The Japanese Roboticist Masahiro Mori’s Buddhist Inspired Concept of “The Uncanny Valley” (Bukimi no Tani Genshō, 不気味の谷現象)
In 1970, the Japanese roboticist and practicing Buddhist Masahiro Mori wrote a short essay entitled “On the Uncanny Valley” for the journal Energy (Enerugi, 7/4, 33–35). Since the publication of this two-page essay, Mori’s concept of the Uncanny Valley has become part and parcel of the discourse within the fields of humanoid robotics engineering, the film industry, culture studies, and philosophy, most notably the philosophy of transhumanism. In this paper, the concept of the Uncanny Valley is discussed in terms of the contemporary Japanese cultural milieu relating to humanoid robot technology, and the on-going roboticization of human culture. For Masahiro Mori, who is also the author of The Buddha in the Robot (1981), the same compassion that we ought to offer to all living beings, and Being itself, we ought to offer to humanoid robots, which are also dimensions of the Buddha-nature of Compassion.
Copyright (c) 2021 W.A Borody
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