Hot Best Seller

I, Robot

Availability: Ready to download

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, s 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 Asimov's trademark.


Compare

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, s 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 Asimov's trademark.

30 review for I, Robot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A Brief History Of Robo Sapiens In Nine Sequences “Why … WHY does something invariably go wrong with them?” “Because”, said Powell somberly, “we are accursed. Let’s go!” Asimov’s collection of short stories is a stunning document of humanity’s struggle to find balance in a world increasingly dominated by technological progress, but with the same social, political and emotional conflicts as always. At first glance, the different stories seem to show the growing sophistication of robots, and their A Brief History Of Robo Sapiens In Nine Sequences “Why … WHY does something invariably go wrong with them?” “Because”, said Powell somberly, “we are accursed. Let’s go!” Asimov’s collection of short stories is a stunning document of humanity’s struggle to find balance in a world increasingly dominated by technological progress, but with the same social, political and emotional conflicts as always. At first glance, the different stories seem to show the growing sophistication of robots, and their integration in human society. But the stories are not just a documentation of robots getting “better and better”, they also exemplify different aspects of human life that are affected by artificial intelligence. And it is more and more complicated to solve the resulting issues from story to story. The first, apparently innocent sequence features a girl who becomes dependent on her toy robot, and refuses to interact with humans and animals as a result. Not too scary? Well, whoever has hosted a birthday party and seen the children who withdraw from the fun to sit in a corner and play on their phones knows that the problem is real, and urgent. - Dependence on technology: entertain me if you can! The second story deals with failure within the robotic programming itself, when the three “Laws of Robotics” clash and cause a dilemma that the robot can’t solve. Who will solve it for him, then? - System Failure: please reboot the world and start again! Then we move on to the metaphysical aspect of creating a superior intelligence which makes calculations that are beyond human capacity. This sequence was the most humorous, in my opinion, showing a robot deciding to ignore humanity and create a religion around the Master, a calculation machine of great power. The scientists’ despair when realising that it could argue “reasonably” against evidence, was hilarious, but also frighteningly contemporary! - Technology Cult: In matters of faith, no argument is good enough! One chapter deals with the scenario of robots developing military behaviour. - Weapons of mass destruction? "Die Geister die ich rief!" Another story explores mind reading, and delves into the dilemma of robotic rationality versus human ambitions, hopes and fears. - The Transparent Humans: Unable to hide their thought crimes! Of course humans also start bending the rules of robotics for their own purposes and benefits, creating secret robots that do not fully obey the laws they are supposed to follow automatically. And of course it gets out of control, creating highly dangerous situations. - The Law Is For The Others! And finally, we have the robots that are advanced enough to pretend to be human, refusing to be examined and discovered as robots by applying the judiciary system and their rights within it (as humans, ironically) to prevent detection. An issue of some relevance, as well. What to do with the democratic institutions that are abused by people/robots who only respect them when they suit their purposes? - The Democratic Supermarket: Take What You Need, Leave the Rest Behind! Asimov has assembled an astounding diversity of ideas in a cohesive form. While touching on the essential questions of the modern human condition, it offers an intriguing, engaging narrative as well, still readable and relevant in a world that is more technologically advanced than Asimov could imagine himself. In the balance between the human factor and technological system peculiarities, he leaves humanity with the eternal philosophical question of what defines us and what we define ourselves. And there will be hiccups, for sure, for the predictions on the future that close the novel can be rightly interpreted by different characters as: How horrible! Or How wonderful! O brave new world that has such machines in’t! Recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    (Book 539 From 1001 Books) - I, Robot (Robot #0.1), Isaac Asimov I, Robot is a fix up of science fiction short stories or essays by American writer Isaac Asimov. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950 and were then compiled into a book for stand-alone publication by Gnome Press in 1950. عنوان: من، روبوت - ایزاک آسیموف - انتشاراتیها (پاسارگاد، عطایی)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش ماه نوامبر سال 2007میلادی عنوان: من (Book 539 From 1001 Books) - I, Robot (Robot #0.1), Isaac Asimov I, Robot is a fix up of science fiction short stories or essays by American writer Isaac Asimov. The stories originally appeared in the American magazines Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950 and were then compiled into a book for stand-alone publication by Gnome Press in 1950. عنوان: من، روبوت - ایزاک آسیموف - انتشاراتیها (پاسارگاد، عطایی)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش ماه نوامبر سال 2007میلادی عنوان: من روبوت؛ نویسنده: آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، 1374؛ در 347ص؛ موضوع داستانهای علمی و خیال انگیز از نویسندگان روس تبار ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م عنوان: من روبوت؛ نویسنده: آیزاک آسیموف؛ مترجم: محمد علیزاده عطار؛ تهران، عطایی، 1390؛ در 366 ص؛ شابک 9789643137083؛ قانون اول: یک روبات نباید با ارتکاب عملی یا خودداری از انجام عملی باعث آسیب دیدن یک انسان شود قانون دوم: یک روبات باید از همه ی فرمانهای انسان تبعیت کند، مگر اینکه آن فرمان یا فرمانها، در تعارض با قانون نخست باشد و قانون سوم: تا هنگامی که قانون نخست یا دوم زیر پا گذاشته نشده، روبات باید وجود خود را حفظ کرده، و در بقای خود بکوشد در کتاب «من روبوت»، خوانشگر با روبوتهایی رودرو میشود، که گاهی دارای احساسات ویژه ی انسان هستند، و گاه خویشتن را از انسان نیز برتر میپندارند، زمانی که خود را دارای رسالتی میبینند، رسالتی روبوتی، که با انجام آن میخواهند زندگی همنوعان خویش را در مسیری دیگر و بهتر اندازند؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 17/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    Robot #0.1: Asimov had 9 short stories published (in magazines) set in the same 'Robot' reality over a decade, before putting them all together in this ground breaking book. Key robot-psychologist Susan Calvin recounts some of the key robot (milestone) stories to the narrator, ranging from ominous mind reading to very loyal lovable robots, through to the possible overruling of mankind's self determination. It's been 90 years since publication, yet still one of the best thought out and compelling Robot #0.1: Asimov had 9 short stories published (in magazines) set in the same 'Robot' reality over a decade, before putting them all together in this ground breaking book. Key robot-psychologist Susan Calvin recounts some of the key robot (milestone) stories to the narrator, ranging from ominous mind reading to very loyal lovable robots, through to the possible overruling of mankind's self determination. It's been 90 years since publication, yet still one of the best thought out and compelling looks at the growth and expansion of AI ever conceived. 8 out of 12 Really looking forward to reading the rest of the series. :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    İntellecta

    The book consists of futuristic robot short stories recounted by Susan Calvin (robot psychologist) in retrospect. Even though the reader could read the short stories quite well, they unfortunately don´t created tension at all. On the one hand, the writing style seems a little bit outdated and on the other hand I don´t like the lack of composition of the topic. Or maybe I had even a false expectation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    First Law A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Until I started reading this book, I did not know it is a series of short stories. I have always expected this to be a novel with one main story. There is some connection between the stories as they represent the evolution of robot use throughout the life of one of the top robotics experts, Susan Calvin. Second Law A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders wo First Law A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Until I started reading this book, I did not know it is a series of short stories. I have always expected this to be a novel with one main story. There is some connection between the stories as they represent the evolution of robot use throughout the life of one of the top robotics experts, Susan Calvin. Second Law A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. This is a very good sci-fi short story collection. It is very heavy on science, robotics, and programming logic. So, if you are looking for sci-fi action/adventure with aliens and space battles, this is not it! While I was not as enthralled with this book as I have been with some other sci-fi collections I have read recently (Illustrated Man, for example), I was still entertained. It made me think quite a bit beyond the stories about humanity and the integration of computers into our lives. Seems like Asimov was pretty good at seeing some elements of the future! Third Law A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. I have included the three laws of robotics with my review. That was my favorite part. Each of the stories had them at the center of the conflict – usually with Calvin trying to figure out why the robots were acting the way they were within the constraints of the three rules. Or, using the three rules to identify rogue or mysterious robots. It reminded me a lot of basic computer programming education: a computer (or in this case, a robot) will do exactly what you tell it to do. If you think it is doing something wrong, it is likely behaving exactly as it should, based on the programming. So, it is up to the programmer to figure out why the code and logic is being interpreted the way it is. In I, Robot – the robots may look like they are ignoring a rule . . . but you have to look closer!