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VWN Product Reviews: I, Robot

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The first of Issac Asimov?s robot books, I, Robot is a collection of nine short stories, involving humanity?s future, when robots are a part of everyday life. Using positronic brains and the three laws of Robotics (which have since become staple of sci-fi) the robots are hardwired to:

First Law) A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm.

Second Law) A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The stories within this volume thus centre around what happens when these laws go wrong, with weird and wonderful consequences. It is sometimes hard to believe that these accurate tales of robotics, were written as far back as 1950, and mark, essentially, the dawn of robotics itself.

Looking deeper, this book questions the heart of many metaphysical matters: It stares straight into the heart of what defines self-awareness, what it is to be human and even if such creations as robots could eventually make humanity itself obsolete.

This book is the inspiration of the recent film of the same name. Yet, the film borrows little from this book: It tells a single story, this book has nine, each with something prophetic, and profound to say. Definitely a must-have.

 

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