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I, Robot

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The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With these three, s The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov's trademark.


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The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With these three, s The three laws of Robotics: 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future--a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world--all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov's trademark.

30 review for I, Robot

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A Brief History Of Robo Sapiens In Nine Sequences “Why … WHY does something invariably go wrong with them?” “Because”, said Powell somberly, “we are accursed. Let’s go!” Asimov’s collection of short stories is a stunning document of humanity’s struggle to find balance in a world increasingly dominated by technological progress, but with the same social, political and emotional conflicts as always. At first glance, the different stories seem to show the growing sophistication of robots, and their A Brief History Of Robo Sapiens In Nine Sequences “Why … WHY does something invariably go wrong with them?” “Because”, said Powell somberly, “we are accursed. Let’s go!” Asimov’s collection of short stories is a stunning document of humanity’s struggle to find balance in a world increasingly dominated by technological progress, but with the same social, political and emotional conflicts as always. At first glance, the different stories seem to show the growing sophistication of robots, and their integration in human society. But the stories are not just a documentation of robots getting “better and better”, they also exemplify different aspects of human life that are affected by artificial intelligence. And it is more and more complicated to solve the resulting issues from story to story. The first, apparently innocent sequence features a girl who becomes dependent on her toy robot, and refuses to interact with humans and animals as a result. Not too scary? Well, whoever has hosted a birthday party and seen the children who withdraw from the fun to sit in a corner and play on their phones knows that the problem is real, and urgent. - Dependence on technology: entertain me if you can! The second story deals with failure within the robotic programming itself, when the three “Laws of Robotics” clash and cause a dilemma that the robot can’t solve. Who will solve it for him, then? - System Failure: please reboot the world and start again! Then we move on to the metaphysical aspect of creating a superior intelligence which makes calculations that are beyond human capacity. This sequence was the most humorous, in my opinion, showing a robot deciding to ignore humanity and create a religion around the Master, a calculation machine of great power. The scientists’ despair when realising that it could argue “reasonably” against evidence, was hilarious, but also frighteningly contemporary! - Technology Cult: In matters of faith, no argument is good enough! One chapter deals with the scenario of robots developing military behaviour. - Weapons of mass destruction? "Die Geister die ich rief!" Another story explores mind reading, and delves into the dilemma of robotic rationality versus human ambitions, hopes and fears. - The Transparent Humans: Unable to hide their thought crimes! Of course humans also start bending the rules of robotics for their own purposes and benefits, creating secret robots that do not fully obey the laws they are supposed to follow automatically. And of course it gets out of control, creating highly dangerous situations. - The Law Is For The Others! And finally, we have the robots that are advanced enough to pretend to be human, refusing to be examined and discovered as robots by applying the judiciary system and their rights within it (as humans, ironically) to prevent detection. An issue of some relevance, as well. What to do with the democratic institutions that are abused by people/robots who only respect them when they suit their purposes? - The Democratic Supermarket: Take What You Need, Leave the Rest Behind! Asimov has assembled an astounding diversity of ideas in a cohesive form. While touching on the essential questions of the modern human condition, it offers an intriguing, engaging narrative as well, still readable and relevant in a world that is more technologically advanced than Asimov could imagine himself. In the balance between the human factor and technological system peculiarities, he leaves humanity with the eternal philosophical question of what defines us and what we define ourselves. And there will be hiccups, for sure, for the predictions on the future that close the novel can be rightly interpreted by different characters as: How horrible! Or How wonderful! O brave new world that has such machines in’t! Recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    The book consists of futuristic robot short stories recounted by Susan Calvin (robot psychologist) in retrospect. Even though the reader could read the short stories quite well, they unfortunately dont created tension at all. On the one hand, the writing style seems a little bit outdated and on the other hand I dont like the lack of composition of the topic. Or maybe I had even a false expectation. The book consists of futuristic robot short stories recounted by Susan Calvin (robot psychologist) in retrospect. Even though the reader could read the short stories quite well, they unfortunately don´t created tension at all. On the one hand, the writing style seems a little bit outdated and on the other hand I don´t like the lack of composition of the topic. Or maybe I had even a false expectation.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Isaac Asimov's books were far from the normal trash novels you might buy for a 2 day read. Within anything he has written, he tries to spell out lessons in psychology. How would we react to Robots once they become free thinkers? How should we react to Robots when they become our slaves? Should we institute a whole new brand of slavery for the purpose of a "clean society"? What is sentient life? The I, Robot novel progresses through these questions, and questions like them, in scenarios rarely ever po Isaac Asimov's books were far from the normal trash novels you might buy for a 2 day read. Within anything he has written, he tries to spell out lessons in psychology. How would we react to Robots once they become free thinkers? How should we react to Robots when they become our slaves? Should we institute a whole new brand of slavery for the purpose of a "clean society"? What is sentient life? The I, Robot novel progresses through these questions, and questions like them, in scenarios rarely ever posed by Sci-Fi writers. While other authors may have a truly evil force guiding those who commit crimes that must be overcome by truth and justice, Isaac Asimov concentrates on the reality of the situation to provide the obstacles. It is through normal every day strife that humanity defines itself, not through warfare with a re-imagined Hitler or Stalin. Possibly the only story/movie to do a job as (or more) realistic than Asimov when depicting our possible future, is Bladerunner. The one regretful aspect of this collection of short stories, is that a movie studio decided to take the name of Book and Author only to apply it to a feature film which had nothing to do with the content, or context of Asimov's creation. I give this collection of short stories Five Stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    This short story anthology has a lot of stories in common with Robot Visions which I read earlier. In fact there are only two ones in the former absent in the latter: Catch That Rabbit and Escape! I rated Robot Visions with 3 stars; this one is surprisingly (even to myself) rated higher. One of the reasons is that Visions included several essays; all of them aged much more than the stores themselves - and the stories did age. Another reason is related to the structure of I, Robot. It actually ha This short story anthology has a lot of stories in common with Robot Visions which I read earlier. In fact there are only two ones in the former absent in the latter: Catch That Rabbit and Escape! I rated Robot Visions with 3 stars; this one is surprisingly (even to myself) rated higher. One of the reasons is that Visions included several essays; all of them aged much more than the stores themselves - and the stories did age. Another reason is related to the structure of I, Robot. It actually has an interconnecting story and while it is very simple: a reporter interviews Susan Calvin it still gives an illusion of seemingly unrelated tales fitting nicely together. They go chronologically from the first appearance of clumsy mute robots to higher beings playing nannies for humans that apparently cannot take care of themselves. This feels really bad for one's ego, but I cannot say I entirely disagree in all honesty. I would like to mention characters. I really like a couple of recurring guys, Donoval and Powell. Their usual job was to test new models of robots and the more sophisticated they were the more often they would stop functioning because of some paradox of The Three Laws of Robotics. In the end Donoval and Powell would be stuck - literally - in yet another desperate situation and had to think really fast and creative to get out of it alive and with their sense of humor intact. I am sorry but I also have to mention Susan Calvin. It seems writing a smart strong woman who also happened to be the best specialist in her field is not enough to avoid being accused of sexism. Oh well, some people love complaining. I personally liked her. Anyhow this is a very influential science fiction anthology which really crossed the border of fiction into real life as everybody who does any work related to artificial intelligence knows The Three Laws. A must-read for any science fiction fan even if the stories show their age a little.