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Isaac Asimov Quotes



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Injury to a person can be estimated and judged. Humanity is an abstraction. A translator incorporated the concept of the Zeroth Law into one of Asimov's novels before Asimov himself made the law explicit. He determines that it must be so unless the robot is clever enough to comprehend that its actions are for humankind's long-term good. A robot may not harm a human being, unless he finds a way to prove that ultimately the harm done would benefit humanity in general! Three times during his writing career, Asimov portrayed robots that disregard the Three Laws entirely.

The first case was a short-short story entitled " First Law " and is often considered an insignificant "tall tale" [19] or even apocryphal. Humorous, partly autobiographical and unusually experimental in style, "Cal" has been regarded as one of Gold' s strongest stories. However, aside from the positronic brain concept, this story does not refer to other robot stories and may not be set in the same continuity. The title story of the Robot Dreams collection portrays LVX-1, or "Elvex", a robot who enters a state of unconsciousness and dreams thanks to the unusual fractal construction of his positronic brain. In his dream the first two Laws are absent and the Third Law reads "A robot must protect its own existence". Asimov took varying positions on whether the Laws were optional: although in his first writings they were simply carefully engineered safeguards, in later stories Asimov stated that they were an inalienable part of the mathematical foundation underlying the positronic brain.

Without the basic theory of the Three Laws the fictional scientists of Asimov's universe would be unable to design a workable brain unit. This is historically consistent: the occasions where roboticists modify the Laws generally occur early within the stories' chronology and at a time when there is less existing work to be re-done. In "Little Lost Robot" Susan Calvin considers modifying the Laws to be a terrible idea, although possible, [23] while centuries later Dr. Gerrigel in The Caves of Steel believes it to be impossible. The character Dr. Gerrigel uses the term "Asenion" to describe robots programmed with the Three Laws.

The robots in Asimov's stories, being Asenion robots, are incapable of knowingly violating the Three Laws but, in principle, a robot in science fiction or in the real world could be non-Asenion. Characters within the stories often point out that the Three Laws, as they exist in a robot's mind, are not the written versions usually quoted by humans but abstract mathematical concepts upon which a robot's entire developing consciousness is based.

This concept is largely fuzzy and unclear in earlier stories depicting very rudimentary robots who are only programmed to comprehend basic physical tasks, where the Three Laws act as an overarching safeguard, but by the era of The Caves of Steel featuring robots with human or beyond-human intelligence the Three Laws have become the underlying basic ethical worldview that determines the actions of all robots.

Each title has the prefix "Isaac Asimov's" as Asimov had approved Allen's outline before his death. The so-called New Laws are similar to Asimov's originals with the following differences: the First Law is modified to remove the "inaction" clause, the same modification made in "Little Lost Robot"; the Second Law is modified to require cooperation instead of obedience; the Third Law is modified so it is no longer superseded by the Second i. The philosophy behind these changes is that "New Law" robots should be partners rather than slaves to humanity, according to Fredda Leving , who designed these New Law Robots.

According to the first book's introduction, Allen devised the New Laws in discussion with Asimov himself. While Asimov's robotic laws are meant to protect humans from harm, the robots in Williamson's story have taken these instructions to the extreme; they protect humans from everything, including unhappiness, stress, unhealthy lifestyle and all actions that could be potentially dangerous. All that is left for humans to do is to sit with folded hands. Daneel Olivaw. The Laws of Robotics are portrayed as something akin to a human religion , and referred to in the language of the Protestant Reformation , with the set of laws containing the Zeroth Law known as the "Giskardian Reformation" to the original "Calvinian Orthodoxy" of the Three Laws.

Zeroth-Law robots under the control of R. Daneel Olivaw are seen continually struggling with "First Law" robots who deny the existence of the Zeroth Law, promoting agendas different from Daneel's. Others are based on the second clause " Daneel also comes into conflict with a robot known as R. Lodovic Trema whose positronic brain was infected by a rogue AI — specifically, a simulation of the long-dead Voltaire — which consequently frees Trema from the Three Laws. Trema comes to believe that humanity should be free to choose its own future. A robot may not harm sentience or, through inaction, allow sentience to come to harm. They therefore claim that it is morally indefensible for Daneel to ruthlessly sacrifice robots and extraterrestrial sentient life for the benefit of humanity.