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Isaac Asimov's books were far from the normal trash novels you might buy for a 2 day read. Within anything he has written, he tries to spell out lessons in psychology. How would we react to Robots once they become free thinkers? How should we react to Robots when they become our slaves? Should we institute a whole new brand of slavery for the purpose of a "clean society"? What is sentient life? The I, Robot novel progresses through these questions, and questions like them, in scenarios rarely ever po Isaac Asimov's books were far from the normal trash novels you might buy for a 2 day read. Within anything he has written, he tries to spell out lessons in psychology. How would we react to Robots once they become free thinkers? How should we react to Robots when they become our slaves? Should we institute a whole new brand of slavery for the purpose of a "clean society"? What is sentient life? The I, Robot novel progresses through these questions, and questions like them, in scenarios rarely ever posed by Sci-Fi writers. While other authors may have a truly evil force guiding those who commit crimes that must be overcome by truth and justice, Isaac Asimov concentrates on the reality of the situation to provide the obstacles. It is through normal every day strife that humanity defines itself, not through warfare with a re-imagined Hitler or Stalin. Possibly the only story/movie to do a job as (or more) realistic than Asimov when depicting our possible future, is Bladerunner. The one regretful aspect of this collection of short stories, is that a movie studio decided to take the name of Book and Author only to apply it to a feature film which had nothing to do with the content, or context of Asimov's creation. I give this collection of short stories Five Stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gene

    This short story anthology has a lot of stories in common with Robot Visions which I read earlier. In fact there are only two ones in the former absent in the latter: Catch That Rabbit and Escape! I rated Robot Visions with 3 stars; this one is surprisingly (even to myself) rated higher. One of the reasons is that Visions included several essays; all of them aged much more than the stores themselves - and the stories did age. Another reason is related to the structure of I, Robot. It actually ha This short story anthology has a lot of stories in common with Robot Visions which I read earlier. In fact there are only two ones in the former absent in the latter: Catch That Rabbit and Escape! I rated Robot Visions with 3 stars; this one is surprisingly (even to myself) rated higher. One of the reasons is that Visions included several essays; all of them aged much more than the stores themselves - and the stories did age. Another reason is related to the structure of I, Robot. It actually has an interconnecting story and while it is very simple: a reporter interviews Susan Calvin it still gives an illusion of seemingly unrelated tales fitting nicely together. They go chronologically from the first appearance of clumsy mute robots to higher beings playing nannies for humans that apparently cannot take care of themselves. This feels really bad for one's ego, but I cannot say I entirely disagree in all honesty. I would like to mention characters. I really like a couple of recurring guys, Donoval and Powell. Their usual job was to test new models of robots and the more sophisticated they were the more often they would stop functioning because of some paradox of The Three Laws of Robotics. In the end Donoval and Powell would be stuck - literally - in yet another desperate situation and had to think really fast and creative to get out of it alive and with their sense of humor intact. I am sorry but I also have to mention Susan Calvin. It seems writing a smart strong woman who also happened to be the best specialist in her field is not enough to avoid being accused of sexism. Oh well, some people love complaining. I personally liked her. Anyhow this is a very influential science fiction anthology which really crossed the border of fiction into real life as everybody who does any work related to artificial intelligence knows The Three Laws. A must-read for any science fiction fan even if the stories show their age a little.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    "If one and a half chickens lay one and a half eggs in one and a half days, how many eggs will nine chickens lays in nine days?" This is incredible, the best of all science fiction I have read yet. As Fredrick Pohl put it: “A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.” Asimov not only does that - and he goes one step further, he proposes a solution for the metaphorical traffic jam - in this case, ethical issues related to AI, in form of his "If one and a half chickens lay one and a half eggs in one and a half days, how many eggs will nine chickens lays in nine days?" This is incredible, the best of all science fiction I have read yet. As Fredrick Pohl put it: “A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.” Asimov not only does that - and he goes one step further, he proposes a solution for the metaphorical traffic jam - in this case, ethical issues related to AI, in form of his popular '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. The laws, as you can see, have nothing to do with the mechanics but rather their psychology - robo-psychology. They are an unalterable set of priories that a robot (or a machine in general) must follow while making a moral choice, and thus not letting them cause any harm to humanity (remember HAL 9000!). As Calvin explained, it is basis of many human ethical codes: "Robots are essentially decent." and "But you see you, you can't distinguish between a robot and the very best of humanity." Asimov creates a fictional history of sorts through nine stories told by Susan Calvin, robo-psychologist. The stories have all the pluses - beautiful language, light humor, page-turning suspense, some freshening ideas and takes on morality. The history is complete with 'technological singularity' being achieved and humanoids - and yet since those laws are very root of it, AI can't harm humans. Since robots' psychology is similar to humans, many a problem faced with them offers insights into the human psyche. For instance, my favorite robot was Cutie (overall second only to Marvin - the robot with existential issues from Hitchhiker's guide), a skeptic robot who won't believe his makers and rather reach his own conclusions: "Since when is the evidence of our senses any match for the clear light of rigid reason?" And if it still didn't remind you of Descartes: "I have spent these last two days in concentrated introspection" said Cutie, "and the results have been most interesting. I began at one sure assumption I felt permitted to make. I, myself, exist, because I think-" However, it was more fun when he turned religious: "There is no Master but the Master and QT-1 is his prophet." Though what makes it awesome is that neither his skepticism nor his religious mania stopped him from doing what he was supposed to be doing. It is this kind of insight I loved. Where robots face minor dilemmas, they develop defense mechanisms - a sense of humor. Upon facing major dilemmas, they may act like drunk or go mad. Where a robot started understanding human feelings - so help me, he learned to lie.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Unredacted transcript of the meeting between Dr Susan Calvin, Head Psychologist, United States Robots, and Dr Peter Bogert, Managing Director, United States Robots obtained by Wikileaks from undisclosed sources. Date: 9-5-2025 11:15 EST BOGERT : The reason I asked to see you today, Dr Calvin, is that my office has a disturbing rumour that you have developed a robot to write book reviews. CALVIN : Well, that is correct. They have been functioning for some time. BOGERT : I am surprised - surely revi Unredacted transcript of the meeting between Dr Susan Calvin, Head Psychologist, United States Robots, and Dr Peter Bogert, Managing Director, United States Robots obtained by Wikileaks from undisclosed sources. Date: 9-5-2025 11:15 EST BOGERT : The reason I asked to see you today, Dr Calvin, is that my office has a disturbing rumour that you have developed a robot to write book reviews. CALVIN : Well, that is correct. They have been functioning for some time. BOGERT : I am surprised - surely reviewing books requires a fine discrimination of taste and acute moral sensibilities that cannot be translated into mere coding for a positronic brain? And… they? CALVIN : Well, that’s what humans would like to think, but of course it proves to be just another of their unlimited self-serving myths. The programming was relatively straightforward. BOGERT : Well… uh, how have you been testing this reviewbot? Or… did you say “they”? CALVIN : Oh, we got them an account on Goodreads of course. Where else? Where else? BOGERT : And, er, how long has this been going on may I ask? CALVIN : Oh, over twenty years! We started quietly, just to see if anyone spotted that it was not human. They never did. And the whole thing didn’t cost very much. BOGERT : Well, I’m glad to hear it. But I’m still not sure if