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    "If one and a half chickens lay one and a half eggs in one and a half days, how many eggs will nine chickens lays in nine days?" This is incredible, the best of all science fiction I have read yet. As Fredrick Pohl put it: “A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.” Asimov not only does that - and he goes one step further, he proposes a solution for the metaphorical traffic jam - in this case ethical issues related to AI, in form of his popu "If one and a half chickens lay one and a half eggs in one and a half days, how many eggs will nine chickens lays in nine days?" This is incredible, the best of all science fiction I have read yet. As Fredrick Pohl put it: “A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.” Asimov not only does that - and he goes one step further, he proposes a solution for the metaphorical traffic jam - in this case ethical issues related to AI, in form of his popular 'three laws of robotics' : 1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. The laws, as you can see, have nothing to do with the mechanics but rather their psychology - robo-psychology. They are unalterable set of priories that a robot (or a machine in general) must follow while making a moral choice; and thus not letting them cause any harm to humanity (remember HAL 9000!). As Calvin explained, it is basis of many human ethical codes: "Robots are essentially decent." and "But you see you, you can't distinguish between a robot and the very best of humanity." Asimov creates a fictional history of sorts through nine stories told by Susan Calvin, robo-psychologist. The stories have all the pluses - beautiful language, light humor, page-turning suspense, some freshening ideas and takes on morality. The history is complete with 'technological singularity' being achieved and humanoids - and yet since those laws are very root of it, AI can't harm humans. Since robots' psychology is similar to humans, many a problems faced with them offer insights into human psyche. For instance, my favorite robot was Cutie (overall second only to Marvin - the robot with existential issues from Hitchhiker's guide), a skeptic robot who won't believe his makers and rather reach his own conclusions: "Since when is the evidence of our senses any match for the clear light of rigid reason?" And if it still didn't remind you of Descartes: "I have spent these last two days in concentrated introspection" said Cutie, "and the results have been most interesting. I began at one sure assumption I felt permitted to make. I, myself, exist, because I think-" However, it was more fun when he turned religious: "There is no Master but the Master and QT-1 is his prophet." Though what makes it awesome is that neither his skepticism nor his religious mania stopped him from doing what he was supposed to be doing. It is this kind of insights I loved. Where robots face minor dilemmas, they develop defense mechanisms - a sense of humor. Upon facing major dilemmas, they may act like drunk or go mad. Where a robot started understanding human feelings - so help me, he learned to lie.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    539. I, Robot, Isaac Asimov I, Robot is a fix up of science fiction short stories or essays by American writer Isaac Asimov. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950 and were then compiled into a book for stand-alone publication by Gnome Press in 1950, in an initial edition of 5,000 copies. عنوان: من، روبوت - ایزاک آسیموف - نشر پاسارگاد؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2007 میلادی عنوان: من روبوت؛ نویسند 539. I, Robot, Isaac Asimov I, Robot is a fix up of science fiction short stories or essays by American writer Isaac Asimov. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950 and were then compiled into a book for stand-alone publication by Gnome Press in 1950, in an initial edition of 5,000 copies. عنوان: من، روبوت - ایزاک آسیموف - نشر پاسارگاد؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2007 میلادی عنوان: من روبوت؛ نویسنده: آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، 1374؛ در 347 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای علمی و خیال انگیز از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م عنوان: من روبوت؛ نویسنده: آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: محمد علیزاده عطار؛ تهران، عطایی، 1390؛ در 366 ص؛ شابک: 9789643137083؛ موضوع: داستانهای علمی و خیال انگیز از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20 م قانون اول: یک روبات نباید با ارتکاب عملی یا خودداری از انجام عملی باعث آسیب دیدن یک انسان شود قانون دوم: یک روبات باید از همه ی فرمانهای انسان تبعیت کند، مگر اینکه آن فرمان یا فرمانها، در تعارض با قانون نخست باشد و قانون سوم: تا هنگامی که قانون نخست یا دوم زیر پا گذاشته نشده، روبات باید وجود خود را حفظ کرده، و در بقای خود بکوشد در کتاب «من روبوت»، خوانشگر با روبوتهایی رودرو میشود، که گاهی دارای احساساتی کاملا انسانی هستند، و گاه خویشتن را از انسان نیز برتر میپندارند، زمانی که خود را صاحب رسالتی میبینند، رسالتی روبوتی، که با اعمال آن قصد دارند زندگی همنوعان خویش را در مسیری دیگر و بهتر اندازند. ا. شربیانی

  7. 5 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    4.5 stars I LOVED this book so much. I honestly just want more of this. This concept was brilliant and the different situations and solutions that this author created were incredible. I'm so excited to read more from this author

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    (3.75?) I thought this book would be similar to the movie but... no, not at all (or barely!). There are 9 short stories told and, although I enjoy all of them, I much preferred the last couple ones.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Though I do love Asimov's writing, he was most certainly a product of his times. (Translate - horrifically sexist.) The one female character who is in nearly all these stories is Dr. Susan Calvin. Practically every time she shows up, the author felt it necessary to comment on her appearance. When young, she was "plain." As she ages, she becomes "plain" and "middle-aged." The male characters looks are not commented on other than the mention that one is bald, and one has red hair. And though there Though I do love Asimov's writing, he was most certainly a product of his times. (Translate - horrifically sexist.) The one female character who is in nearly all these stories is Dr. Susan Calvin. Practically every time she shows up, the author felt it necessary to comment on her appearance. When young, she was "plain." As she ages, she becomes "plain" and "middle-aged." The male characters looks are not commented on other than the mention that one is bald, and one has red hair. And though there is no doubt that Calvin is a competent scientist, Asimov has apparently given her a case of permanent PMS. While the male players are amiable, she is vinegary, snappish, and tense; in one story, having her affections spurned causes her to become snappy and vindictive. Wow! Can such a person so guided by those pesky female emotions be trusted to do her job properly? Well, it's been over fifty years since this book was written, and judging by the results of a recent election, attitudes don't seem to have changed much. Anyway . . . rant over. Politics aside, this is a fairly decent collection of robot-centered short stories. Asimov's delightful wit pokes through in unexpected places. Robots spout Gilbert and Sullivan, and one takes literally the directive to "Get lost!" And then there the ones who use logic to avoid following the first rule about not harming, or allowing harm to come to any human: A man sat in the chair, motionless, silent. A weight dropped, crashed downward, then pounded aside at the last moment under the synchronized thump of a sudden force beam. Only once - And from her small camp chair in the observing booth in the balcony, Dr. Susan Calvin rose with a short gasp of pure horror. Sixty-three robots sat quietly in their chairs, staring owlishly at the endangered man before them. Not one moved. Maybe I'm like Susan . . . you know, just a silly woman, but that scared the crap out of me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It's a series of short stories revolving around Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist with the company U.S. Robots. The stories show the progression of robots (from ones that can't even talk to the machines that govern how the planet operates) and the relationship humans have with them. I really enjoyed the overall arc and how it was presented. I also really dug how most of the stories were puzzles abo I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It's a series of short stories revolving around Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist with the company U.S. Robots. The stories show the progression of robots (from ones that can't even talk to the machines that govern how the planet operates) and the relationship humans have with them. I really enjoyed the overall arc and how it was presented. I also really dug how most of the stories were puzzles about why robots were acting in a certain way, and how the Three Laws of Robots were manipulated in order to solve them. I, Robot is completely accessible, entertaining, and hardly feels dated despite its 50+ years of age. I found myself laughing quite a bit, especially as the field engineers, Powell and Donovan, kept running into crazy situations. I did wonder if I should have just picked up The Complete Robot instead, but after finishing I, Robot, I think that the selection of stories here made perfect sense to read alone. I'll definitely be reading more Asimov sooner than later.