in any case. AniRaptor2001 (talk) 19:45, 25 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Link has changed to: Sofge, Erik (Jan 20, 2010). "The Truth About Robots and the Uncanny Valley: Analysis". Popular Mechanics. Jimw338 (talk) 03:42, 11 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not up to date[edit]

"Like Humans, Monkeys Fall Into The 'Uncanny Valley' " covers research mentioned on All Things Considered today. The ATC story also reports the idea that one of the Final Fantasy films -- i guess Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within -- lost money due to the UcV effect and killed the studio.
--Jerzyt 01:08, 6 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What valley?[edit]

While my mention of the following is, on my part, not only OR but very casual and unqualified OR, the facile use of a "valley" metaphor should set off alarms that i am surprised not to hear addressed beyond the "heterogene[ity]" comment that

The uncanny valley is a heterogeneous group of phenomena. Phenomena labeled as being in the uncanny valley can be diverse, involve different sense modalities, and have multiple, possibly overlapping causes, which can range from evolved or learned circuits for early face perception<ref>MacDorman & Ishiguro, 2006</ref><ref>MacDorman, Green, Ho, & Koch, 2009.</ref> to culturally-shared psychological constructs.<ref>MacDorman, Vasudevan & Ho, 2008.</ref> People's cultural backgrounds may have a considerable influence on how androids are perceived with respect to the uncanny valley.<ref>Bartneck Kanda, Ishiguro, & Hagita, 2007.</ref>

The "valley" is a 2-dimensional construct (despite the evocation of 3-D valleys), really amounting to a minimum that is implicit in the curve Mori drew, following unstated logic, thru the sparse data points. The graph depends on an incoherent (one suspects subjective) concept of a one-dimensional variable "lifelikeness", when in fact "positivity of human reaction" is bound to be a function of too many dimensions to really identify. Falling into a "valley" along one route as "lifelikeness" increases does not imply that there are no routes along which "human reaction" monotonically increases toward indiscernable difference from human. In fact, the David Hanson critique suggests to me that Mori's curve reflects nothing more or less than Mori inventing prematurely a scale that amounts to position in a series of approaches (reflecting perhaps only the order in which Mori or the studio chose to try adding new dimensions to the mix), as opposed to achieving objectively higher values of any more relevant single variable.
I'm anxious to hear what conclusions qualified researchers have been led to addressing the issues i have hinted at here.
--Jerzyt 01:08, 6 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Selective editing to support junk science[edit]

Ah, this is why Wikipedia is mocked the world 'round. When it isn't rife with Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy references, we have prejudicial editing to support the hippest, coolest, most chic buzzwords as legitimate scientific ideas, when they're really junk science

Look at the first reference link in the article. The Popular Mechanics article. You only used it for the highly limited purpose of affirming "yes, this hypothesis exists". But did you actually read it? Did you notice where an MIT Director of Robotics said that it is mere conjecture? Where is that reflected in the article? Where in the article is the analysis that this is not legitimate science, and not even a legitimate hypothesis to scientifically examine, that it's just a fashionable, everyday intuition that people like to have bull sessions about?

Here, I'll copy the quotes and force you to actually read them. Then, perhaps we can have some intellectual integrity around here and elevate this would-be "encyclopedia" out of its squalor. Maybe it can one day be a featured article; an article of the highest caliber, among the elite ranks of Wii Sports and 4Chan

"Unless, of course, it doesn't really exist. Despite its fame, or because of it, the uncanny valley is one of the most misunderstood and untested theories in robotics"

"The uncanny valley is both surprisingly complex and, as a shorthand for anything related to robots, nearly useless."

"It's not a theory, it's not a fact, it's conjecture," says Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at MIT. "There's no detailed scientific evidence," she says. "It's an intuitive thing."

(all emphasis mine) (talk) 07:45, 6 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many predators have evolved the trait to mimic other animals, in order to lure in their prey. I propose that the 'uncanny valley' is simply a vestigial defense against something which looks and acts like something familiar, but is not quite right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]



I just came to give the article a once over and assess it for the Robotics project and the first thing I see is:-

"The uncanny valley is a hypothesis regarding the field of robotics.[1]"

When you clock on the link it appears that the first ref actually says that the uncanny valley is a myth ??!?!?! Serious work needed lol !

