Last week, two new “employees” debuted at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
These new robots constitute a technological advancement more creepy than groundbreaking. Almost every news story announcing Otonaroid’s and Kodomoroid’s arrival on the world scene has used the phrase “uncanny valley” to describe them. (Funny that more didn’t use the phrase “lurching, life-sized demon dolls.”)
The uncanny valley effect is an oft-cited phenomenon where robots or CGI that closely approximate human appearance elicit a strong negative emotional response, even feelings of dread. People are “creeped out” by images that seem human but aren’t quite.