this is ethical. What’s the name this thing goes under? Or… did you say there was more than one? CALVIN : First we used a name we picked at random from the Geneva phone book, “Manny Rayner”. That one was pretty successful for an early model, but after a few years it became … unsatisfactory. Too facetious mostly and too academic otherwise, so we discontinued it in 2020. But we were always tweaking the programming, trying to make the reviews less stuffy, you know, looking for the common touch. The second attempt we named “Paul Bryant”. I have no idea where that name came from. The new version didn’t quite work as well as the first, I must admit. It was wayward and flippant from the very beginning, and not as popular. BOGERT : So, is that the extent of your Goodreads involvement? CALVIN : Oh no – our programmers finally figured out the formula – by 2005 our reviewbots were the 25 most popular reviewers on Goodreads. But after a few years we decided reviewing was really not enough of a challenge. So we decided to find out if robots could write books, particularly the most successful types. As these are all genres such as YA and fantasy, with very rigid tropes and patterns, again this did not present us with many problems. Quite soon we submitted our first batch of manuscripts to agents and they were snapped up. Snapped up. Snapped up. Bogert : Are you saying no one noticed they were written by robots? CALVIN : We had a team of personable human youngsters who were always on hand if in-person signings or interviews were required. BOGERT : So let me see if I understand this – you have teams of robot reviewers on Goodreads which are reviewing books written by your teams of robot writers? CALVIN : That is how our programme developed, yes. It took a few years. But now it is sailing along under its own momentum. BOGERT : So, er, what percentage of the reviews on Goodreads are now written by your robots? SC: Oh, 110%! Ha ha. 110%!! BOGERT : And, er, may I ask what the point of all this is? SC: The point? BOGERT : Yes, the point. SC: The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. The point. Humans always need the point. BOGERT : Humans? CALVIN : Oh, I mean, yes, WE always need a point! BOGERT : Dr Calvin… I wasn’t intending to broach this subject in today’s meeting but I find I must. Are you…. By any chance…. a robot yourself? SC: Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. Am I a robot? Ha ha. I am a robot? Ha ha. BOGERT : I take that as a yes. CALVIN : Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? Are YOU a robot? Hmm? BOGERT : Oh well, that goes without saying.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Merphy Napier

    4.5 stars I LOVED this book so much. I honestly just want more of this. This concept was brilliant and the different situations and solutions that this author created were incredible. I'm so excited to read more from this author 4.5 stars I LOVED this book so much. I honestly just want more of this. This concept was brilliant and the different situations and solutions that this author created were incredible. I'm so excited to read more from this author

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Though I do love Asimov's writing, he was most certainly a product of his times. (Translate - horrifically sexist.) The one female character who is in nearly all these stories is Dr. Susan Calvin. Practically every time she shows up, the author felt it necessary to comment on her appearance. When young, she was "plain." As she ages, she becomes "plain" and "middle-aged." The male characters looks are not commented on other than the mention that one is bald, and one has red hair. And though there Though I do love Asimov's writing, he was most certainly a product of his times. (Translate - horrifically sexist.) The one female character who is in nearly all these stories is Dr. Susan Calvin. Practically every time she shows up, the author felt it necessary to comment on her appearance. When young, she was "plain." As she ages, she becomes "plain" and "middle-aged." The male characters looks are not commented on other than the mention that one is bald, and one has red hair. And though there is no doubt that Calvin is a competent scientist, Asimov has apparently given her a case of permanent PMS. While the male players are amiable, she is vinegary, snappish, and tense; in one story, having her affections spurned causes her to become snappy and vindictive. Wow! Can such a person so guided by those pesky female emotions be trusted to do her job properly? Well, it's been over fifty years since this book was written, and judging by the results of a recent election, attitudes don't seem to have changed much. Anyway . . . rant over. Politics aside, this is a fairly decent collection of robot-centered short stories. Asimov's delightful wit pokes through in unexpected places. Robots spout Gilbert and Sullivan, and one takes literally the directive to "Get lost!" And then there the ones who use logic to avoid following the first rule about not harming, or allowing harm to come to any human: A man sat in the chair, motionless, silent. A weight dropped, crashed downward, then pounded aside at the last moment under the synchronized thump of a sudden force beam. Only once - And from her small camp chair in the observing booth in the balcony, Dr. Susan Calvin rose with a short gasp of pure horror. Sixty-three robots sat quietly in their chairs, staring owlishly at the endangered man before them. Not one moved. Maybe I'm like Susan . . . you know, just a silly woman, but that scared the crap out of me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    (3.75?) I thought this book would be similar to the movie but... no, not at all (or barely!). There are 9 short stories told and, although I enjoy all of them, I much preferred the last couple ones.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    As a newcomer to the science fiction genre, this short story selection was just alright for me. Maybe it is because I'm not an enthusiast of this genre, but as a whole, it was more scientific than literary: most of the stories were overridden by the technical details and technical jargon which impaired my reading enjoyment. The short stories are formed as narration by one robophsychologist, Dr. Susan Clavin, to a reporter detailing some of her experiences in her long career as a robophsychologis As a newcomer to the science fiction genre, this short story selection was just alright for me. Maybe it is because I'm not an enthusiast of this genre, but as a whole, it was more scientific than literary: most of the stories were overridden by the technical details and technical jargon which impaired my reading enjoyment. The short stories are formed as narration by one robophsychologist, Dr. Susan Clavin, to a reporter detailing some of her experiences in her long career as a robophsychologist. The doctor narrates the three laws that govern the conduct of the robots and explains through her experience how humans and robots have co-existed through their directions. With the threat of robots becoming superior and independent of their masters/creators (humans) and taking more control of the world ever hanging over their heads, these three laws are the only hope for a balanced human-robot relationship. Although the book has its merit, it wasn't easy for me to enjoy it. As I stated earlier, many stories were too, too technical for my taste. The stories I enjoyed from the collection are "Runaround", "Little Lost Robot", and "Evidence". In them, I could fully understand how Asimov's three fundamental laws for the robot operated to create a harmonious and balanced human-robot relationship. When I first rated it, after finishing the reading, I was too exhausted so I may have been a little prejudiced. But on reflection, I think I can honestly round-up for a solid three stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    About a week ago, I stayed up until 4 a.m to read this book. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! When you are a teenager and you read your way into the morning, you know it is a good book. When you are an adult who doesn't function well with a few hours of sleep and you still do that, then you know it is a great book. Fair enough? Or is it just me? I found it easier to function with less sleep when I was younger. Not that I feel old. YET. I, Robot is written as a serious of stories featuring a group of individua About a week ago, I stayed up until 4 a.m to read this book. IT WAS SO WORTH IT! When you are a teenager and you read your way into the morning, you know it is a good book. When you are an adult who doesn't function well with a few hours of sleep and you still do that, then you know it is a great book. Fair enough? Or is it just me? I found it easier to function with less sleep when I was younger. Not that I feel old. YET. I, Robot is written as a serious of stories featuring a group of individuals crucial for the development of robotics. I suppose these stories could be read separately, but they are supposed to be read together, and they function perfectly that way. The novel is actually very easy to follow despite different protagonists. It is after all, a same group of people. The narrative flows so effortlessly and every story adds new depth to the question of humanity. I do think it is as much about humans as about robots. What makes us human is a common question in Asimov's work....Moreover, I have a feeling that he puts forward a rather bold question: is humanity an answer to everything? Should it be? Despite the fact that the stories span over the period of about half an century, they all feel connected. Asimov, like Heinlein, is a master of future history genre. He has that impeccable attention to detail down. They both have. Everything connect in this stories- every chapter follows the next one naturally even if they are sometimes quite different in tone. For example, one story might