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I, Robot (The Robot Series) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1991
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The stories are tied together via the reminiscences of Dr. Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist for U. S. Robot and Mechanical Men, the corporation that invented and manufactured intelligent robots and computing machines. She reflects upon the evolution of these robots and discusses how little humanity really understands about the artificial intelligence it has created. Each story illuminates a problem encountered when a robot interprets the three fundamental Laws and something goes awry. One robot questions the reason for his existence. Another feels a necessity to lie. Yet another has an ego problem. The later stories introduce the reader to the Machines, powerful computing robots without the typical humanoid personalities of the working robots, that control the economic and industrial processes of the world and that stand between mankind and destruction. These stories introduce some fascinating and sometimes unsettling ideas: where does one draw the fine line between intelligent robot and human? Can man and robot form a balanced relationship? Can a robot's creator reliably predict its behavior based upon its programming? Can logic alone be used to determine what is best for humanity?
"I, Robot" was published in 1950 and includes stories written in the 1940's, when general-purpose electronic digital computers were still in their infancy.Read more ›
But if you have never read Asimov or looking for somewhere to start, I would highly recommend "I, Robot" as a first glimpse into Asimov's world(s). Here is a wonderful and timeless collection of nine short stories that all center around a central theme; The Three Laws Of Robotics.
The three laws are: 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 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.
These laws are the central theme to each individual story, and connecting them is a running "Runaround", "Reason", and "Catch That Rabbit". Always under the direst of circumstances, they must figure out the malfunction of the robot before something terrible happens. Very entertaining stories.
Some of the other stories are about Dr. Calvin's personal experiences, such as "Liar" and "Little Lost Robot", but all fall back onto the laws as their basic theme, and whether or not humans will ever accept robots among them.
Once finished with "I, Robot", I very highly recommend the "Foundation" series, one of my favorite Asimov themes, along with the Robot Trilogy and another favorite, "Nightfall". Asimov has the gift of creating lively, likeable characters with a technical backdrop to his all-to-human stories, and always infuses a bit of humor into them.
Truly one of the great masters of Sci-Fi, Asimov is a must-read in my opinion, and "I, Robot" is a wonderful starting point.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While the details in the book are a bit dated now, the underlying concepts are classic and timeless. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Rion Sanford
Generic review for Asimov's books because I bought all of them for my collection and am writing ALL of the reviews at once. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Darion
Adventures about robots and humans and what it means to be human.Published 26 days ago by Sarah Hoover
I really enjoyed reading this. From the start, I was impressed because the book was written in 1950 but the main character, Susan Calvin was born in 1982. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Jenni
Thought provoking, philosophical, and relevant to questions currently being asked about AI. Such a fun read - each story is like a puzzle!Published 28 days ago by Lindsay
I have only started reading Asimov recently, but I'm reading more now because of this book. Very insightful writer concerning human nature and science/tech. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. A. K.
Classic book, I would love if they would take away the reference on the cover to the awful movie with the same name...Published 1 month ago by Kyle Santarelli