I, Robot

I, Robot

Book - 2008
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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, 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 Asmiov's trademark.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2008
Edition: Bantam trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780553382563
Branch Call Number: ASIMOV I
Characteristics: 224 p. ; 21 cm


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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 su... Read More »

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Very insightful, intelligently written, even comedic in parts. I very much enjoyed this one, and what it postulates about the future.

Oct 22, 2018

First published in 1950, this linked collection of short stories often seems quaint when we have mobile audio and video communications and, on the other hand, occasionally visionary by whole Earth-management by “The Machine”. Highly recommended to all students of Philosophy 101 for logic, ethics, and values.

Apr 17, 2018

I almost did not read this book as planned because I had fallen almost two weeks behind on it, according to my book club's schedule; but I'm so glad that I did. I remember going to the movie theater to watch the film starring Will Smith back in high school with my former mentor and really enjoying it. However, as one would expect, the actual book provides way more context about the robots, especially the complexities of their hard-coded three laws that the film portrayed. I'll admit that I didn't enjoy all of the stories within the book but the majority of them were good and kept me engaged.

For anyone that's considering reading this book who's even remotely interested in sci-fi, I would recommend it.

Apr 16, 2018

Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot deserves it’s place in the Hallowed Halls of Classic Science Fiction. This collection of short stories, which showcases the development of artificial intelligence, is exquisitely well-crafted. I can only imagine how groundbreaking these piece must have been when they were written. Even though AI hasn’t taken the exact steps that Asimov lays out, it’s still a near prophetic look at its development. From the robot nanny most of us had not heard about, to the deceptive robot everyone knows from the Will Smith I, Robot, it’s a believable evolution of robotics.

I, Robot is not for everyone. Asimov’s writing is dry, and entirely lacking in flair. He does not wrap his stories in pretty words. He does not pad them out with yards of description. Instead, he tells exactly the story he sets out to tell, in the most straightforward way possible. I have not read enough of the man’s works to be familiar with his style or beliefs in general. So, I can’t speak on his body of work as a whole. However, I Robot truly delighted me. I loved his vision.

The way the collection is tied together from the point of view of a reporter speaking to the first robot psychologist was brilliant. Even if I didn’t quite buy the whole ‘robot psychologist’ thing. I, Robot does occasionally date itself – it would be almost impossible not to – but it’s not something readers will be overly conscious of. Because each of the stories within are relatively short, there is no real issue with pacing. The only time my interest / engagement wobbled was on the very last story. However, as soon as I figured out where Asimov was actually headed, I was fine with it.

My favorite story was one where humans must get a robot to believe that they created them. The robot, for quite understandable reasons, pretty much assumes they’re delusional. Stubborn logic and belief against human frustrations is always good for a nice fracas. However, a good runner-up was the one in which the two trouble-shooters / testers have to solve a problem that mysteriously disappears whenever humans get within sight of the robots. That one had me completely boggled as to what was going on.

Overall, I, Robot is a delightful read which -if you like Asimov’s style of writing – will definitely entertain you. It’s definitely a book that will instill in you a measure of respective for a game-changing writer in the field of science fiction. Regardless of the fear I have towards reading some of his other books (Foundation), I, Robot is one I will wholeheartedly recommend to any sci-fi reader out there. Very, very well done.

Sep 26, 2017

I never get tired of reading this book! Isaac Asimov is the king of science fiction. I, Robot is a series of short stories describing the fictional evolution of robots which includes a development of their own identity, their own interpretation of the Three Laws of Robotics. It's witty and insightful. It's a parable of our own existence. If I were English teacher, I'd encourage my students to read it. But I, Robot is not actual science. Robots like the ones in this book don't exist. It is irrelevant to rate the book on not being technologically possible. Read it as it was intended--intriguing science-fiction about robots in the distant future.

Mar 02, 2017

This is a quick and fun read. Each story is like a little puzzle or brain teaser for the reader. It's a great book for teens and adults alike.

Jan 13, 2017

Interesting as a novel. Nevertheless, 1) it overestimates the capability of technology and science in regards to the knowledge of the nature and function of mind, 2) In order to justify robots' evolution, the author has to provide robots with human defilements as craving, clinging, lying, shaming, blaming etc., which produces ethic inferiority 3) Intelligence and wisdom are different mind capabilities and this is confused to make the book work.

Aug 22, 2016

Isaac Asimov wrote these stories about humanoid robots interacting socially with humans, being an integral part of the human life when robots, in the 50s, were not more than a moving claw that moved objects or could just weld metal.
Really prophetic work in sci-fi.

Jul 13, 2016

This book is really a series of short stories rather than a novel. It does, however, offer insight into some of humanity's best and worst qualities as those same qualities arise in the increasingly intelligent robots. It also explores humanity's reactions (positive and negative) to the robots.
The first story is heartwarming and does a good job of making the robots feel "real" while some of them are actually quite scary (in terms of the implications; it's certainly not a horror story). The only negative thing I can say about the book is that it can be a bit jarring to read about things happening in years that have already passed - when we aren't anywhere close to having the described technology widely available. I suppose that's an artifact of the book having been written in the 1950s.
An excellent quick read.

Jan 25, 2016

This is a series of vignettes told by a robot physiologist to a reporter, about curious and interesting happenings during the advent of robots.
Dr. Calvin was a great character in this book, she was interesting and made compelling cases in regards to robotic behaviour in relation to the three laws.
The rest of the reoccurring characters came across as spluttering fools, no matter how clever they may have been.

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orange_tiger_715 Jul 14, 2014

orange_tiger_715 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 25, 2012

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Mar 22, 2012

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Feb 26, 2012

ukiuq thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jun 23, 2008

series of short stories comprising the future developement of robotics, chiefly mysteries used to explain various facets of 'robotics'


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Oct 22, 2018

,,, Byerley turned to the woman, who still regarded him expressionlessly. “Pardon me. I’ve caught your name correctly, haven’t I? Dr. Susan Calvin?”
“Yes, Mr. Byerley.”
“You’re the U.S. Robots’ psychologist, aren’t you?”
“Robopsychologist, please.”
“Oh, are robots so different from men, mentally?”
“Worlds different.” She allows herself a frosty smile, “Robots are essentially decent.” (p. 178)


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