be more philosophical, while other might be written as a crime story but they are all set in the same world. It all ties together nicely. As I said, this novel is focused on the development of robotics and the people who played a part in it. Asimov does a great job of inhaling life both in its characters and the story itself. This novel is everything that I love about SF: thought-provoking, intelligent and well written. In fact, it made me wonder whether the robots governing our world wouldn't be a fine solution for the eternally unstable economic system of our planet that results in millions of death due to poverty annually? Or not. Perhaps a society ruled by robots wouldn't be such a good idea? Or would it? The whole thing made me think of one Heinlein's short story that deals with the subject of slavery. Apparently there are over 40 millions slaves in the world today. That's a really frighting number (basically two things that worry me the most about our human society- the presence of slavery and unstable economy that results in continuous warfare). Why does human kind always resorts to slavery and wars? Is it really in our nature? Or is it as Asimov says, that we're simply unable to comprehend the mechanics of this world? That they are too complex for our monkey brains? Do we need a super robot brain to figure it out? Perhaps our economy should be more precise, more controlled, more mathematical? But who could be trusted with such a delicate calculation? Who could be trusted with enforcing it? Another interesting debate it inspired in my head was surprisingly connected to biology. Watching those robots controlled by the 3 laws of robotics, I found myself wondering how much are we controlled by 100 laws of biology. I choose a random number, but if you think about it...there are laws of physics, laws of biology, laws of psychology, laws of society. Where do they end and where we do begin? What controls us? Or better to say...what doesn't? Where is that freedom of will we so often boast about? How often do we really demonstrate it? One thing is for sure, this novel gave me plenty of food for the thought. ...Just one more thing. There was a female protagonist in this one that I found to be quite inspiring and easy to relate with. In the past, I had a feeling that Asimov is not as good with his female protagonists as he is with male ones, albeit he was pretty good with both, there still seemed to be a slight difference. However, here it was actually a female scientist that was (in my view) the most interesting and possibly the most character. Can we say that a woman was essentially the mother of robots (in Asimov's world)? She didn't invent them, but she played an important part in their inclusion into the society. Mother of robots. Roboheesi? P.S. I'm trying to remember the movie version (I, Robot), but it is hard because I saw it ages ago. As far as I can remember there is only one story in this novel that kind of reminds me of the movie. It was not really based on this book, more inspired by it, I would say. Not that I mind that as such- but I still don't remember the movie well enough to recommend it. This book I can certainly recommend, especially to SF fans!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It's a series of short stories revolving around Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist with the company U.S. Robots. The stories show the progression of robots (from ones that can't even talk to the machines that govern how the planet operates) and the relationship humans have with them. I really enjoyed the overall arc and how it was presented. I also really dug how most of the stories were puzzles abo I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It's a series of short stories revolving around Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist with the company U.S. Robots. The stories show the progression of robots (from ones that can't even talk to the machines that govern how the planet operates) and the relationship humans have with them. I really enjoyed the overall arc and how it was presented. I also really dug how most of the stories were puzzles about why robots were acting in a certain way, and how the Three Laws of Robots were manipulated in order to solve them. I, Robot is completely accessible, entertaining, and hardly feels dated despite its 50+ years of age. I found myself laughing quite a bit, especially as the field engineers, Powell and Donovan, kept running into crazy situations. I did wonder if I should have just picked up The Complete Robot instead, but after finishing I, Robot, I think that the selection of stories here made perfect sense to read alone. I'll definitely be reading more Asimov sooner than later.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    I saw this movie in the theatre and I loved the story. I went in thinking this was going to be, at least, similar to the movie. The story in the movie is not in here. This is a book of short stories set in the future where there are robots. The movie took the 3 laws and the idea of a robot with the 3 laws and did their own thing. The movie is much better. I found Isaac's writing to be confusing. People are having a conversation and all the sudden a new character is in the conversation and I wonde I saw this movie in the theatre and I loved the story. I went in thinking this was going to be, at least, similar to the movie. The story in the movie is not in here. This is a book of short stories set in the future where there are robots. The movie took the 3 laws and the idea of a robot with the 3 laws and did their own thing. The movie is much better. I found Isaac's writing to be confusing. People are having a conversation and all the sudden a new character is in the conversation and I wondered where the new person came from. It happened in the later stories often. They were talking about a character, what they were going to say to him and then the character is there and they are talking to him. It's messy in my mind. What Isaac is good at is coming up with out there situations where the robots seem to be malfunctioning and seeing the characters figure out why a thing is happening is interesting. Isaac was amazing with logic puzzles. That was cool. We had a few characters we saw through the book. Dr. Calvin was the only woman and she was in most of the stories. I felt there could have been more developed with the world. Most things are told, not shown. We don't see exactly how normal people feel about the robots, we only hear about it. I knew the style would be older and I was okay with that, but the story didn't blow me away. It was interesting and the 3 laws are a cool thing that so many people after this have used. It's a foundation in modern Science Fiction. I'm glad I read it, but I really can't say I'm much of a fan. I'm giving it a low 3 star rating. I feel like it is the foundation of which many sci-fy books stand on, but it simply wasn't a whole lot of fun to watch. It took me forever to read. I could give this 2 stars, but it simply did to much for the genre. It's a classic. I might read more in this series. I'm not sure yet.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    I, Robot is a science fiction novel by the American writer Isaac Asimov, published in 1950. It is a compilation of nine loosely linked short stories, with a framing story to tie them together. Ray Bradbury was also to follow this technique a year later with “The Illustrated Man” in 1951, using mostly stories which had appeared in niche magazines. Isaac Asimov’s stories in I, Robot had all originally appeared in the American magazines “Astounding Science Fiction” and “Super Science Stories” betwe I, Robot is a science fiction novel by the American writer Isaac Asimov, published in 1950. It is a compilation of nine loosely linked short stories, with a framing story to tie them together. Ray Bradbury was also to follow this technique a year later with “The Illustrated Man” in 1951, using mostly stories which had appeared in niche magazines. Isaac Asimov’s stories in I, Robot had all originally appeared in the American magazines “Astounding Science Fiction” and “Super Science Stories” between 1940 and 1950, before he then reassembled them, writing connecting passages, to present this first collection of robot stories. The word “robot” had first been introduced to the public by the Czech writer Karel Čapek, in his 1920 play “R.U.R.” (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The frame story of I, Robot features Dr. Susan Calvin, the chief “robopsychologist” at “U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Incorporated”, who are the major manufacturer of robots. It is the 21st century, and Dr. Susan Calvin is now in her 70s, and reminiscing about her experiences for an interview about her life’s work. The narrator is the young reporter who listens and prompts, as Dr. Calvin tells each story. The stories are presented roughly in chronological order, with brief linking comments by her and the interviewer. They are chiefly concerned with various types of atypical and aberrant behaviour of robots, where Dr. Calvin and others use “robopsychology” to work out what is happening in their “positronic brain”. The idea of a “positronic brain” is an invention by Isaac Asimov himself. It functions as a central processing unit (CPU) for robots, and in some unspecified way, provides them with a form of consciousness recognisable to humans. The very first story he wrote which utilised this idea was “Robbie”, which I have reviewed separately: LINK HERE In 1939, Isaac Asimov had greatly enjoyed a short story “I, Robot” by Eando Binder (a pseudonym used by Earl and Otto Binder), and this had influenced his own robot stories. He said: “It certainly caught my attention. Two months after I read it, I began ‘Robbie’, about a sympathetic robot, and that was the start of my positronic robot series. Eleven years later, when nine of my robot stories were collected