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Uncanny Valley, Commodified

Where we are

Uncanny valley relates to feeling repulsive emotions towards an android or audio/visual simulation when it too closely resemble a human. It’s a design consideration in robotics, video games, training simulators and 3-D animation, and now consumer product designers are getting off on this creepy phenomenon with creations like human skin phone covers and coin purses shaped like mouths.

Where we’re going

People will experience underlying discomfort as machines become more real, intelligent and creative. Commodification can lighten the seriousness and may help redirect our natural aversion away from androids and towards trivial objects that don’t serve any intrinsic purpose in society.

How to think about it

Hideous but funny objects ease the cultural and psychological tension of human-machine mergers. Consider other ways to restore people’s humanity and sanity as we enter a virtual world.


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