Saturday, December 16, 2006

What Will "Work" Do to the Uncanny Valley?

Was watching
Las Vegas last night. Wayne Newton was on. He has apparently entered the "hideous ghoul" stage of celebrity life. Pinched, lifeless face, slitted eyes, botox-ed into a static mask betraying not even the slightest humanity.

So what of the Uncanny Valley? Would a decently-rendered avatar of Wayne Newton be more convincingly realistic than footage of the actual Mr. Newton?

In a world where plastic surgery and botox and makeup present more abstracted versions of humanity through mass media, will this ameliorate some of the effects of the Uncanny Valley, or will our interactions with relatively-unaltered* humans maintain the disconnect?

*I use relatively-unaltered because even those of us without plastic surgery typically get haircuts, shave faces, legs or more, wear clothing, etc.

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