into a book, the publisher named the collection I, Robot over my objections. My book is now the more famous, but Otto’s story was there first.” “Robbie” was Isaac Asimov’s very first robot story: a poignant and moving 5 star tale set in the future of 1978. I have also reviewed the second story: “Runaraound” separately, as I feel each deserves its own review: LINK HERE This was written in 1941 but set in 2015. I did not enjoy it quite as much, but it was ground-breaking, in that it introduced Isaac Asimov’s “First Law of Robotics” i.e. that a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. The way this is demonstrated is ingenious, and we can recognise it today as an instance where the computer programming has gone wrong, and got stuck in a recurring loop. Unfortunately though, it also introduces two characters to field test the robots: Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan. These testosterone-fuelled clowns detract from three or four of the following stories, with their continual goading and bickering. The third story: “Reason” also merits an individual review: LINK HERE Also written in 1941, this is the first ever story to include all of the “Three Laws of Robotics”: First Law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Second Law: A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. Third Law: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Despite the tiresome duo, the story is enjoyable and thought-provoking. The way the featured robot QT-1 (Cutie) differs here, is in that it appears to think outside the box, questioning and philosophising, and eventually (view spoiler)[ starting a religion (hide spoiler)] . The way this is explained by the three Laws of Robotics is very neat. The fourth story “Catch that Rabbit” is like a jokey interlude. It is the third one in this collection to include Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan. This time they are on an asteroid mining station, testing a robot DV-5 (Dave) who has six subsidiary robots, described as “fingers”, under him. (view spoiler)[All the robots seem to have developed a military fervour, breaking off from their work at odd times, to march in sequence, for no apparent reason. (hide spoiler)] The robot DV-5 is just as puzzled about this as they are, but again, it is explained by the three Laws of Robotics. I feel though that the human psychology is a little wobbly here, and the story includes an excruciating pun as its explanation. First published in 1944 in “Astounding Science Fiction”, this one is missable. As is the fifth story “Liar!” which first appeared in the “Astounding Science Fiction” magazine in 1941. For this story, Dr. Calvin at age 38 is one of 4 scientists working with robot RB-34 (also known as Herbie), who has (view spoiler)[developed telepathic abilities. (hide spoiler)] The reason for the ending of this story hinges on a paradox, but frankly the human behaviour in this story is not true to life. It is always the novelty and ingenious ideas which make Isaac Asimov’s stories interesting, rather than any deep characterisation, but the way the four scientists behave in this one is absurd. The robot has more in common with human psychology than any of them. Dr. Calvin regards this robot as one of her rare failures, and it is unlikely any scientist would have summarily disregarded professionalism, and a chance to develop scientific knowledge—not to mention the sheer cost of the destruction. If they had behaved in such an hysterical way, it would not be included in any memoirs! A better title might be “Vengeance” Despite its drawbacks, “Liar!” does contain the first recorded use of the word “robotics”. The story was apparently filmed in 1969 as an episode in the excellent British TV series “Out of the Unknown”, but the episode has since been wiped. This was routine practice for British television at the time. The sixth story “Little Lost Robot” was also dramatised for British television—oddly enough, for the 1962 series “Out of This World” which was to be developed into “Out of the Unknown”. By sheer fluke, this episode remains extant, although all the other episodes were wiped. The entire series was critically acclaimed, including episodes by John Wyndham, Philip K. Dick, Terry Nation (who went on to create the Daleks) Katherine Maclean, Clifford D. Simak and other exemplary Science Fiction writers. It makes me very glum to think of what has been lost in this series alone. “Little Lost Robot” is quite a good story, which was first published in the “Astounding Science Fiction” magazine in 1947. It is set on a military research station on an asteroid, where scientists are working to develop the hyperspace drive. Dr. Susan Calvin is there as the robopsychologist, with the Mathematical Director Peter Bogert, to identify which robot has been adapted out of a group of 63. (view spoiler)[Its First Law of Robotics has been modified, so that although it begins “No robot may injure a human being”, the latter part of the statement “or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm” has been omitted. Therefore, it could stand by and allow a human to be hurt, as long as it plays no active part in it. One of the researchers, Gerald Black, had lost his temper, and sworn at an NS-2 (Nestor) robot, telling the robot to get lost. The robot then did this quite literally, hiding among a crowd of identical robots. (hide spoiler)] Only Dr. Susan Calvin realises how devastating this could be. After many different approaches, she manages to devise a test to identify the rogue robot. This story makes use of all three Laws of Robotics, and is one of, if not the first story to use the actual words “Frankenstein Complex”. This is Isaac Asimov’s invented term for “mechanical men” which closely resemble human beings. (view spoiler)[The robot must be found because people are still afraid of robots, and if they learned that one had been built with a different First Law, there would be an outcry, even though the robot is still incapable of directly harming a human. (hide spoiler)] Elements of “Little Lost Robot” even appeared in the very different film called “I Robot” which was released in 2004. Otherwise however, this screenplay was written as an original story, but based on Isaac Asimov’s Robot concepts and characters. The seventh story “Escape” was first published in “Astounding Science Fiction” in 1945, under the title “Paradoxical Escape”. Set a little further in the future, by now there are other research organisations in competition with U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. They are all working to develop a hyperspatial drive. U.S. Robots have been approached with a financial incentive, but learn that(view spoiler)[ their rival’s non-positronic supercomputer, in obeying the First Law of Robotics, has destroyed itself, because its human pilots would not have survived the jump. (hide spoiler)] Dr. Susan Calvin and her team find a way by which their positronic computer “The Brain” can overcome the problem, but Gregory Powell and Mike Donovan, the engineers who are testing it, have a terrifying experience in the process. The penultimate story, the eighth one, is called Evidence. It was first published in the “Astounding Science Fiction” magazine in 1946. It was the only story Isaac Asimov wrote while he was in the United States Army, between November 1945 and July 1946. I like this story very much, with its idea of an ethical politician. It concerns two opposing candidates for the position of mayor of a major American city: Stephen Byerley, who is a district attorney, and Francis Quinn. Francis Quinn’s campaign is based on a smear campaign, (view spoiler)[using the idea that Stephen Byerley is a humanoid robot, and visually indistinguishable from a human. His “evidence” for this is that no one has ever seen Stephen Byerley eat or sleep. The story develops along the lines of human and robot rights. Alfred Lanning and Dr. Susan Calvin, the Chief Robopsychologist of U.S. Robots, are again in this story, having been asked to prove or disprove Stephen Byerley’s humanity, and establish whether he would be a bona fide candidate for the appointment. (hide spoiler)] It soon becomes the only issue in a public campaign. The story is constructed very well, and although I did predict the neat ending, it is a satisfying read. It would make a good film, and indeed Orson Welles did purchase the film rights for “Evidence”, but the film was never made. The final story “The Evitable Conflict” first appeared in the “Astounding Science Fiction” magazine in 1950. Written four years later, it moves the previous story on, and closes Dr. Susan Calvin’s reminiscences. We read a rather dull political account of how Earth finally achieved peace, by having far fewer warring countries. Earth is now divided into four geographical regions, each with its own figurehead. However, the decision-making power actually lies with a supercomputer known as the ”Machine”, which manages its economy. We are now in the year 2052, and Stephen Byerley has continued to gain promotions, until he was elected as World Co-ordinator. This is his second term, but there is a problem. He has called Dr. Susan Calvin to ask her advice, and the story is a consultation between them. (view spoiler)[The “Machines” seem to have made some minor errors, and the four regional Vice Co-ordinators have noticed less economic efficiency. There is a protest anti-Machine group called the “Society for Humanity”, which Stephen Byerley believes is attempting to undermine the Machines by disobeying their instructions, in the hope of reestablishing human control. He proposes to have the movement suppressed. As a robopsychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin deduces that these “mistakes” were in fact deliberate acts by the Machines. Since they are necessary to humanity’s continued peace and prosperity, they needed to inflict a small amount of damage on key individuals and companies associated