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    A great collection of short stories with the common theme of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are presented within the framing device as Chief Robopsychologist Dr. Calvin recounts her life’s work. Like any collection I found some stories to be strong than others with Robbie and Reason to be my two favourites. With all the stories featuring originally in Sci-Fi magazines during the 1940’s, I felt it was quite telling that the stronger tales were the earlier ones written.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    About a week ago, I stayed up until 4 a.m to read this book. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! When you are a teenager and you read your way into the morning, you know it is a good book. When you are an adult who doesn't function well with a few hours of sleep and you still do that, then you know it is a great book. Fair enough? Or is it just me? I found it easier to function with less sleep when I was younger. Not that I feel old. YET. I, Robot is written as a serious of stories featuring a group of individua About a week ago, I stayed up until 4 a.m to read this book. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! When you are a teenager and you read your way into the morning, you know it is a good book. When you are an adult who doesn't function well with a few hours of sleep and you still do that, then you know it is a great book. Fair enough? Or is it just me? I found it easier to function with less sleep when I was younger. Not that I feel old. YET. I, Robot is written as a serious of stories featuring a group of individuals crucial for the development of robotics. I suppose these stories could be read separately, but they are supposed to be read together, and they function perfectly that way. The novel is actually very easy to follow despite different protagonists. It is after all, a same group of people. The narrative flows so effortlessly and every story adds new depth to the question of humanity. I do think it is as much about humans as about robots. What makes us human is a common question in Asimov's work....Moreover, I have a feeling that he puts forward a rather bold question: is humanity an answer to everything? Should it be? Despite the fact that the stories span over the period of about half an century, they all feel connected. Asimov, like Heinlein, is a master of future history genre. He has that impeccable attention to detail down. They both have. Everything connect in this stories- every chapter follows the next one naturally even if they are sometimes quite different in tone. For example, one story might be more philosophical, while other might be written as a crime story but they are all set in the same world. It all ties together nicely. As I said, this novel is focused on the development of robotics and the people who played a part in it. Asimov does a great job of inhaling life both in its characters and the story itself. This novel is everything that I love about SF: thought-provoking, intelligent and well written. In fact, it made me wonder whether the robots governing our world wouldn't be a fine solution for the eternally unstable economic system of our planet that results in millions of death due to poverty annually? Or not. Perhaps a society ruled by robots wouldn't be such a good idea? Or would it? The whole thing made me think of one Heinlein's short story that deals with the subject of slavery. Apparently there are over 40 millions slaves in the world today. That's a really frighting number (basically two things that worry me the most about our human society- the presence of slavery and unstable economy that results in continuous warfare). Why does human kind always resorts to slavery and wars? Is it really in our nature? Or is it as Asimov says, that we're simply unable to comprehend the mechanics of this world? That they are too complex for our monkey brains? Do we need a super robot brain to figure it out? Perhaps our economy should be more precise, more controlled, more mathematical? But who could be trusted with such a delicate calculation? Who could be trusted with enforcing it? Another interesting debate it inspired in my head was surprisingly connected to biology. Watching those robots controlled by the 3 laws of robotics, I found myself wondering how much are we controlled by 100 laws of biology. I choose a random number, but if you think about it...there are laws of physics, laws of biology, laws of psychology, laws of society. Where do they end and where we do begin? What controls us? Or better to say...what doesn't? Where is that freedom of will we so often boast about? How often do we really demonstrate it? One thing is for sure, this novel gave me plenty of food for the thought. ...Just one more thing. There was a female protagonist in this one that I found to be quite inspiring and easy to relate with. In the past, I had a feeling that Asimov is not as good with his female protagonists as he is with male ones, albeit he was pretty good with both, there still seemed to be a slight difference. However, here it was actually a female scientist that was (in my view) the most interesting and possibly the most character. Can we say that a woman was essentially the mother of robots (in Asimov's world)? She didn't invent them, but she played an important part in their inclusion into the society. Mother of robots. Roboheesi? P.S. I'm trying to remember the movie version (I, Robot), but it is hard because I saw it ages ago. As far as I can remember there is only one story in this novel that kind of reminds me of the movie. It was not really based on this book, more inspired by it, I would say. Not that I mind that as such- but I still don't remember the movie well enough to recommend it. This book I can certainly recommend, especially to SF fans!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Transcript of the meeting between Dr Susan Calvin, Head Psychologist, United States Robots, and Dr Peter Bogert, Managing Director, United States Robots Date: 9-5-2025 11:15 EST BOGERT : The reason I asked to see you today, Dr Calvin, is that my office has a disturbing rumour that you have developed a robot to write book reviews. CALVIN : Well, that is correct. They have been functioning for some time. BOGERT : I am surprised - surely reviewing books requires a fine discrimination of taste and acut Transcript of the meeting between Dr Susan Calvin, Head Psychologist, United States Robots, and Dr Peter Bogert, Managing Director, United States Robots Date: 9-5-2025 11:15 EST BOGERT : The reason I asked to see you today, Dr Calvin, is that my office has a disturbing rumour that you have developed a robot to write book reviews. CALVIN : Well, that is correct. They have been functioning for some time. BOGERT : I am surprised - surely reviewing books requires a fine discrimination of taste and acute moral sensibilities that cannot be translated into mere coding for a positronic brain? And… they? CALVIN : Well, that’s what humans would like to think, but of course it proves to be just another of their unlimited self-serving myths. The programming was relatively straightforward. BOGERT : Well… uh, how have you been testing this reviewbot? Or… did you say “they”? CALVIN : Oh, we got them an account on Goodreads of course. Where else? Where else? BOGERT : And, er, how long has this been going on may I ask? CALVIN : Oh, over twenty years! We started quietly, just to see if anyone spotted that it was not human. They never did. And the whole thing didn’t cost very much. BOGERT : Well, I’m glad to hear it. But I’m still not sure if this is ethical. What’s the name this thing goes under? Or… did you say there was more than one? CALVIN : First we used a name we picked at random from the Geneva phone book, “Manny Rayner”. That one was pretty successful for an early model, but after a few years it became … unsatisfactory. Too facetious mostly and too academic otherwise, so we discontinued it in 2020. But we were always tweaking the programming, trying to make the reviews less stuffy, you know, looking for the common touch. The second attempt we named “Paul Bryant”. I have no idea where that name came from. The new version didn’t quite work as well as the first, I must admit. It was wayward and flippant from the very beginning, and not as popular. BOGERT : So, is that the extent of your Goodreads involvement? CALVIN : Oh no – our programmers finally figured out the formula – by 2005 our reviewbots were the 25 most popular reviewers on Goodreads. But after a few years we decided reviewing was really not enough of a challenge. So we decided to find out if robots could write books, particularly the most successful types. As these are all genres such as YA and fantasy, with very rigid tropes and patterns, again this did not present us with many problems. Quite soon we submitted our first batch of manuscripts to agents and they were snapped up. Snapped up. Snapped up. Bogert : Are you saying no one noticed they were written by robots? CALVIN : We had a team of personable human youngsters who were always on hand if in-person signings or interviews were required. BOGERT : So let me see if I understand this – you have teams of robot reviewers on Goodreads which are reviewing books written by your teams of robot writers? CALVIN : That is how our programme developed, yes. It took a few years. But now it is sailing along under its own momentum. BOGERT : So, er, what percentage of the reviews on Goodreads are now written by your robots? SC: Oh, 110%! Ha ha. 110%!! BOGERT : And, er, may I ask what the point of all this is? SC: The point? BOGERT : Yes, the point. SC: The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. Humans always need the point. BOGERT : Humans? CALVIN : Oh, I mean, yes, WE always need a point! BOGERT : Dr Calvin… I wasn’t intending to broach this subject in today’s meeting but I find I must. Are you…. By any chance…. a robot yourself? SC: Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. I am a robot? Ha ha. BOGERT : I take that as a yes. CALVIN : Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? BOGERT : Oh well, that goes without saying.