More on the uncanny valley

by DRM

12B6D5F6-BA26-41AA-A76E-DE510566E8CC.jpgSeed Magazine has a post elaborating on the phenomenon of the uncanny valley, and connecting the writing of Freud and the genesis of the concept of the uncanny valley from Masahiro Mori with the recent work from Asif Ghazanfar.

The hypothesizing about the uncanny value has focused on the premise of humanness, the essence of nature and the definition of death.

Ghazanfar rejects all of these hypotheses. “What is really going on is much simpler,” he says. He believes the uncanny valley response occurs because an animal—human or nonhuman—is evolutionarily inclined to develop an expectation of what members of its species should look like, a supremely important skill, as it lets the animal know with whom it can and cannot interact.

The haunting recognition seems easy to understand: death equals disease and the recognition of disease is crucial to staying alive; and disguise is used by many predators to assault unsuspecting victims. Every species develops recognition tools that are elemental; our nature of humanness, with its self cognition, makes us reflectively aware of the sensation.