Chaosdruid (talk) 23:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bicentennial Man[edit]

Under "films and Television" some mention could be made about the part the "uncanny valley" plays in the discrimination against "Andrew" in the film Bicentennial Man. The same tenseness is felt against the robots, (and even the deity-like computer program), by Will Smith's character in I Robot, but the discussion about it and even rebellion against it are stated mre clearly in Bicentennial Man. Of course, both of the original novels which pre-dated the movies are even better examples. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 17 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Plastic Surgery[edit]

Those who have had lots of plastic surgery should fit somewhere in Uncanny Valley. That slight revulsion of "who that used to be." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:32, 14 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shields and Yarnell[edit]

They also should be mentioned in regards to Uncanny Valley since their act The Clinkers was based on moves that were robotic. Probably the best live-action example of it.


The ABC television show Hungry Beast had a segment about the uncanny valley, and Bruce Carter, Creative Director of Animal Logic (a digital visual effects company), made an appearance. He said "The uncanny valley, at the end of the day, is the gap between seeing and believing.", which could be shortened to "The uncanny valley... is the gap between seeing and believing." I think it's an excellent description, but am unsure of where to place it in the article. Also, I agree that the scientific validity of the uncanny valley must be addressed. The article is valuable either way, though, because it is a significant idea in popular culture, if nothing else. Jimothylad (talk) 05:40, 28 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh and here's a link [[22]]


If there is an award for "Wikipedia article with the highest bullshit density per square inch", I'd like to nominate this one. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 12 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use in the Media/Doctor Who/The Robots of Death/"Citation Needed"[edit]

A fictional syndrome referred to in a fictional TV programme requires a real life citation to verify its existence? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:08, 10 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

“Hypothetical basis” section and "Design principles" section[edit]

The “Hypothetical basis” section is too - I don't know, academic? Look at it, "Automatic, stimulus-driven appraisals of uncanny stimuli elicit aversion by activating an evolved cognitive mechanism for the avoidance of selecting mates with low fertility, poor hormonal health, or ineffective immune systems based on visible features of the face and body that are predictive of those traits." It's like it was stripped directly from an academic paper. Can someone rewrite the section in more reader-friendly English?

The "Design principles" section, aren't the first two design principles basically the same thing?:

  • "If an animated character looks more human than its movement, this gives a negative impression. Human neuroimaging studies also indicate matching appearance and motion kinematics are important."
  • "A highly human-like appearance leads to an expectation that certain behaviors will be present, such as humanlike motion dynamics. " — Preceding unsigned comment added by Betty (talkcontribs) 08:06, 15 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cheetham et al. in "conflicting perceptual cues"[edit]

I removed a sentence in this section referring to the Cheetham et al. article which said: "The effect of this mechanism on the perception of faces used to represent the hypothesis' dimension of human likeness has been clearly demonstrated." It seemed overall to be quite vague, and based on the article's abstract it also seemed irrelevant to this section of the article.

Maybe the original author or someone else can figure out how to better integrate it into this section, or into another area of the article?

PostScarcity (talk) 17:00, 8 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moving towards GA[edit]

This article seems pretty well developed. I added few cite needed tags, but once they are addressed this could be considered for a GA, I think. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:35, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Criticism bullet point #2 appears to be novel synthesis[edit]

The second bullet point paragraph under the "Criticism" heading appears to be quite a lot of novel synthesis of several unrelated sources. It begins with a proposition, veers into discussion of Capgras syndrome, which isn't related to the uncanny valley in any demonstrable way, then makes claims which don't make sense about the applicability of Capgras syndrome to the claim made in the first sentence, and suggests that this material somehow proves the original assertion, which it doesn't.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:24, 24 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just a source to improve the article with[edit]

BBC: Is the uncanny valley real? --Rev L. Snowfox (talk) 22:06, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal: Merge "Research" and "Theoretical basis"[edit]

It seems to me these sections are redundant, and the article would be improved by merging them.

There are different ways of doing this, and I am not sure which is best. For example,

  1. the research in the "Research" section could be moved into the "Theoretical basis" section, where appropriate
  2. the theories described in the "Theoretical basis" section could be moved into a sub-section of the "Research" section, and the research that's currently in the Research section could be moved into these sub-sections where appropriate.

I'm sure there are other possibilities as well. Thoughts?

PostScarcity (talk) 20:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stuffed animal? Lost in translation[edit]

Ok here comes the linguistic question, it seems that in English a stuffed animal has two definitions: 1. a dead animal that has been stuffed 2. a soft toy in the shape of an animal.

My general knowledge of languages is not good enough to understand the meaning of words in every language but it seems like wikipedia is divided into two parts.

Some took the 1st meaning (dead animal) :

Russian (чучело животного), German (ausgestopftes tier), Dutch (opgezet dier), Italian (animale impagliato),

Some took the 2nd (an animal-like toy):

Japanese (毛绒娃娃), Spanish (Peluche), Bulgarian (Плюшена играчка), French (animal en peluche), Swedish (kramjur),Finish (pehmolelu).

