Welcome! You are entering Uncanny Valley

April 21, 2008

It is not a surprise that I am trying to find topological visual metaphors or examples for the works of PKD. What surprises me from time to time is that I actually find some. This time it is not really a topological issue, but rather a theory visualized. Around the 1970s Masahiro Mori, a japanese roboticist created his hypothesis, called ‘The Uncanny Valley’. Basically, it is about how we, humans, respond to the visuality of human-like robots and facsimiles. The less something represents human quality, the more we are likely to observe humanity in it, and the more something represents human quality ,we are more likely to observe inhuman features.

The Graph itself

The short story ‘Second Variety’ by PKD is a good example for this theory, although I am not sure Dick ever knew this theory -as in the world humans are faced with sphere-shaped robots, who ,as humans say, are almost humans.

Or we just have to take a look at ‘Ubik’ and the concept of return! It is strange to see that people talk to the returned only by means of the acousmatic field, which again leads us to the problematic consideration of ‘Voice’.


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