None of these reinterpretations successfully displace Daneel's Zeroth Law — though Foundation's Triumph hints that these robotic factions remain active as fringe groups up to the time of the novel Foundation. These novels take place in a future dictated by Asimov to be free of obvious robot presence and surmise that R. Daneel's secret influence on history through the millennia has prevented both the rediscovery of positronic brain technology and the opportunity to work on sophisticated intelligent machines. This lack of rediscovery and lack of opportunity makes certain that the superior physical and intellectual power wielded by intelligent machines remains squarely in the possession of robots obedient to some form of the Three Laws.

Daneel is not entirely successful at this becomes clear in a brief period when scientists on Trantor develop " tiktoks " — simplistic programmable machines akin to real—life modern robots and therefore lacking the Three Laws. The robot conspirators see the Trantorian tiktoks as a massive threat to social stability, and their plan to eliminate the tiktok threat forms much of the plot of Foundation's Fear. In Foundation's Triumph different robot factions interpret the Laws in a wide variety of ways, seemingly ringing every possible permutation upon the Three Laws' ambiguities.

Tiedemann 's Robot Mystery trilogy updates the Robot — Foundation saga with robotic minds housed in computer mainframes rather than humanoid bodies. One should not neglect Asimov's own creations in these areas such as the Solarian "viewing" technology and the machines of The Evitable Conflict originals that Tiedemann acknowledges. Aurora , for example, terms the Machines "the first RIs, really". In addition the Robot Mystery series addresses the problem of nanotechnology : [29] building a positronic brain capable of reproducing human cognitive processes requires a high degree of miniaturization, yet Asimov's stories largely overlook the effects this miniaturization would have in other fields of technology.

For example, the police department card-readers in The Caves of Steel have a capacity of only a few kilobytes per square centimeter of storage medium. Aurora , in particular, presents a sequence of historical developments which explains the lack of nanotechnology — a partial retcon , in a sense, of Asimov's timeline. Randall Munroe has discussed the Three Laws in various instances, but possibly most directly by one of his comics entitled The Three Laws of Robotics which imagines the consequences of every distinct ordering of the existing three laws. The Lyuben Dilov novel, Icarus's Way a. And to the resulting misunderstandings This fifth law says: "A robot must know it is a robot. This Fourth Law states: "A robot must reproduce. As long as such reproduction does not interfere with the First or Second or Third Law.

In Hutan Ashrafian proposed an additional law that considered the role of artificial intelligence-on-artificial intelligence or the relationship between robots themselves — the so-called AIonAI law. In The Naked Sun , Elijah Baley points out that the Laws had been deliberately misrepresented because robots could unknowingly break any of them. He restated the first law as "A robot may do nothing that, to its knowledge, will harm a human being; nor, through inaction, knowingly allow a human being to come to harm.

Furthermore, he points out that a clever criminal could divide a task among multiple robots so that no individual robot could recognize that its actions would lead to harming a human being. Baley furthermore proposes that the Solarians may one day use robots for military purposes. If a spacecraft was built with a positronic brain and carried neither humans nor the life-support systems to sustain them, then the ship's robotic intelligence could naturally assume that all other spacecraft were robotic beings.

Such a ship could operate more responsively and flexibly than one crewed by humans, could be armed more heavily and its robotic brain equipped to slaughter humans of whose existence it is totally ignorant. The novel takes place thousands of years after The Naked Sun, and the Solarians have long since modified themselves from normal humans to hermaphroditic telepaths with extended brains and specialized organs Similarly, in Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn Bigman attempts to speak with a Sirian robot about possible damage to the Solar System population from its actions, but it appears unaware of the data and programmed to ignore attempts to teach it about the matter.

The Laws of Robotics presume that the terms "human being" and "robot" are understood and well defined. In some stories this presumption is overturned. The Solarians create robots with the Three Laws but with a warped meaning of "human". Solarian robots are told that only people speaking with a Solarian accent are human. This enables their robots to have no ethical dilemma in harming non-Solarian human beings and they are specifically programmed to do so.