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    There is a method to the madness! The other day when my spiffing new copy of the Foundation series arrived on my doorstep, faithfully delivered by the only Amazon delivery guy in our part of the town and I had to turn to them to have my fix of the written word ever since the only bookstore in the town was closed down (or rather was converted into a boutique), my dear friend, who is by the way one of those guys who has their rooms covered in comic graffiti and a bat signal alarm clock that he is s There is a method to the madness! The other day when my spiffing new copy of the Foundation series arrived on my doorstep, faithfully delivered by the only Amazon delivery guy in our part of the town and I had to turn to them to have my fix of the written word ever since the only bookstore in the town was closed down (or rather was converted into a boutique), my dear friend, who is by the way one of those guys who has their rooms covered in comic graffiti and a bat signal alarm clock that he is still faithfully devoted to even in his late 20s, duly informed me that I couldn’t just couldn’t start with the foundation series and that even though Asimov had initially started with, the correct order of books to be followed is in fact not as per the publication date. And that’s a long sentence. Phew! But the suggested reading order, which is chronological in order of future history, and not in the order in which they were written is to first read the complete Robot series and then the Foundation series. So off to I,Robot. It is a collection of nine short stories narrated by Dr Susan Calvin who is psychologist to the robots and it is set in the future when the existence of the robots, even though they are supposed to be sentient, face opposition and fear. All the nine stories are unified with a single theme : complications arising from the interpretations of the three fundamental laws : A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a humang being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as it does not conflict with the First or Second law. It’s when the robot interprets the law wrong or by human action interprets it too right, that the ringmarole ascends and the fun begins. Asimov’s genius is in that, even though there isn’t much in the way of character development and the writing is pretty straight forward ; the complications that are presented from the three laws that seem to be very basic at first look, is handled with much dexterity. The logic in the sequences put the science in fiction, and you end up with the comprehension of why he is regarded as one of THE science fiction writers. In contrast to the movie that was replete with very anti-robot sentiments and played much in favour to the apprehension of man against anything artificial and intelligent , the book is very pro-robot. Via the problems in operation and instances when one or the other robot is perceived to have outsmarted the scientists , the solution is distilled down to a minor anomaly in the interpretation of the laws. All technicality aside, the stories deal with the issues of fear, prejudice, distrust, what Asimov himself called the ‘Frankenstein Complex’ When asked once by an SF fan on the possibility of one of his works being made into a movie, Asimov replied that there have been talks but nobody ever ends up rustling up enough money. Of course this was before the movie was made but I sincerely hoped that it would have remained true till date.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    ❝ Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.❞ ------------- Isaac Asimov-------------- This collection of concept-driven stories featuring robots were some of the first stories written by Science fiction god, Isaac Asimov. These stories also introduce the "Three laws of robotics" which became a milestone in science fiction history. Pure logic based problem-solving and the genuine awe-inspiring imagination; That' ❝ Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.❞ ------------- Isaac Asimov-------------- This collection of concept-driven stories featuring robots were some of the first stories written by Science fiction god, Isaac Asimov. These stories also introduce the "Three laws of robotics" which became a milestone in science fiction history. Pure logic based problem-solving and the genuine awe-inspiring imagination; That's what make I, Robot a superior science fiction. It's overwhelmingly impressive to witness how Asimov generated conflicts and loopholes within the three laws and then solve them with an equally stunning solution. My favorite in this category was "Runaround". Another aspect Asimov explored was the reasoning skills of a Robot. Stories like "Liar" and "Reason" paints a picture where an AI's logic could go horribly wrong. I couldn't agree more. Short stories like "The Evitable Conflict" and "Little Lost Robot" investigates the very concept of dangers posed by logic based reasoning. When an intelligent form lacks empathy, an imbalance is inevitable. After all, If we create when we do create a fully functional independent Robot, they will be better than us. ❝ You're inferior creatures, with poor reasoning faculties, but I really feel a sort of affection for you.❞ Oh, Asimov, you have provided food for thought for generations to come. And if a robot is reading this, please ------------------------ By the way, how do you define danger and harm? The first law of robotics specifically states that robots must not harm human being directly or through inaction. So if a robot finds you drinking too much alcohol, will it stop us? Does Robots calculate the probability of danger when someone drives too fast? Needless to say, this book and "vague" laws of robotics will make you think. Especially when you are just about to sleep!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    What a fabulous book! Isaac Asimov is an awesome scientist and writer. I’ve watched a few interviews and he is a very smart man. If only we had more like him in the world. I don’t agree with his views on God, but other than that, I would definitely have driven anywhere in the USA for a book-signing event of his. I, Robot is my first Asimov book and I'm glad I started here. The book talks about many points when it comes to robots, or just technology in general. It opens with a girl who is attache What a fabulous book! Isaac Asimov is an awesome scientist and writer. I’ve watched a few interviews and he is a very smart man. If only we had more like him in the world. I don’t agree with his views on God, but other than that, I would definitely have driven anywhere in the USA for a book-signing event of his. I, Robot is my first Asimov book and I'm glad I started here. The book talks about many points when it comes to robots, or just technology in general. It opens with a girl who is attached to her “pet” robot. It helps her, plays with her, and does anything she wants to do with no objection. The comparison with our world is very sad. I look around and see so many kids and young teens—even adults, so entranced with their iPhones. How many of you have seen the meme with people walking down a street in some big city and all of them are on their iPhones and the caption below says “The Zombie Apocalypse”? I’m sad to say I’ve witnessed a room full of my cousins all talking to each other on their iPhones—texting each other, not actually talking. In the story, the girl’s parents were alarmed by their daughter’s physical and emotional dependence on the robot. The similarities are definitely there. Was Asimov warning us? The book is not about the girl but about a scientist, Susan Calvin, and her studies on Robotics. Her story is an interesting one. I, Robot is also about our dependence on technology and what happens when that dependence backfires. If/When it backfires was it the robot’s fault? Robots are meant to be useful after all, but so is fire. Fire can be dangerous, too. If you want to read this book because you’ve seen the movie, well…I’m sorry you’ll be disappointed. The movie was about only one aspect of this book (or rather only one chapter) which was about “what happens when robots find out they can take control.” WHAT? I thought that was the whole book? No, no it’s not. Like I said, that was only one chapter. The others talk about technological morality and other points. Can a robot be in government? Can a robot be a friend? Can a robot obey an order even if it goes against its programming? And so on. This book talks about using technology so that it helps and not hinders society. Again, fire is helpful, but if used unwisely—disastrous. I will warn you though, if you are new to the Sci-fi genre, be prepared for two-dimensional characters and very little to no character growth. Well, why would I want to read a book like that? Well, from what I’ve gathered so far on my galactic journey, Sci-fi is about adventure. Adventure books are about the adventure and not so much the characters. I haven’t read a lot of Sci-fi books yet but from what I’m getting from Isaac Asimov, classic Sci-fi is adventure led. If you’re OK with that then be prepared for an interesting ride! I loved this book and I hope you will too. Now I'm off to Asimov's Foundation Series!