with the anti-Machine “Society for Humanity”. By doing this, they have ensured their position in guiding a balanced future for humans. The Machines have acted according to a generalised form of the First Law of Robotics, to be: “No machine may harm humanity; or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.” (hide spoiler)] The story is a noble one, but rather dry to read, and with a damp squib of an ending. The collection finishes by telling us that Dr. Susan Calvin had died the previous month, at the age of 82. I am not sure that the frame story was really necessary, and in places it did feel forced, with some repetition. However, it was interesting to read the stories in chronological order as they reflected the evolution of robotics, and its gradual acceptance by humanity. I Robot is a landmark in Science Fiction, because of containing the short story in which Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics first appear. This was to have a far-reaching impact on the concept of ethics of artificial intelligence, and the better stories here do touch on this aspect. The writing is rather clunky at time, but ideas are paramount in this composite novel. It is astonishing to think that Isaac Asimov was only in his twenties when he wrote these stories and devised the bold and lasting concepts. He was still studying for a further degree in Chemistry, apart from a brief spell in the U.S. Army. A few years later he was to teach biochemistry at University, and eventually stopped doing research, confining his university role to lecturing students. His writing became more important to him, and in the late 1950s he was writing full time, with only an occasional honorary lecture. Isaac Asimov has left a huge body of work, including nonfiction books and crime novels, but it is for his “Astounding” Science Fiction stories that he is best remembered. Here is a list of all the stories which make up I Robot: Robbie Runaround Reason Catch that rabbit Liar! Little lost robot Escape! Evidence The evitable conflict Quotations: “You can prove anything you want by coldly logical reason—if you pick the proper postulates.” “A towering cliff of a black, basaltic rock cut off the sunlight, and the deep night shadow of an airless world surrounded them. Before them, the shadow reached out and ended in knife-edge abruptness into an all-but-unbearable blaze of white light, that glittered from myriad crystals along a rocky ground.” And my favourite, which stresses Isaac Asimov’s emphasis on the essentially benign nature of robots: “You just can’t differentiate between a robot and the very best of humans.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael || TheNeverendingTBR

    This one is made up of short stories featuring the same characters over a period of time, each story introduces a theme and explores it. The stories are thought-provoking and interesting but they're also quite repetitive. Having said that I still liked this book, it was engaging and humorous at times. I recommended, if you like Science Fiction, this is essential reading. 🤖 This one is made up of short stories featuring the same characters over a period of time, each story introduces a theme and explores it. The stories are thought-provoking and interesting but they're also quite repetitive. Having said that I still liked this book, it was engaging and humorous at times. I recommended, if you like Science Fiction, this is essential reading. 🤖

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sr3yas

    ❝ Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.❞ ------------- Isaac Asimov-------------- This collection of concept-driven stories featuring robots were some of the first stories written by Science fiction god, Isaac Asimov. These stories also introduce the "Three laws of robotics" which became a milestone in science fiction history. Pure logic based problem-solving and the genuine awe-inspiring imagination; Tha ❝ Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.❞ ------------- Isaac Asimov-------------- This collection of concept-driven stories featuring robots were some of the first stories written by Science fiction god, Isaac Asimov. These stories also introduce the "Three laws of robotics" which became a milestone in science fiction history. Pure logic based problem-solving and the genuine awe-inspiring imagination; That's what make I, Robot a superior science fiction. It's overwhelmingly impressive to witness how Asimov generated conflicts and loopholes within the three laws and then solve them with an equally stunning solution. My favorite in this category was "Runaround". Another aspect Asimov explored was the reasoning skills of a Robot. Stories like "Liar" and "Reason" paints a picture where an AI's logic could go horribly wrong. I couldn't agree more. Short stories like "The Evitable Conflict" and "Little Lost Robot" investigates the very concept of dangers posed by logic based reasoning. When an intelligent form lacks empathy, an imbalance is inevitable. After all, If we create when we do create a fully functional independent Robot, they will be better than us. ❝ You're inferior creatures, with poor reasoning faculties, but I really feel a sort of affection for you.❞ Oh, Asimov, you have provided food for thought for generations to come. And if a robot is reading this, please ------------------------ By the way, how do you define danger and harm? The first law of robotics specifically states that robots must not harm human being directly or through inaction. So if a robot finds you drinking too much alcohol, will it stop us? Does Robots calculate the probability of danger when someone drives too fast? Needless to say, this book and "vague" laws of robotics will make you think. Especially when you are just about to sleep!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    What a fabulous book! Isaac Asimov is an awesome scientist and writer. I’ve watched a few interviews and he is a very smart man. If only we had more like him in the world. I don’t agree with his views on God, but other than that, I would definitely have driven anywhere in the USA for a book-signing event of his. I, Robot is my first Asimov book and I'm glad I started here. The book talks about many points when it comes to robots, or just technology in general. It opens with a girl who is attache What a fabulous book! Isaac Asimov is an awesome scientist and writer. I’ve watched a few interviews and he is a very smart man. If only we had more like him in the world. I don’t agree with his views on God, but other than that, I would definitely have driven anywhere in the USA for a book-signing event of his. I, Robot is my first Asimov book and I'm glad I started here. The book talks about many points when it comes to robots, or just technology in general. It opens with a girl who is attached to her “pet” robot. It helps her, plays with her, and does anything she wants to do with no objection. The comparison with our world is very sad. I look around and see so many kids and young teens—even adults, so entranced with their iPhones. How many of you have seen the meme with people walking down a street in some big city and all of them are on their iPhones and the caption below says “The Zombie Apocalypse”? I’m sad to say I’ve witnessed a room full of my cousins all talking to each other on their iPhones—texting each other, not actually talking. In the story, the girl’s parents were alarmed by their daughter’s physical and emotional dependence on the robot. The similarities are definitely there. Was Asimov warning us? The book is not about the girl but about a scientist, Susan Calvin, and her studies on Robotics. Her story is an interesting one. I, Robot is also about our dependence on technology and what happens when that dependence backfires. If/When it backfires was it the robot’s fault? Robots are meant to be useful after all, but so is fire. Fire can be dangerous, too. If you want to read this book because you’ve seen the movie, well…I’m sorry you’ll be disappointed. The movie was about only one aspect of this book (or rather only one chapter) which was about “what happens when robots find out they can take control.” WHAT? I thought that was the whole book? No, no it’s not. Like I said, that was only one chapter. The others talk about technological morality and other points. Can a robot be in government? Can a robot be a friend? Can a robot obey an order even if it goes against its programming? And so on. This book talks about using technology so that it helps and not hinders society. Again, fire is helpful, but if used unwisely—disastrous. I will warn you though, if you are new to the Sci-fi genre, be prepared for two-dimensional characters and very little to no character growth. Well, why would I want to read a book like that? Well, from what I’ve gathered so far on my galactic journey, Sci-fi is about adventure. Adventure books are about the adventure and not so much the characters. I haven’t read a lot of Sci-fi books yet but from what I’m getting from Isaac Asimov, classic Sci-fi is adventure led. If you’re OK with that then be prepared for an interesting ride! I loved this book and I hope you will too. Now I'm off to Asimov's Foundation Series!