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 paperback edition
ISBN: 9780553382563
055338256X
Branch Call Number: FICTION Asi
Description: 224 pages ; 21 cm

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From Library Staff

These short stories all center around Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics and what happens when robots start malfunctioning.

"Asimov was not only a writer, he was a great scientific mind and a great explainer as well. He is the kind of science and science fiction writer who never makes you feel dumb. In fact, he inspires the reader to want to know more. Asimov, most notably, in this book develops a series of laws ... Read More »

Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot , he 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... Read More »

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. (catalog description)


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N13m4nd
Oct 18, 2019

Anyone who likes science fiction should read this book. I do not say that lightly, as I am not one of those people who believes in a canon, or that the quality of a book can be anything but a matter of personal taste. However, in these stories Asimov presents the Three Laws of Robotics, which is an idea so powerful and set forth so clearly that the concept still comes up in science fiction written today. Even real-world computer scientists take Asimov’s three laws seriously, and consider using Asimov’s principles, or something like them, when our machines do inevitably become smart enough to need ethical guidance. Aside from its influence, however, the book is simply an entertaining read. I, Robot consists of short stories in the form of intellectual puzzles, in which the Three Laws must be consulted to explain the mystery and point the way to a resolution. The book is fun for its own sake, and will improve your enjoyment of much other science fiction. (The movie which borrowed the name has little to do with the book.)

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 29, 2019

I, Robot, is not really a novel as it is so much a collection of robo-psychologist Susan Calvin's flashbacks. It starts with her memories about the stigma around robots, to robots ruling the world, all while exploring the intricacies of the seemingly simple three laws of robotics. The Three laws of Robotics are as follows: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. While it is an interesting read, it isn't really a riveting type of book , although it is still quite interesting, thought provoking and puzzling. The style can be a bit hard to read, but all in all, this is a great book. 4/5. @mittopic of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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

l
Liber_vermis
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.

a
abbi_g
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.

s
scifiandscary
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.

c
Carlalovesbooks
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.

s
Starpoem
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.

f
F3rnando
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.

v
VladTheGreen
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.

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Summary

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bookherder
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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Liber_vermis
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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