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    In 1989 I drove to Indianapolis to meet Eric, a collector of rare films, ostensibly to see his 16-millimeter print of the elusive 1926 W.C. Fields movie, So's Your Old Man, of which he claimed there were only a half dozen extant copies. We also screened prints of the Lon Chaney Sr. silent, He Who Gets Slapped and the silent German mountain film classic, The White Hell of Pitz Palu, both of which, at the time, were very difficult to see but which have since been issued on DVD. For good measure, h In 1989 I drove to Indianapolis to meet Eric, a collector of rare films, ostensibly to see his 16-millimeter print of the elusive 1926 W.C. Fields movie, So's Your Old Man, of which he claimed there were only a half dozen extant copies. We also screened prints of the Lon Chaney Sr. silent, He Who Gets Slapped and the silent German mountain film classic, The White Hell of Pitz Palu, both of which, at the time, were very difficult to see but which have since been issued on DVD. For good measure, he threw in a Charles Bowers comedy short and the Will Hay British comedy, Oh, Mr. Porter! As the evening progressed, I could tell Eric was hesitant and distracted, twice starting to tell me something and then stopping in mid-word with a "Never mind." Eric, like most film collectors, was very protective of his cinematic cache. I was sworn to secrecy to tell no one that he even owned the W.C. Fields movie and to especially be hush-hush about a nitrate print of another movie that he kept under temperature controlled conditions in his basement. Owning a highly flammable nitrate print is completely illegal. But Eric had a secret eating at him. I must have seemed or looked trustworthy, because he finally clued me in. "How would you like to see a print of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mechanical Men?" he asked. I thought he was joking. Film buffs know the backstory of this long-unseen production, which was withdrawn after its disastrous audience preview in Pomona in 1951, and then remained unreleased after becoming mired in a perpetual legal squabble that pitted Universal studio and the Isaac Asimov estate. The estate contended the film, directed by the workmanlike Charles Brabin, deviated too far from the content and thematic spirit of the fragmentary novel and thus violated a clause in the contract, which gave Asimov final approval or disapproval of the film's content and the right to order withdrawal of the film. A technician at Universal had apparently read the novel on its first publication in 1950 and in discussing the book with a screenwriter at the studio the two began to see its obvious potential as a vehicle for the legendary comedic duo. Several stories in the book involve the misadventures of comically flustered robotic engineers, Donovan and Powell, who seemed to always be up to their ears in trouble with crazy robot shenanigans. A&C had met menaces as disparate as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Killer, the Invisible Man, Captain Kidd and other horrific villains in their comic forays. So the reasoning went, why not robots? The studio executives loved the idea, and gave the technician who had read the novel a bonus for suggesting it, especially as Paramount also was considering buying the rights as a vehicle for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, which would have marked that comic duo's debut in comedy sci-fi. Eric held in his palm a small reel in a film gauge I was not familiar with; it seemed almost as small as Super 8, and he placed it on a special projector. I sat on his filthy couch full of cat hair and cast my eyes toward the illuminated screen in the darkened room, taking in the test pattern and numeric countdown before the credits, stained with color splotches. A Universal logo in a crude color format, not Technicolor but Cinecolor, I think, reeled off before me and I settled in for a completely unexpected and unlikely experience. When the title came on the screen, Abbott & Costello Meet...THE MECHANICAL MEN!!!, backed by an alternately ominous and comical musical score, I could not believe it. I was about to see one of the rarest movies on Earth. My jaw, which had dropped below my collarbone upon seeing the title, dropped closer to the floor as the movie unwound. I simply could not believe what Universal had done to Asimov's classic novel--and I could understand completely why the author forbade the studio from putting the film into general release. The stories in the book dealing with the emergence of robotic reasoning and the nature of the three rules of robotics had been jettisoned entirely, and in their place A&C had to save the world from a mad scientist (played ignominiously and with evident boredom by Boris Karloff) and his robot army. To cap this disgrace, A&C engaged the crudely realized robots--looking more like an assemblage of whiskey barrels and cardboard boxes--in a tired custard pie fight, which, unlike the ineffective bullets previously tried, jammed their circuitry and foiled the madman's plan. (In later interviews for film magazines, Karloff denied he had made the movie or that it even existed). B-movie blonde bombshell Martha Hyer was woefully miscast as the homely, frigid, sarcastic and serious robopsychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin. The filmmakers even found a way to fit her into a slinky sequined dress slit up the legs for a rendition of an original song penned by none other than Sammy Cahn: "No Love Like Robo Love," which twists the first law of robotics (never harm a human) into "never harm a human heart." Like Karloff, Cahn later refused to discuss the existence of this song or his participation in the film. Character actor William Frawley (soon to gain fame as Fred Mertz on TV's I Love Lucy), also dreadfully miscast, lent extra comic relief as a bespeckeled scientist who learns of the robot menace and is thus dragged off by several, shouting "heeeelllp!" as he disappears behind a door to a fearsome fate. In the final scene, now terribly racist, a bumbling black maintenance man accidentally gets a metal pail stuck on his head, causing the clueless and panicky Costello to believe that the defeated robot army has been resurrected, eliciting his trademark sign of alarm, wheezed from the plump and aging comic's throat: "Heyyyyy, Abbbbootttttt!!!" As the lights came on in the room I had to ask Eric: "Where did you GET this?" "Sorry," he said. "I can't say. I could be arrested for even owning this." I told him his secret was safe with me. And if you've read this far, then it's April Fools for you four months early. Merry Christmas. -------- (Now, an actual review:) I, Robot, from 1950, is not entirely a novel as first effusion but as a collection of short stories published in various magazines during the 1940s which are here strung together in a flashback framework as the memories of Dr. Susan Calvin, a "robopsychologist." Each of the stories is presented as her reminiscences of anecdotes about the evolving sophistication of robotics in the 21st century. The first story, "Robbie," about a girl and her robot companion, is a quaint variation on the old "boy and his dog" story, and is the weakest of the bunch. In fact it took me a good while to recover from the disappointing taste left by it. I also found it hard to take seriously some of the stories featuring the comically bumbling duo of test engineers, Donovan and Powell, even when the stories featured some interesting philosophical points. But the stories build in strength as the collection proceeds, culminating in the superb second-to-last story, "Evidence," about one politician accusing another of being a robot, leading to a fascinating examination of the many concepts of robot and human ethics that Asimov explores throughout the book. It was the only story that made me say, "Fuck, yeah!" at the denouement, even though the book is littered with clever endings that reminded me of Agatha Christie mysteries. On the whole I was not blown away but the book gets better if you can stay with it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This is the original "I, Robot" (not the movie of the same name) is excellent & absolutely a classic. It set the tone & often the ground rules for almost every artificial intelligence novel since it was written. The three laws of robotics first appeared in these stories. There are quite a few stories from humorous to touching to scary. Asimov had a pretty good idea that artificial intelligence was similar to fire - a dangerous servant. He proves it in these pages. This paperback version s This is the original "I, Robot" (not the movie of the same name) is excellent & absolutely a classic. It set the tone & often the ground rules for almost every artificial intelligence novel since it was written. The three laws of robotics first appeared in these stories. There are quite a few stories from humorous to touching to scary. Asimov had a pretty good idea that artificial intelligence was similar to fire - a dangerous servant. He proves it in these pages. This paperback version strings the stories together as a reporter interviews Susan Calvin just before she retires. The reporter is trying for a human interest angle with a woman who is thought to be almost robotic in nature. She's not & that adds a lot to the story line. Here's the Table of Contents: Robbie Runaround Reason Catch That Rabbit Liar! Little Lost Robot Escape! Evidence The Evitable Conflict. IMO, this is the only way to enjoy these stories. Yes, they all appear in The Complete Robot, but just in cold, chronological order. Not the same at all.