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The Origin Of Robots Essay

1338 words - 5 pages

The Origin of Robots

Over the years mankind has advanced greatly in the field of technology and day by day we continue to advance. The future holds many possibilities, one of which is living in a world with robots. Isaac Asimov shared his view of this possible future in his novel I, Robot. His view portrays robots as machines superior to humans mentally and physically. If robots are superior to humans, how do humans control the robots? Humans create the three Laws of Robotics, which are instilled into the positronic brains of every robot created.

These laws state that no robot can harm or allow harm to come to a human, they must obey humans (unless it conflicts with the first law), and no robot can harm itself (unless it conflicts with the first two laws). In Isaac Asimov's novel I, Robot, Asimov uses independent short stories as told by robo-psychologist Dr. Susan Calvin, to show the evolution of robots and how they relate to the Laws of Robotics. Robbie is the first robot portrayed in Asimov's novel. This robot doesn't talk and is used as a nursemaid.

Robots at this time are socially unacceptable which is important to acknowledge when considering their evolution. The story of Robbie mostly introduces robots, but it also touches on the first rule of robotics. Gloria, the little girl Robbie took care of, was almost killed and Robbie saved her instantly because of the first Law of Robotics and the humans involved delayed their reaction. This is also an example of how robots were superior to humans. Unlike "Robbie," the next story, "Runaround," goes into more detail of the Laws of Robotics. "Runaround," shows a robot's conflict with the second and third laws. Speedy, the robot with the conflict, is casually ordered to do a highly dangerous task. The unimportance of the task implied by the tone the order was given caused the second rule to seem weaker and the high danger of the situation made the third rule seem stronger. In this position the two laws were equally important making Speedy confused so that it did no work at all. Gregory Powell, one of the men sent to test the robot, solved the problem by using the first and strongest law. He put himself in danger forcing the robot to abide by the first law and forget the other two rules. Earlier, the question of how humans control superior machines was asked. In the third story, "Reason," this question is answered. The robot in this tale, Cutie, doesn't believe that humans created robots because they are superior to humans. Eventually Cutie locks Powell and his partner Mike Donovan up in a room in their space ship. When they enter a dangerous situation Cutie keeps both men safe because of the first law. Although Cutie is not following the second law, obeying human orders, the first law overrides the second forcing Cutie to protect the two men. This story shows that humans have control over robots because of the established Laws of Robotics. Along with the three previous stories, the next...

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