Posts Tagged my take on the asimovs three laws

My take on Asimov’s laws

Asimov’s three laws of Robotics have always fascinated me. Of course, I have read almost all his fiction works and come to admire them. Quoting Wiki – “The laws were made with human morality in mind”. And ever since I have been called a ‘If-else’ program, I wanted to pen down my take on the three laws.

<Spoiler Alert for Asimov’s books>

Incidentally not many people know that Asimov’s laws are not completely fool-proof. Of course, most of Asimov’s works are a play on these laws. In one story, the first law for instance – of not harming another human being by action and inaction, is challenged when a group of humans decides to bring another group to harm. The whole world is in danger and the Robots (the heroes of the story) are helpless to do anything against it because of the first law. This leads to the formulation of the Zeroth law of Robotics – A Robot cannot by action or inaction allow HUMANITY to come to harm.

In another instance, a robot is asked to administer poison to a human but after being told that it is medicine. This leads to the extension of the laws to include the extra condition of “information”. If the robot is unaware of the consequences of its actions or inactions due to the fact of incomplete formation, how can it abide to its laws.

Therefore, Asimov’s stories become the quest of one Robot to find harmony within these three laws. Many things are incorporated by him (yes, him) to aid him on the way – it starts with the zeroth law to begin with and goes on to mind reading and even mind control. The missing piece seems to come from the development of a new science – psychohistory – the ability to predict firstly reactions of large groups of humans which is perfected to determine reactions of an individual. But even that proves to be incomplete. In the end, he finds hope in the spirit of Gaia – part in whole and whole in part. But he realises that the choice is not his to make…

These stories have fascinated me so much that I have been on a similar quest – to incorporate these laws into my life and find harmony within them. The if-else program hence exists with the attempt to avoid making the arguments, (for want of a better word) – Heartless.


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