Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Valley

August-September 2016

This modern classic draws on current research in artificial intelligence and robotics. It charts the relationship between Claire, a neuroscientist, and Julian, a non-biological human. As Julian is “born” a few body parts at a time over the course of the play, Claire teaches him how to be as human as possible: mirroring people’s speech, engaging in small-talk, playing a musical instrument. Their deepening friendship and Julian’s growing “humanity” lead to the revelations of an unhealed sorrow in Claire’s personal life and, ultimately, the purpose for which Julian has been created. UNCANNY VALLEY explores the painful divide “the valley” between creator and creation, the inherent unpredictability of consciousness, and how we are redefining what it means to be human in the twenty-first century. Yet it also questions humanity itself and what makes human beings sentient, is it work, is it family; what is it? This is a play of great heart, with profound questions about life, “artificial life” and delivered with a sense of poetry. A smart evening of theatre.

A Drama by Thomas Gibbons

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