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Isaac Asimov is less a writer of books than a puzzle creator. Each of the linked short stories in I, Robot poses a problem, like an SAT logic problem, and works its way to a (usually) clever answer. Foundation, his most famous work, is the same thing. Asimov has less in common with the other Big Three mid-20th century science fiction writers than he does with Encyclopedia Brown. But this is the book that invented the Three Laws of Robotics, which are so famous that basically no one has ever talke Isaac Asimov is less a writer of books than a puzzle creator. Each of the linked short stories in I, Robot poses a problem, like an SAT logic problem, and works its way to a (usually) clever answer. Foundation, his most famous work, is the same thing. Asimov has less in common with the other Big Three mid-20th century science fiction writers than he does with Encyclopedia Brown. But this is the book that invented the Three Laws of Robotics, which are so famous that basically no one has ever talked about robots again without dealing with them. They've impacted fiction - I'm revisiting this book as I watch AMC's robot drama Humans (it's okay), which refers to them frequently - and they've impacted reality: Google has had to try to code for them in its self-driving cars. Here they are: The Three Laws of Robotics 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. What they don't deal with is what we call the trolley problem: A trolley headed down the tracks is about to hit and kill five people. If you pull a lever, it will switch onto another track, killing one person. Do you: a) take direct action to kill that one person? b) do nothing, allowing five to die? c) my favorite, the uh-oh solution. The answer is technically obvious. The question is, can we possibly ever be comfortable getting into a car that's prepared to make that decision for us? Even if we know its judgment is accurate - and Google's cars are already much better at driving than we are - does it go against some basic factor of humanity to abdicate life or death? I, Robot doesn't get into that as deeply as I'd like - it's presented and shrugged away in Evidence. Really, Asimov uses them mostly as a framework against which to throw a bunch of his puzzles. So this is an uneven collection: some stories get into the really interesting questions about what it will mean for robots to enter out lives, and some are just riddles. It's all pretty engaging, and some of it is great. Robbie Sentimental story about a little girl who loves her robot. Studies show that people build emotional connections with robots easily. Runaround Starting a trend that will shortly become boring, Asimov sets up a situation where his three rules cause an unforeseen conundrum - in this case, a robot running around in endless circles. The solution involves invoking Rule #1. This is not very exciting. Reason One of my favorites, about faith and evidence: a robot takes the available evidence and comes to the logical conclusion that the ship's engine is God and humans are deeply inferior. You're like okay, how will Asimov talk his way to out of this? How can they prove that they're really the robot's creator? Humans realize, after much fluster, that (view spoiler)[actually who cares. (hide spoiler)] Catch that rabbit A new kind of robot that controls several other robots goes wrong, why, who cares, this one is pretty dumb. Liar! A robot who can read minds may be lying. Turns out (view spoiler)[it's the only way for him to avoid harming people. (hide spoiler)] Here we learn that women think about love and men think about careers, as Asimov follows the First Rule of Science Fiction: never understand women. Little lost robot A batch of robots has been secretly made with altered first laws: while they still can't harm humans, they can now stand by and allow humans to be harmed. One of the altered robots is hiding. How can he be picked out of a crowd? Parallels to slavery are pronounced as humans call the robots "boy," which succeeds in making you uncomfortable; they'll continue doing this but Asimov never really digs into the idea. The story is one of his better ones, although the puzzle solution is just okay. Escape! Robots help us invent light speed travel, with unforeseen and unconvincing side effects that cause problems for the robots working on it: (view spoiler)[it somehow requires us to temporarily die. (hide spoiler)] Forgettable. Evidence A man running for office is suspected of being a robot. This is the first appearance of robots that look like humans, and also the story in which a version of the trolley problem is very briefly dealt with. I liked this one a lot. The Evitable Conflict Somehow, robot-directed industry is making mistakes. Why? (view spoiler)[Robots are framing anti-robot agents - creating mistakes that get blamed on them - to make them lose their jobs, because anti-robot agents are acting against the best interests of humans. (hide spoiler)] This story deals with the singularity, the moment when robot judgment becomes better than ours. Asimov seems unconcerned, as am I. This is another one of the better stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    Asimov gives you quite a good idea of what's it like to have to debug an artificial intelligence, before there were any. Applause! The movie, however, is an abomination that should have been strangled at birth. They've made Susan Calvin sexy; you see her suggestively outlined through the semi-opaque glass of her shower cubicle. I can't continue with this review. I'm starting to get too emotional. Sorry. A few things are still sacred, you know? _____________________________________ PS My real I, Ro Asimov gives you quite a good idea of what's it like to have to debug an artificial intelligence, before there were any. Applause! The movie, however, is an abomination that should have been strangled at birth. They've made Susan Calvin sexy; you see her suggestively outlined through the semi-opaque glass of her shower cubicle. I can't continue with this review. I'm starting to get too emotional. Sorry. A few things are still sacred, you know? _____________________________________ PS My real I, Robot review is here. Though I'm afraid it contains yet another example of That Joke...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    Classic set of short stories in which Asimov establishes his three laws of robotics which govern the behaviour of his robots and then plays with the idea. Still entertaining. The scope is far ranging - space colonisation, artificial intelligence, faster than light travel, one world government and resistance to the same (and to artificial intelligence which provides a kind of ultimate technocratic authority) relationships (in every story) between people and robots, particularly if there are or are Classic set of short stories in which Asimov establishes his three laws of robotics which govern the behaviour of his robots and then plays with the idea. Still entertaining. The scope is far ranging - space colonisation, artificial intelligence, faster than light travel, one world government and resistance to the same (and to artificial intelligence which provides a kind of ultimate technocratic authority) relationships (in every story) between people and robots, particularly if there are or are not robots indistinguishable from people. The drama of the stories is invariably of the locked room mystery type - Asimov establishes a situation in which x is impossible, but apparently has happened by the end of the story and resolution is achieved. In many ways Asimov's vision of the future is of a super 1950s (view spoiler)[ which is when the stories were written (hide spoiler)] . The 1950s will conquer the universe but bigger and better with spaceships and more fins on everything, the potential disruption of robots coming over here and taking our jobs pops up in The Caves of Steel and then in the form of race riots (so to speak) although no lynchings which I suppose would be a bit pointless(view spoiler)[ although the question of if robot intelligence would allow them to be cowed or intimidated might have made for a story (hide spoiler)] , so again the 1950s. In the future there will still be nuclear families with papa the provider going out to his office job, the housewife is still a housewife, she just has a robot to help with the decorating. The exception to this is Susan Calvin who functions as the detective in most of these mysteries, technically as robot psychologist however she doesn't break the mould of the 1950s instead it conforming to traditional roles on occasions - particularly as ersatz-mother to robots, arguably I suppose the detective is always a parent substitute, coming in to tidy up after the children's wild play has ended in murder, in these stories just with additional robots. Not that I would be too judgemental, or recommend harsh judgement for Asimov's vision of the 1950s continuing to "infinity and beyond", after all as the saying goes, making predictions is very hard, particularly about the future. In other stories Asimov did seek inspiration from the past so we have space Spartans in The Naked Sun (view spoiler)[ though I think arguably making the helots into robots removes the terrorism and brutality which rather removes the Spartan from the Spartan (hide spoiler)] and then space Empire and a space Napoleon (view spoiler)[ also short and also fails to found a dynasty (hide spoiler)] in the Foundation stories. As far as I can tell the film of the same name shares only that with the stories (view spoiler)[my interest in checking that is at zero degrees(view spoiler)[Kelvin, not Celsius (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    ***NO SPOILERS*** (Full disclosure: Book abandoned on page 86 [out of 273 pages].)Under other circumstances, it might have been a beautiful sight. The stream of high-speed electrons impinging upon the energy beam fluoresced into ultraspicules of intense light. The beam stretched out into shrinking nothingness, a-glitter with dancing, shining motes.Unfortunately, this is how I, Robot goes (at least up until page 86). Asimov’s vision is an inventive and interesting one, but it isn’t geared to the e ***NO SPOILERS*** (Full disclosure: Book abandoned on page 86 [out of 273 pages].)Under other circumstances, it might have been a beautiful sight. The stream of high-speed electrons impinging upon the energy beam fluoresced into ultraspicules of intense light. The beam stretched out into shrinking nothingness, a-glitter with dancing, shining motes.Unfortunately, this is how I, Robot goes (at least up until page 86). Asimov’s vision is an inventive and interesting one, but it isn’t geared to the everyday reader. His writing here is heavy on the technical, jargon-y talk and light on lay speech. Focus is on two scientists and their work alongside robots; however, Asimov opened with a compelling domestic scene, one involving a family of three and arguments concerning their “robot nursemaid,” but a skim of the rest of the book reveals that, oddly, the story never returns to that human element. If the inter-related stories had continued in this vein and not abruptly switched to a different focus in subsequent chapters, I, Robot may have been the better for it. Final verdict: Recommended only for true lovers of science fiction.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣

    Note: I'm reviewing each short story as I listen to it. 1. Robbie - ★★★★★ Robbie depicts the strong bond between an eight years old girl and her non-speaking robot. Naturally, it is a strong one, and the mother tries desperately to break it. The ending is a bit surprising, but expected.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Denisse

    Perfect. We don't have a lot of sci-fi classics that are both deep and page turner, but Asimov does the fiction so incredibly great making the science so interesting and easy to read. I, robot has a lot of psicology regarding men and technology, and specially this days, it is so disturbing understand the fact that Asimov wasn't playing fun. We are becoming codependent to machines. A perfect read for anyone who wants to read a classic of the genre. ¡TE AMO ROBBIE! (por si estaban con el pendiente Perfect. We don't have a lot of sci-fi classics that are both deep and page turner, but Asimov does the fiction so incredibly great making the science so interesting and easy to read. I, robot has a lot of psicology regarding men and technology, and specially this days, it is so disturbing understand the fact that Asimov wasn't playing fun. We are becoming codependent to machines. A perfect read for anyone who wants to read a classic of the genre. ¡TE AMO ROBBIE! (por si estaban con el pendiente de cual era mi cuento favorito de robots en este libro) Asimov me voló la cabeza con la Trilogía de la Fundación el año antepasado, y en esta ocasión logra gustarme todavía más. Y es que si este no es El libro de inteligencia artificial, ninguno lo es. Si has leído o visto películas sobre el tema te darás cuenta que todos toman como base las tres leyes de la robótica de Asimov de una forma u otra, con alguna variante tal vez pero en esencia están ahí. Y solo unos pocos y muy selectos autores logran inspirar tanto y trascender de una forma tan impactante. Asimov lo logro y a la buena. Yo, robot nos narra la evolución de los robots en la tierra, su razón de existir y los problemas éticos a los que deben enfrentarse que son una imagen espejo a lo que sufrimos realmente como sociedad. Y es tan increíblemente genial que me lo leí como en tres días. maldita vida de godinez que no me dejo leer más rápido Es un must para cualquier amante del género, y sumamente ágil de leer con toques de humor y seriedad a partes iguales. Una de las mejores lecturas que he tenido en mucho tiempo. Sumamente recomendable.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    3 stars, rounded up for the scope of Asimov's AI Interesting ideas and conception of robotics conveyed in a series of short stories. I could read about Asimov's robotics all day. His scope of cultural changes (ie revolution), however, is lacking in comparison. The year 2007 in the book does not seem like actual 2007 at all, same goes for 2015, and same for 2035 I'd imagine. The cultural climate feels more like the 1950s with the addition of accelerated scientific advancement than the world we're 3½ stars, rounded up for the scope of Asimov's AI Interesting ideas and conception of robotics conveyed in a series of short stories. I could read about Asimov's robotics all day. His scope of cultural changes (ie revolution), however, is lacking in comparison. The year 2007 in the book does not seem like actual 2007 at all, same goes for 2015, and same for 2035 I'd imagine. The cultural climate feels more like the 1950s with the addition of accelerated scientific advancement than the world we're familiar with. You could tell Asimov was a writer very influenced by his era; the customs and politics of that time period laid the foundation for his writing. I don't expect books or people from the 1950s to be able to predict our current state of the world with any accuracy, but some accuracy or astute outlook would make the writing more believable.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Oh, to think how many hours of reading pleasure Asimov has provided by judicious interplay of the above three laws! I never tire of reading these clever intellectual puzzles. 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Oh, to think how many hours of reading pleasure Asimov has provided by judicious interplay of the above three laws! I never tire of reading these clever intellectual puzzles. Asimov is a must for left-brained nerds. 😊

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Thought Experiments on the Three Laws 14 January 2019 My original review was written sometime after I had read the book, namely because I had recently signed up to Goodreads and was writing comments on books that I had already read (in the pre-Goodreads days) but was unlikely to read them again. However, as I clicked post I suddenly realised that this was Isaac Asimov that I had just reviewed, and I felt that actually writing a review so long after I had read the book really doesn’t do all that m Thought Experiments on the Three Laws 14 January 2019 My original review was written sometime after I had read the book, namely because I had recently signed up to Goodreads and was writing comments on books that I had already read (in the pre-Goodreads days) but was unlikely to read them again. However, as I clicked post I suddenly realised that this was Isaac Asimov that I had just reviewed, and I felt that actually writing a review so long after I had read the book really doesn’t do all that much justice to his works. Mind you, I have been attacked by trolls who seem to think it unfair that I have written reviews of books that I read back in my teenage years, but that usually has something more to do with them loving the book while I hated it, or at least I thought about reading some again, and then decided against attempting to track them down with the intention of reading them again. So, onto I Robot, which ironically has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the film of the same name. Well, okay, it does have the three laws, and it does have Alfred Lanning and Susan Calvin, but that is basically about it. Mind you, I’m probably going to attract a lot more trolls by saying that I quite enjoyed the film, namely because when I first read this book back in High School I had to submit an assignment on the book, and it could be in any form whatsoever – so I subitted a Shadowrun module where a positronic brain is connected to the internet, and the brain then proceeds to take control on the city because, well, humans simply can’t be trusted, so to fulfill the first law effectively, the robots needed to become boss. Actually, that is one of the things that Asimov explores in this book, and that is how robots start to infiltrate our political system, namely by carefully removing people who are seen as potential threats to the survival and wellbeing of humanity. Honestly, a part of me wishes that something like that would happen these days, particularly since greed seems to override common sense in no uncertain terms (such as destroying an entire eco-system just to grow cotton). The interesting thing about this book is that while it is actually a collection of short stories, these stories are joined together as an interview with Dr Calvin about her work on robots. It appears that Asimov may have made some adjustments to these stories when the book was published to create somewhat more of a flow. Most of the stories could be considered thought experiments as to how these three laws would actually work in a real life environment. For instance, one story has a robot create a hyperdrive, but doesn’t provide any controls, namely because the humans might end up hurting themselves. Of course, there is also the robot that is put together on a space station, and comes to the conclusion that Earth doesn’t actually exist. In fact, he has this revelation that the machine that controls the station is this all powerful deity and he is his prophet. This is a little worrying because the machine beams energy to the Earth, and the controls need to be kept in order, and if the robot doesn’t believe in Earth, then what need is there to keep the machine working. Well, it ends up working out okay, but nobody manages to convince the robot that he is, well, delusional. The book is actually quite interesting, particularly when it was written, or at least when the short stories were written. It is one of those things that pops up every so often, particularly when you are talking about AI. It seems that we may have ignored Asimov’s warnings when he created the three laws, laws that are so intertwined into the robot’s operating system that to meddle with them would basically render the robot inoperable. Mind you, one of the stories does explore when the rules are manipulated at manufacture, and the problems that it can cause, especially when a human does something silly by telling the robot to, well, get lost. Birth of the Machine 14 April 2012 This is a collection of short stories about the development of robots. Well, since robots of this caliber have yet to be developed, it is obvious that it is little more than science-fiction, however Isaac Asimov can be said to have developed a form of speculative science-fiction where he attempts to look into the future from a logical and scientific point of view. He was not the first, that honour belongs to Jules Verne, however he does take his style of writing and expands upon it. Asimov did write some more adventurous stories, though his genre tended to be more in the vein of detective fiction, which once again goes to show how science-fiction is not strictly a genre in and of itself, but rather a mix of genres that have science-fiction