Support Aeon

‘I am a friend of Aeon because I value freedom ... freely provided, intelligently presented information liberates us all.’

Roland M, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Give now

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Give now

Goodbye uncanny valley

15 minutes

As reality and CGI become indistinguishable, we need guidance from those at art’s frontiers

Since the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in the 1970s, digital animation has progressed incredibly swiftly towards photorealism as computer-processing has become exponentially more powerful. Today, the best CGI has escaped the ‘uncanny valley’, the strange space where humanoid objects approaching realism provoke a sense of eerie unease in the viewer. In his video essay Goodbye Uncanny Valley, the UK artist and animator Alan Warburton explores where we are going now that the virtual and the real are increasingly indistinguishable to our eyes. Probing everything from the latest in Hollywood blockbusters to the next wave of political propaganda and the frontiers of digital art, Warburton foresees a future where the possibilities of distorting and augmenting our experience of reality with CGI are endless – for better or worse.

Video by Alan Warburton

Get Aeon straight
to your inbox
Join our newsletter
Aeon is not-for-profit
and free for everyone
Make a donation
Essay/
Automation & Robotics
Robot says: Whatever

What stands in the way of all-powerful AI isn’t a lack of smarts: it’s that computers can’t have needs, cravings or desires

Margaret Boden

Essay/
Future of Technology
The blitzscaling illusion

All the great inventions took painstaking, risky, indirect routes to fruition. Has Silicon Valley really escaped history?

Edward Tenner