The idea of having an Artificial Intelligence capable of resembling perfectly, both speech-like and physically like, a human being is a very romanticized idea throughout our culture. Ironically, as we move more and more towards the ability of creating machines that – even if not yet perfect ones – and somewhat succeed in this matter, User Experience shows us that maybe it was not the way to go after all.
Both episode 1 and episode 2 of the Podcast Sandra and the reading on Upending the Uncanny Valley explore this irony and question the validity of investing in such resemblance. The Uncanny Valley theory, that describes the common unsettling feeling people experience when androids (humanoid robots) and audio/visual simulations closely resemble humans in many respects but are not quite convincingly realistic, was an interesting term to discover and that I could relate a lot to.
I think this is an interesting paradox and ironic in a way. I would be interested in exploring this discomfort further and playing with it as well as exploring and experimenting with its boundaries as an UX designer.