By the time period of Foundation and Earth it is revealed that the Solarians have genetically modified themselves into a distinct species from humanity—becoming hermaphroditic [36] and psychokinetic and containing biological organs capable of individually powering and controlling whole complexes of robots. The robots of Solaria thus respected the Three Laws only with regard to the "humans" of Solaria. It is unclear whether all the robots had such definitions, since only the overseer and guardian robots were shown explicitly to have them. In "Robots and Empire", the lower class robots were instructed by their overseer about whether certain creatures are human or not.

Asimov addresses the problem of humanoid robots " androids " in later parlance several times. The novel Robots and Empire and the short stories " Evidence " and "The Tercentenary Incident" describe robots crafted to fool people into believing that the robots are human. Robots acting out the last Law of Robotics To tend towards the human. It takes as its concept the growing development of robots that mimic non-human living things and given programs that mimic simple animal behaviours which do not require the Three Laws.

The presence of a whole range of robotic life that serves the same purpose as organic life ends with two humanoid robots, George Nine and George Ten, concluding that organic life is an unnecessary requirement for a truly logical and self-consistent definition of "humanity", and that since they are the most advanced thinking beings on the planet, they are therefore the only two true humans alive and the Three Laws only apply to themselves. The story ends on a sinister note as the two robots enter hibernation and await a time when they will conquer the Earth and subjugate biological humans to themselves, an outcome they consider an inevitable result of the "Three Laws of Humanics".

This story does not fit within the overall sweep of the Robot and Foundation series ; if the George robots did take over Earth some time after the story closes, the later stories would be either redundant or impossible. Contradictions of this sort among Asimov's fiction works have led scholars to regard the Robot stories as more like "the Scandinavian sagas or the Greek legends" than a unified whole. Indeed, Asimov describes "—That Thou Art Mindful of Him" and "Bicentennial Man" as two opposite, parallel futures for robots that obviate the Three Laws as robots come to consider themselves to be humans: one portraying this in a positive light with a robot joining human society, one portraying this in a negative light with robots supplanting humans.

In Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn , a novel unrelated to the Robot series but featuring robots programmed with the Three Laws, John Bigman Jones is almost killed by a Sirian robot on orders of its master. The society of Sirius is eugenically bred to be uniformly tall and similar in appearance, and as such, said master is able to convince the robot that the much shorter Bigman, is, in fact, not a human being. As noted in "The Fifth Law of Robotics" by Nikola Kesarovski , "A robot must know it is a robot": it is presumed that a robot has a definition of the term or a means to apply it to its own actions.

Kesarovski played with this idea in writing about a robot that could kill a human being because it did not understand that it was a robot, and therefore did not apply the Laws of Robotics to its actions. Advanced robots in fiction are typically programmed to handle the Three Laws in a sophisticated manner. In many stories, such as " Runaround " by Asimov, the potential and severity of all actions are weighed and a robot will break the laws as little as possible rather than do nothing at all.

For example, the First Law may forbid a robot from functioning as a surgeon, as that act may cause damage to a human; however, Asimov's stories eventually included robot surgeons "The Bicentennial Man" being a notable example. When robots are sophisticated enough to weigh alternatives, a robot may be programmed to accept the necessity of inflicting damage during surgery in order to prevent the greater harm that would result if the surgery were not carried out, or was carried out by a more fallible human surgeon.

In " Evidence " Susan Calvin points out that a robot may even act as a prosecuting attorney because in the American justice system it is the jury which decides guilt or innocence, the judge who decides the sentence, and the executioner who carries through capital punishment. Asimov's Three Laws-obeying robots Asenion robots can experience irreversible mental collapse if they are forced into situations where they cannot obey the First Law, or if they discover they have unknowingly violated it. The first example of this failure mode occurs in the story " Liar! Cytat: The date of my birth, as I celebrate it, was January 2, It could not have been later than that.

It might, however, have been earlier. Allowing for the uncertainties of the times, of the lack of records, of the Jewish and Julian calendars, it might have been as early as October 4, There is, however, no way of finding out. I celebrate January 2, , so let it be. Seiler Edward E. Jenkins John H. Doubleday, , s. W: Biblio. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, , s. ISBN Oxford: Oxford University Press, , s. More recently, the Asimov estate authorized publication of another trilogy of robot mysteries by Mark W.