Obviously the mistake comes from the translation from English chart that was originally in Japanese I suppose. Due to this issue I think it is necessary to make corrections in all the wikipedias that misinterpreted the term. But I need to know for sure which meaning was used in original Japanes text (if it was in Japanes). Can anyone help?

Non-human species?[edit]

I haven't waded through the entire article (or this page) completely, so this may already be somewhere in there already. Has there been an research on whether this phenomenon exists in non-human species? I don't know exactly how one could measure it - or even if you could measure it - short of a mind-meld. But I wonder about this when giving my cat the purported "kitty kiss" slow eye-blink. Jimw338 (talk) 03:43, 11 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All theories are anthropocentric, and can't account for why other primates experience the uncanny valley effect[edit]

This was documented in 2009. [1]

Gorkelobb (talk) 18:59, 13 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Monkeys Fall Into ‘Uncanny Valley,’ Just Like Humans

First bullet point of criticism isn't criticism of the concept—it's a proposed solution to it[edit]

As the heading says. This bit about "good design" isn't a criticism of the concept like the other bullets are. It acknowledges the existence of the valley but offers a way to reduce or eliminate the effects—most tellingly, it suggests adding "cartoonish" and non-human elements, which is exactly what the "uncanny valley" suggests would make for a less unsettling object. It belongs in the previous section, "Design Principles". WP Ludicer (talk) 13:01, 14 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed "Airbender" example[edit]

I have removed this example from the "In Visual Effects" section:

In the 2010 live-action film The Last Airbender, the character Appa, the flying bison, has been called "uncanny". Geekosystem's Susana Polo found the character "really quite creepy", noting "that prey animals (like bison) have eyes on the sides of their heads, and so moving them to the front without changing rest of the facial structure tips us right into the uncanny valley".[1]

Susana Polo uses the term "uncanny valley" in reference to a non-human character. However, the term only refers to human characters, not animals, so Polo used it incorrectly. Though the bison may have appeared creepy for having a human-like face, it is not an example of the uncanny valley and so doesn't belong in the article. --Atkinson (talk) 05:55, 6 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Polo, Susana (June 20, 2010). "New Airbender TV Spot: Appa's Creepy Face". Geekosystem. Retrieved December 11, 2012.

The old diagram...?[edit]

Why was the previously featured diagram removed? I find it illustrates the issue pretty good:

Hypothesized emotional response of subjects is plotted against anthropomorphism of a robot, following Masahiro Mori's statements. The uncanny valley is the region of negative emotional response towards robots that seem "almost" human. Movement amplifies the emotional response.[1]

Arny (talk) 14:16, 27 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, agreed, this looks better. The current lead image probably works better in the research section. Edit: I've done exactly that. ‑‑Volteer1 (talk) 20:15, 2 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ MacDorman, 2005.

Alien hypothesis?[edit]

I know that there is a hypothesis that states that aliens are the reason why the Uncanny Valley exists in the first place, but most of the sources one could find are merely just pseudoscientific ufology journals. Regardless, it is still a theory of note. What do you folks think? Mebigrouxboy (talk) 01:29, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds like speculative nonsense. –jacobolus (t) 02:13, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, but the Uncanny Valley, despite how provable, is still nonsense in the sense that the graph is impossible to prove and nothing beyond the idea is even known 100%.Mebigrouxboy (talk) 23:53, 2 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Uncanny Humans in Real Life?[edit]

This article has a focus or AI, robots, animation and CGI, all artificial things, but doesn't really speak to the elephant in the room, real life humans that fit into the Uncanny Valley and how to deal with that phenomenon. Deep down we all know it exists but no-one ever talks about it, eg burn victims, genetic abnormalities, war/accident causalities, men dressed a women and women who dress as men etc. All of these things exist in real life yet it's as if we all have to just bite our tongue and not talk about it or ever mention it as if that will somehow magically make it go away. These are real things and not talking about them doesn't make them go away, so I'm raising it here. (talk) 23:50, 16 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deformity is a very difficult topic to discuss, but think the article here is about a different thing. But do appreciate you bringing this up and its one to think over. Your point is perfectly valid and welcome, by the way, thanks for posting. Ceoil (talk) 23:58, 16 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rephrasing of the Abstract[edit]

Now that I come to realize my rephrasing of the abstract (intro/summary) paragraph is still a bit hard to comprehend, I welcome anyone to critique or even rewrite it entirely. I appreciate a previous editor admitting the concept of verisimilitude to illustrate theoretical strength. :) Zyploc (talk) 01:42, 27 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]