In the 1970s, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori introduced the concept of the “uncanny valley.” The valley effect occurs, he believed, when an artificial form is almost—but not quite—authentic enough to feel like the reality it is emulating. People experience an unpleasant disconnect when viewing such objects, and they become fearful and repelled. Technical perfection adds to, rather than subtracts from, the feeling; a perfect robotic face can leave the viewer disquieted and nauseated. Imperfections are sometimes added to mitigate This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 44 Hannah Traore The art world's next big thing is a gallerist. Arts & Culture Issue 44 The False Mirror Compositions inspired by the iconic clouds—and surrealist sensibilities—of René Magritte. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Boaz Nechemia Meet Jerusalem’s favorite weatherman. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Fredi Otto One scientist's mission to prove the link between extreme weather and climate change. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Ghostlore Four questions about supernatural studies. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Word: Anecdata Fact, meet fiction.