These novels, which take place several years before Asimov's Robots and Empire , are Mirage , Chimera , and Aurora These were followed by yet another robot mystery, Alexander C. In , Donald Kingsbury published the novel Psychohistorical Crisis , set in the Foundation universe after the start of the Second Empire. Novels by various authors Isaac Asimov's Robot City , Robots and Aliens and Robots in Time series are loosely connected to the Robot series, but contain many inconsistencies with Asimov's books, and are not generally considered part of the Foundation series. In November , the Isaac Asimov estate announced the publication of a prequel to I, Robot under the working title Robots and Chaos , the first volume in a prequel trilogy featuring Susan Calvin by fantasy author Mickey Zucker Reichert.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Science-fiction books by Isaac Asimov. First edition dust-jacket of Foundation. Main article: Prelude to Foundation. Main article: Forward the Foundation. Main article: Foundation Isaac Asimov novel. Main article: Foundation and Empire. Main article: Second Foundation. Main article: Foundation's Edge. Main article: Foundation and Earth. Main article: Foundation TV series. Main article: List of Foundation series characters. Therefore, at least this part of the book would be located after the events of Foundation and Chaos , Foundation's Triumph and the first chapter of Foundation. Hugo Award. Retrieved July 28, New England Science Fiction Association. International Journal of Economics and Finance. S2CID La edad de oro II.

Foundation's Edge. Halmstad: Spectra. ISBN Foundation and Earth. Prelude to Foundation. Bantam Books. Forward the Foundation. The Foundation Trilogy V. Avon Books. Foundation and Empire. Random House Publishing Group. Second Foundation. Learned Optimism c by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. USA Today. February 6, New Atlas. February 13, The New York Times. ISSN Retrieved Garden City, New York: Doubleday. Retrieved May 15, Of course, you'll remember the holophonor [ Peter Jackson: A Film-maker's Journey.

London: Harpercollins. Film Buff OnLine. Retrieved 11 November Retrieved 14 April Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 June Retrieved 29 August The Hollywood Reporter. Apple TV. Retrieved September 24, From Robots to Foundations. Kitsap Regional Library. Retrieved 25 June Worlds Without End. Empire series. Isaac Asimov 's Foundation series. Radio programme TV series. Characters Hari Seldon R. Preceded by: The Robot series and The Empire series. Novels by Isaac Asimov. Authority control. United States. Categories : Foundation universe Foundation universe books Book series introduced in Novels about mathematics Science fiction novel trilogies Social science fiction Future history Novels about imperialism Novels about science Military science fiction novels.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Science fiction. I, Robot: To Protect. I, Robot: To Obey. I, Robot: To Preserve. The first collection of Robot short stories, all of which were included in The Complete Robot , except for the binding text, which is absent from The Complete Robot. The Rest of the Robots. A collection of short stories and essays, including robot short stories " Cal " and "Kid Brother".

The novel is set in an era in which interstellar travel is in the process of being discovered and perfected. Short story set between the early Earth era and the era of the Robot novels, at a time when the Spacer worlds were first being colonised. Contains some minor inconsistencies with later stories. The first Robot novel. The second Robot novel. Written after having received numerous requests to continue the story of detective Elijah Baley and his robot partner R. The third Robot novel. Hugo Award nominee, [55] Locus Award nominee, [55]. First book of the Robot Mystery series by Mark W. Second book of the Robot Mystery series by Mark W.

Third book of the Robot Mystery series by Mark W. Fourth book of the Robot Mystery series; written by Alexander C. The fourth Robot novel. Locus Award nominee, [56]. Isaac Asimov's Caliban. Caliban trilogy by Roger MacBride Allen. Isaac Asimov's Inferno. Isaac Asimov's Utopia. The Stars, Like Dust. The Currents of Space. Short story set in the Foundation universe. This is the first Foundation novel. Locus Award nominee, [57]. The first book of the Second Foundation trilogy by Gregory Benford. Foundation and Chaos. The second book of the Second Foundation trilogy by Greg Bear. Foundation's Triumph. The third book of the Second Foundation trilogy by David Brin.

The third Foundation novel. Actually, it is a collection of four stories, originally published between and , plus an introductory section written for the book in

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