AES Conference Papers Forum

The Uncanny Valley of Spatial Voice

Document Thumbnail

In computer animation there is a known dip in comfort level as a function of the fidelity and likeness of a human image. This paper is an investigation of this same subjective phenomenon in the area of spatial voice. Since voice signals are very familiar they are likely to exhibit a similar trajectory of comfort. One possible theoretical explanation for this is that large errors tend to create a sense of distance and be accepted as degradation in the channel - for example we tolerate a low fidelity with most remote voice communication. For smaller errors, as the channel improves, the errors may be associated with the source or person speaking. Such error may trigger a sense of unease. In any communications system, practical considerations often lead to distortion in the capture, transport and reproduction of voice; attempts to disguise and mask distortion may lead to the perception of disturbing abnormalities by the subject. This paper combines a literature review in this area of perception, some hypotheses and some development experiences related to deliberate and adverse distortion of acoustic and spatial aspects of a sound field containing voice. A suggested analysis framework is presented for considering the relationship between the nature of a disturbance and the potential for disturbing or uncanny experiences. The potential aspects to be investigated from this are numerous - the focus of this paper is to present a framework that may help to understand and estimate the potential impact of the uncanny and to present examples for possible further investigation.

AES Conference:
Paper Number:
Publication Date:

Click to purchase paper as a non-member or you can login as an AES member to see more options.

No AES members have commented on this paper yet.

Subscribe to this discussion

RSS Feed To be notified of new comments on this paper you can subscribe to this RSS feed. Forum users should login to see additional options.

Start a discussion!

If you would like to start a discussion about this paper and are an AES member then you can login here:

If you are not yet an AES member and have something important to say about this paper then we urge you to join the AES today and make your voice heard. You can join online today by clicking here.

AES - Audio Engineering Society