Let's Go Clubbing, Baby

Panel 1

Danecia: Cute fella. So what next? Do we teach him to fight back?

K-85: No good. He can't/

Panel 2

K-85: Asimov's first law of robotics. "No robot blah blah blah may allow a human to come to harm."

Panel 3

Danecia: So no matter what someone does to you, you can't retalizate?

K-85: Yup.

Panel 4

Sound Effect: WAM!

Panel 5

Danecia: Sweet. I can see what sarah likes about this!

K-85: Ow?

Comments (2)

  1. Dave 'The Knave' White (04/13/2009)

    The big problem I have with the three laws of robotics is that in today's society the definition of "harm" is pretty extensive. I can just imagine a welding robot spontaneously deactivating itself because its very existence hurts some union worker's feelings.

  2. Michael Collins (04/27/2009)

    Well, there's a variety of answers to that. First, Asimov specifically states that the Laws as we get them are summarizations of more complex mathematical formulae that precisely describe phenomena. That said, there's also the zeroth law to consider — which basically states that the ultimate duty of a Robot is to humanity as a whole — in which case, the robot doing the job is a net good because it is both more productive and reduces the risk to the welder (after all, welding is dangerous).

    That said, the key thing about the I, Robot stories is that they're basically philosophical meditations on the paradoxes in the laws, and trying to understand how they come about. The classic "I, Robot" story is someone trying to understand a perceived contradiction between a robot's behavior and the laws, only to find out that they aren't behaving contradictorily, it's that the Laws have rich interpretations.

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