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Word Spy word of the day: uncanny valley

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 09, 2003

Word Spy word of the day: uncanny valley. “n. Feelings of unease, fear, or revulsion created by a robot or robotic device that appears to be, but is not quite, human-like.”

Reader comments

alanDec 09, 2003 at 10:14PM

Aha - thanks for this. I remember seeing this phrase and description quite a while back, and wanted to share it with others, but could not remember the exact name - spent fruitless hours googling “robot”, “zombie” and “human-like” looking for it. The topic is broad enough that Google’s not much help unless one knows the exact name. This scratches a mental itch I’ve had for months now.

drkDec 10, 2003 at 12:51AM

metafilter usually pulls through! uncanny :D

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/21071

Stefan JonesDec 10, 2003 at 2:15AM

Long essay on The Uncanny Valley:

http://www.arclight.net/~pdb/glimpses/valley.html

shaunDec 11, 2003 at 2:36AM

I think a better word for this concept would be “uncanny.”

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.