Asimov’s vision of the future
Via the reminiscences of Chief Robopsychologist Dr Susan Calvin, I, Robot offers the reader snapshots of a future fraught with remarkable technologies and unthought-of moral conundrums. In ’Robbie’, a little girl grows so attached to her robot nanny that she is inconsolable when her parents try to replace him; field engineers Powell and Donovan must deal with the religious mania of a robot that refuses to believe that human beings – creatures so ’soft and flabby’ and ’makeshift’ – could be responsible for its creation; and in ’Liar!’ a telepathic robot lies to its human colleagues to save their feelings, with terrible consequences. In each story, Asimov reveals a new facet of this complex future and the unexpected consequences of the Three Laws, ultimately sowing the seeds for his acclaimed ’Foundation Trilogy’.
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 the 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.
‘With his fertile imagination, his wit, and his prolific output, Isaac Asimov truly laid the foundation for all future generations of science-fiction writers’
- Kevin J. Anderson