Isaac Asimov's classic "Three Laws of Robotics" (as codified by science-fiction editor John W. Campbell) formed the basis of some thoughtful, provocative stories. The original Three Laws:

  1. A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the 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 recently-released movie I, Robot offers modernized action-cinematic versions of the Three Laws:

  1. Robots must leap about like ninjas and attempt to damage one another (and human beings) in hand-to-hand combat.
  2. Robots must drive motor vehicles wildly and attempt to crash into one another (and human beings), except where doing so would conflict with opportunities to practice the First Law.
  3. Robots must shoot guns, launch missiles, detonate explosives, and otherwise attempt to destroy one another (and human beings), as long as such activities do not conflict with opportunities to practice the First or Second Law.

TopicScience - TopicLiterature - TopicHumor - TopicEntertainment - 2004-07-23

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