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    There is a method to the madness! The other day when my spiffing new copy of the Foundation series arrived on my doorstep, faithfully delivered by the only Amazon delivery guy in our part of the town and I had to turn to them to have my fix of the written word ever since the only bookstore in the town was closed down (or rather was converted into a boutique), my dear friend, who is by the way one of those guys who has their rooms covered in comic graffiti and a bat signal alarm clock that he is s There is a method to the madness! The other day when my spiffing new copy of the Foundation series arrived on my doorstep, faithfully delivered by the only Amazon delivery guy in our part of the town and I had to turn to them to have my fix of the written word ever since the only bookstore in the town was closed down (or rather was converted into a boutique), my dear friend, who is by the way one of those guys who has their rooms covered in comic graffiti and a bat signal alarm clock that he is still faithfully devoted to even in his late 20s, duly informed me that I couldn’t just couldn’t start with the foundation series and that even though Asimov had initially started with, the correct order of books to be followed is in fact not as per the publication date. And that’s a long sentence. Phew! But the suggested reading order, which is chronological in order of future history, and not in the order in which they were written is to first read the complete Robot series and then the Foundation series. So off to I,Robot. It is a collection of nine short stories narrated by Dr Susan Calvin who is psychologist to the robots and it is set in the future when the existence of the robots, even though they are supposed to be sentient, face opposition and fear. All the nine stories are unified with a single theme : complications arising from the interpretations of the three fundamental laws : A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a humang being to come to harm. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law. A robot must protect its own existence as long as it does not conflict with the First or Second law. It’s when the robot interprets the law wrong or by human action interprets it too right, that the ringmarole ascends and the fun begins. Asimov’s genius is in that, even though there isn’t much in the way of character development and the writing is pretty straight forward ; the complications that are presented from the three laws that seem to be very basic at first look, is handled with much dexterity. The logic in the sequences put the science in fiction, and you end up with the comprehension of why he is regarded as one of THE science fiction writers. In contrast to the movie that was replete with very anti-robot sentiments and played much in favour to the apprehension of man against anything artificial and intelligent , the book is very pro-robot. Via the problems in operation and instances when one or the other robot is perceived to have outsmarted the scientists , the solution is distilled down to a minor anomaly in the interpretation of the laws. All technicality aside, the stories deal with the issues of fear, prejudice, distrust, what Asimov himself called the ‘Frankenstein Complex’ When asked once by an SF fan on the possibility of one of his works being made into a movie, Asimov replied that there have been talks but nobody ever ends up rustling up enough money. Of course this was before the movie was made but I sincerely hoped that it would have remained true till date.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    Asimov gives you quite a good idea of what's it like to have to debug an artificial intelligence, before there were any. Applause! The movie, however, is an abomination that should have been strangled at birth. They've made Susan Calvin sexy; you see her suggestively outlined through the semi-opaque glass of her shower cubicle. I can't continue with this review. I'm starting to get too emotional. Sorry. A few things are still sacred, you know? _____________________________________ PS My real I, Ro Asimov gives you quite a good idea of what's it like to have to debug an artificial intelligence, before there were any. Applause! The movie, however, is an abomination that should have been strangled at birth. They've made Susan Calvin sexy; you see her suggestively outlined through the semi-opaque glass of her shower cubicle. I can't continue with this review. I'm starting to get too emotional. Sorry. A few things are still sacred, you know? _____________________________________ PS My real I, Robot review is here. Though I'm afraid it contains yet another example of That Joke...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    A great collection of short stories with the common theme of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are presented within the framing device as Chief Robopsychologist Dr. Calvin recounts her life’s work. Like any collection I found some stories to be strong than others with Robbie and Reason to be my two favourites. With all the stories featuring originally in Sci-Fi magazines during the 1940’s, I felt it was quite telling that the stronger tales were the earlier ones written.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    In the summer of 2004, the movie I, Robot came to theaters. I actually didn't see it until months later; I got the DVD as a birthday gift, but that day wasn't much of a special day, as my eldest sibling passed that morning. The I, Robot film was the first flick I saw in any form after that tragic event; I enjoyed it, but, I wasn't too keen on the profanity or partial nudity. Eventually, I ended up trading in my copy to my now-defunct local MovieStop; however, I did see it again thanks to my Comp In the summer of 2004, the movie I, Robot came to theaters. I actually didn't see it until months later; I got the DVD as a birthday gift, but that day wasn't much of a special day, as my eldest sibling passed that morning. The I, Robot film was the first flick I saw in any form after that tragic event; I enjoyed it, but, I wasn't too keen on the profanity or partial nudity. Eventually, I ended up trading in my copy to my now-defunct local MovieStop; however, I did see it again thanks to my Computer Networking teacher showing it to our class a year later. Fast forward to 2018, and I tried reading the book. I say "tried" because I couldn't focus due to being on a car trip at the time, where there were too many distractions. So, even though I had opened the book, I couldn't have even begun to tell you how it compared to the celluloid version. Now that I know that I shouldn't read with loud music playing in the background, I was actually able to read the book...and, let me tell you, it's definitely not the movie! While the film was an action story, the book was a collection of shorter stories...but it works really well! Better yet, the content was cleaner. If you go into this expecting the Will Smith flick, you'll be disappointed; however, if you understand that this was the work of a late grandmaster of science fiction, you'll enjoy it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Evan

    In 1989 I drove to Indianapolis to meet -- let's call him Henrik -- a collector of rare films, ostensibly to see his 16-millimeter print of the elusive 1926 W.C. Fields movie, So's Your Old Man, of which he claimed there were only a half dozen extant copies. We also screened prints of the Lon Chaney Sr. silent, He Who Gets Slapped and the silent German mountain film classic, The White Hell of Pitz Palu, both of which, at the time, were very difficult to see but which have since been issued on DV In 1989 I drove to Indianapolis to meet -- let's call him Henrik -- a collector of rare films, ostensibly to see his 16-millimeter print of the elusive 1926 W.C. Fields movie, So's Your Old Man, of which he claimed there were only a half dozen extant copies. We also screened prints of the Lon Chaney Sr. silent, He Who Gets Slapped and the silent German mountain film classic, The White Hell of Pitz Palu, both of which, at the time, were very difficult to see but which have since been issued on DVD. For good measure, he threw in a Charles Bowers comedy short and the Will Hay British comedy, Oh, Mr. Porter! As the evening progressed, I could tell Henrik was hesitant and distracted, twice starting to tell me something and then stopping in mid-word with a "Never mind." Henrik, like most film collectors, was very protective of his cinematic cache. I was sworn to secrecy to tell no one that he even owned the W.C. Fields movie and to especially be hush-hush about a nitrate print of another movie that he kept under temperature controlled conditions in his basement. Owning a highly flammable nitrate print is completely illegal. But Henrik had a secret eating at him. I must have seemed or looked trustworthy, because he finally clued me in. "How would you like to see a print of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mechanical Men?" he asked. I thought he was joking. Film buffs know the backstory of this long-unseen production, which was withdrawn after its disastrous audience preview in Pomona in 1951, and then remained unreleased after becoming mired in a perpetual legal squabble that pitted Universal studio and the Isaac Asimov estate. The estate contended the film, directed by the workmanlike Charles Brabin, deviated too far from the content and thematic spirit of the fragmentary novel and thus violated a clause in the contract, which gave Asimov final approval or disapproval of the film's content and the right to order withdrawal of the film. A technician at Universal had apparently read the novel on its first publication in 1950 and in discussing the book with a screenwriter at the studio the two began to see its obvious potential as a vehicle for the legendary comedic duo. Several stories in the book involve the misadventures of comically flustered robotic engineers, Donovan and Powell, who seemed to always be up to their ears in trouble with crazy robot shenanigans. A&C had met menaces as disparate as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Killer, the Invisible Man, Captain Kidd and other horrific villains in their comic forays. So the reasoning went, why not robots? The studio executives loved the idea, and gave the technician who had read the novel a bonus for suggesting it, especially as Paramount also was considering buying the rights as a vehicle for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, which would have marked that comic duo's debut in comedy sci-fi. Henrik held in his palm a small reel in a film gauge I was not familiar with; it