For those of you that have been following us for a while, you have no doubt seen several of us mention something called “The Uncanny Valley”. We recently received an email from a client that asked the basic question “What is the Uncanny Valley” and why is it important to you? So, let’s dig in and discuss what the term means and why it has been such a challenge in the world of digital personalities.
First, let’s start with the text book definition. In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a relationship between the degree of an object's resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to such an object. The concept of the uncanny valley suggests humanoid objects which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit uncanny, or strangely familiar, feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers. Valley denotes a dip in the human observer's affinity for the replica, a relation that otherwise increases with the replica's human likeness.