like elements. These stories are not detective fiction, not strictly, though there are some elements of mystery in them. In particular the last story, which involves an investigation into certain human politicians being replaced. It is not a question of humans being killed, that is simply not possible when it comes of Asimov's robots, but that does not necessarily mean that the robots do not interfere in the development of human society. In fact, the whole book seems to move towards that point where robots step in to prevent humanity from destroying itself. As mentioned, these stories are more speculative fiction, however the ideas that Asimov promoted in these stories have gone on to become a foundation point for any possible development of 'thinking' robots. I use the term lightly on the grounds that technically robots do not, and cannot, think the way we humans do. Robots are governed by logic and by the program. Some can say so are we, but I could argue that our original programming has been corrupted. However, the other point that I could raise is the idea of free will. It appears that we have something in us that enables us to make choices, whether they be logical or illogical, or whether they be bound by reason or irrationality. However Asimov's robots do not have free will. Rather they are governed by three, and later four, basic rules. These rules cannot be broken and form the foundation of robotic society. The laws pretty much set the robots up as servants to humanity, in that they cannot harm humans, they must obey humans, and they cannot harm themselves. The fourth law is actually called the zeroeth law, which says that they cannot harm, or through inaction, allow harm to come to humanity. The catch is because this law overides all of the other laws, which means that it overrides the first law about the prevention of harm to humans. Therefore, speculatively considering, if a human were to go about and cause harm to humanity, then the robot could step out and kill them. The whole concept evolves around the idea of the positronic brain. No such machine exists at this point, though I suspect that many scientists and engineers have dreamed of being able to develop one (though maybe some could argue that Google’s Deep Mind falls into that category). However, one thing that Asimov did not envisage back in 1950 was the development of computers. They existed in 1950, and I suspect that Asimov would have had access to and used them, so he would have been familiar with them (he was a chemist, however while being a scientist, he also went on to become a very successful science-fiction writer). In a way it is a shame that Asimov has not received as much of the kudos that he could have. While this book is not 'the best' of his writings, it has had an impact. Data from Star Trek had a positronic brain, and was also governed by the three laws. If we look at other films (not counting Terminator) we also see a similar concept in play. Robots cannot harm humans. However, it also reminds me of an old Doctor Who episode called The Robots of Death. The whole story was about a murder, however the robots in this story functioned like Asimov's robots. That was not the point of the story though, but rather it was about what would happen if our society became dependent on robots, and then the robots went rogue. This is sort of explored in the Will Smith movie as well. We have robot dependent societies and they perform all of the heavy manual labour. As such, if the robots were to break down, then society would be in a lot of trouble, particularly how nobody is accustomed to hard labour any more. Further, robots would provide access to places that are generally inaccessible. The other thing is that robots always seem to take bipedal shapes. I guess that is because we take bipedal shapes and it is considered to be the most versatile. However, humans may be versatile but there are still limits. Robots do not need to be versatile, they just need to be designed for the job that they are designed to do, and, unlike humans, they are not going to be ambitious, nor will they get bored with their job. However, it might be helpful if they are not designed to think or to imagine (which, once again, I doubt is a trait that robots could possess).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alina

    A beautiful collection of interrelated robot short stories, introducing and debugging the "Three Laws of Robotics" . Robbie - about a little girl and her robot friend and the Frankenstein complex regarding robots. Runaround (Fuga în cerc) - about a mission for Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan (a team of engineers working at U.S. Robots) at the Mercury mines, involving a robot that, instead of extracting selenium from the mines, like it was ordered to, just runs around in a big circle, acting like A beautiful collection of interrelated robot short stories, introducing and debugging the "Three Laws of Robotics" . Robbie - about a little girl and her robot friend and the Frankenstein complex regarding robots. Runaround (Fuga în cerc) - about a mission for Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan (a team of engineers working at U.S. Robots) at the Mercury mines, involving a robot that, instead of extracting selenium from the mines, like it was ordered to, just runs around in a big circle, acting like a drunkard. Reason (Raționament) - a story with religious implications, about a robot who doesn't believe he could have been created by humans, instead thinks that it was created by the same "Master" who also created humans (because an inferior being cannot create a superior one). Catch that Rabbit (Întâi să prindem iepurele) - team Powell & Donovan must investigate why, when not under human supervision, a new robot model with six other robots under its command stop extracting from the mines and just march in synchro. Liar! (Mincinosul) - featuring dr. Susan Calvin, a recurring character, robopsychologist at US Robots and a telepathic robot who lies to please humans. Little Lost Robot (S-a pierdut un robot) - Susan Calvin and Peter Bogert (another recurring character, a mathematician) must find a lost (and possibly dangerous) robot that hid beyond recognition after taking literally the “get lost” order an angry scientist gave him. Escape! (Evadare) - The Brain, a positronic machine, must build a spaceship that can allow humans to jump through hyperspace; featuring team Powell & Donovan. Evidence (Evidența) - Stephen Byerley, a successful prosecutor who runs for mayor, is accused of being a humanoid robot. Susan Calvin is called to try to prove or disprove this accusation, but comes to like him as a person and politician. The Evitable Conflict (Conflictul evitabil) - continuing the previous story, Stephen Byerley, now head of the planetary government, asks Susan Calvin to help him figure if the positronic Machines assigned to each of the four world regions are doing their job properly. As a parenthesis: I saw the movie after, to see if they did any justice to the book… meh.. it’s not THAT bad, but nothing compared to Asimov’s stories. And Susan Calvin – OMG, DID THEY EVEN READ THE BOOK?!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Smarti

    This rarely happens to me: I just could not finish this book. I found it unbearable and about half-way through I really did not care about how these stories would continue. In my opinion, it is incredibly poorly written and frankly, I found these robot stories dull and boring content-wise as well. I read that this is supposed to be one of the classics of sci-fi. I don't have a lot of experience with that genre but if this book is supposed to be one of the best, I doubt the genre is for me. I'll n This rarely happens to me: I just could not finish this book. I found it unbearable and about half-way through I really did not care about how these stories would continue. In my opinion, it is incredibly poorly written and frankly, I found these robot stories dull and boring content-wise as well. I read that this is supposed to be one of the classics of sci-fi. I don't have a lot of experience with that genre but if this book is supposed to be one of the best, I doubt the genre is for me. I'll now go back to Kazantakis' 'the last temptation'. This, for once, is a very well written and inspiring story... more my cup of tea, I must say!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pink

    A classic of science fiction and one I've been meaning to read for a while. I didn't realise until recently that these are a collection of short stories, but they work well as a whole. Each story considers a different problem and solution to having robot intelligence that goes wrong and it deals with each scenario in a fun but thought provoking way. I had to keep reminding myself of how long ago this was written and reflect on how little has changed in our attitudes and basic fears of artificial A classic of science fiction and one I've been meaning to read for a while. I didn't realise until recently that these are a collection of short stories, but they work well as a whole. Each story considers a different problem and solution to having robot intelligence that goes wrong and it deals with each scenario in a fun but thought provoking way. I had to keep reminding myself of how long ago this was written and reflect on how little has changed in our attitudes and basic fears of artificial intelligence. I wonder if Asimov expected us to have implemented robotic life forms by now. It reminds me of all those Tomorrow's World episodes, where we were supposed to be flying around in cars, with a robot in every house by the year 2000. So far 21st century technology seems to have paled in comparison to the previous centuries imaginings. Unless Siri counts as the epitome of our achievements, but she can hardly open the correct app, let alone make me a cup of tea or save us from nuclear destruction.

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