seemed almost as small as Super 8, and he placed it on a special projector. I sat on his filthy couch full of cat hair and cast my eyes toward the illuminated screen in the darkened room, taking in the test pattern and numeric countdown before the credits, stained with color splotches. A Universal logo in a crude color format, not Technicolor but Cinecolor, I think, reeled off before me and I settled in for a completely unexpected and unlikely experience. When the title came on the screen, Abbott & Costello Meet...THE MECHANICAL MEN!!!, backed by an alternately ominous and comical musical score, I could not believe it. I was about to see one of the rarest movies on Earth. My jaw, which had dropped below my collarbone upon seeing the title, dropped closer to the floor as the movie unwound. I simply could not believe what Universal had done to Asimov's classic novel--and I could understand completely why the author forbade the studio from putting the film into general release. The stories in the book dealing with the emergence of robotic reasoning and the nature of the three rules of robotics had been jettisoned entirely, and in their place A&C had to save the world from a mad scientist (played ignominiously and with evident boredom by Boris Karloff) and his robot army. To cap this disgrace, A&C engaged the crudely realized robots--looking more like an assemblage of whiskey barrels and cardboard boxes--in a tired custard pie fight, which, unlike the ineffective bullets previously tried, jammed their circuitry and foiled the madman's plan. (In later interviews for film magazines, Karloff denied he had made the movie or that it even existed). B-movie blonde bombshell Martha Hyer was woefully miscast as the homely, frigid, sarcastic and serious robopsychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin. The filmmakers even found a way to fit her into a slinky sequined dress slit up the legs for a rendition of an original song penned by none other than Sammy Cahn: "No Love Like Robo Love," which twists the first law of robotics (never harm a human) into "never harm a human heart." Like Karloff, Cahn later refused to discuss the existence of this song or his participation in the film. Character actor William Frawley (soon to gain fame as Fred Mertz on TV's I Love Lucy), also dreadfully miscast, lent extra comic relief as a bespeckeled scientist who learns of the robot menace and is thus dragged off by several, shouting "heeeelllp!" as he disappears behind a door to a fearsome fate. In the final scene, now terribly racist, a bumbling black maintenance man accidentally gets a metal pail stuck on his head, causing the clueless and panicky Costello to believe that the defeated robot army has been resurrected, eliciting his trademark sign of alarm, wheezed from the plump and aging comic's throat: "Heyyyyy, Abbbbootttttt!!!" As the lights came on in the room I had to ask Henrik: "Where did you GET this?" "Sorry," he said. "I can't say. I could be arrested for even owning this." I told him his secret was safe with me. And if you've read this far, then it's April Fools for you four months early. Merry Christmas. -------- (Now, an actual review:) I, Robot, from 1950, is not entirely a novel as first effusion but as a collection of short stories published in various magazines during the 1940s which are here strung together in a flashback framework as the memories of Dr. Susan Calvin, a "robopsychologist." Each of the stories is presented as her reminiscences of anecdotes about the evolving sophistication of robotics in the 21st century. The first story, "Robbie," about a girl and her robot companion, is a quaint variation on the old "boy and his dog" story, and is the weakest of the bunch. In fact it took me a good while to recover from the disappointing taste left by it. I also found it hard to take seriously some of the stories featuring the comically bumbling duo of test engineers, Donovan and Powell, even when the stories featured some interesting philosophical points. But the stories build in strength as the collection proceeds, culminating in the superb second-to-last story, "Evidence," about one politician accusing another of being a robot, leading to a fascinating examination of the many concepts of robot and human ethics that Asimov explores throughout the book. It was the only story that made me say, "Fuck, yeah!" at the denouement, even though the book is littered with clever endings that reminded me of Agatha Christie mysteries. On the whole I was not blown away but the book gets better if you can stay with it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    3½ stars, rounded up for the scope of Asimov's AI Interesting ideas and conception of robotics conveyed in a series of short stories. I could read about Asimov's robotics all day. His scope of cultural changes (ie revolution), however, is lacking in comparison. The year 2007 in the book does not seem like actual 2007 at all, same goes for 2015, and same for 2035 I'd imagine. The cultural climate feels more like the 1950s with the addition of accelerated scientific advancement than the world we're 3½ stars, rounded up for the scope of Asimov's AI Interesting ideas and conception of robotics conveyed in a series of short stories. I could read about Asimov's robotics all day. His scope of cultural changes (ie revolution), however, is lacking in comparison. The year 2007 in the book does not seem like actual 2007 at all, same goes for 2015, and same for 2035 I'd imagine. The cultural climate feels more like the 1950s with the addition of accelerated scientific advancement than the world we're familiar with. You could tell Asimov was a writer very influenced by his era; the customs and politics of that time period laid the foundation for his writing. I don't expect books or people from the 1950s to be able to predict our current state of the world with any accuracy, but some accuracy or astute outlook would make the writing more believable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This is the original "I, Robot" (not the movie of the same name) is excellent & absolutely a classic. It set the tone & often the ground rules for almost every artificial intelligence novel since it was written. The three laws of robotics first appeared in these stories. There are quite a few stories from humorous to touching to scary. Asimov had a pretty good idea that artificial intelligence was similar to fire - a dangerous servant. He proves it in these pages. This paperback version strings t This is the original "I, Robot" (not the movie of the same name) is excellent & absolutely a classic. It set the tone & often the ground rules for almost every artificial intelligence novel since it was written. The three laws of robotics first appeared in these stories. There are quite a few stories from humorous to touching to scary. Asimov had a pretty good idea that artificial intelligence was similar to fire - a dangerous servant. He proves it in these pages. This paperback version strings the stories together as a reporter interviews Susan Calvin just before she retires. The reporter is trying for a human interest angle with a woman who is thought to be almost robotic in nature. She's not & that adds a lot to the story line. Here's the Table of Contents: Robbie Runaround Reason Catch That Rabbit Liar! Little Lost Robot Escape! Evidence The Evitable Conflict. IMO, this is the only way to enjoy these stories. Yes, they all appear in The Complete Robot, but just in cold, chronological order. Not the same at all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Isaac Asimov is less a writer of books than a puzzle creator. Each of the linked short stories in I, Robot poses a problem, like an SAT logic problem, and works its way to a (usually) clever answer. Foundation, his most famous work, is the same thing. Asimov has less in common with the other Big Three mid-20th century science fiction writers than he does with Encyclopedia Brown. But this is the book that invented the Three Laws of Robotics, which are so famous that basically no one has ever talke Isaac Asimov is less a writer of books than a puzzle creator. Each of the linked short stories in I, Robot poses a problem, like an SAT logic problem, and works its way to a (usually) clever answer. Foundation, his most famous work, is the same thing. Asimov has less in common with the other Big Three mid-20th century science fiction writers than he does with Encyclopedia Brown. But this is the book that invented the Three Laws of Robotics, which are so famous that basically no one has ever talked about robots again without dealing with them. They've impacted fiction - I'm revisiting this book as I watch AMC's robot drama Humans (it's okay), which refers to them frequently - and they've impacted reality: Google has had to try to code for them in its self-driving cars. Here they are: 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 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. What they don't deal with is what we call the trolley problem: A trolley headed down the tracks is about to hit and kill five people. If you pull a lever, it will switch onto another track, killing one person. Do you: a) take direct action to kill that one person? b) do nothing, allowing five to die? c) my favorite, the uh-oh solution. The answer is technically obvious. The question is, can we possibly ever be comfortable getting into a car that's prepared to make that decision for us? Even if we know its judgment is accurate - and Google's cars are already much better at driving than we are - does it go against some basic factor of humanity to abdicate life or death? I, Robot doesn't get into that as deeply as I'd like - it's presented and shrugged away in Evidence. Really, Asimov uses them mostly as a framework against which to throw a bunch of his puzzles. So this is an uneven collection: some stories get into the really interesting questions about what it will mean for robots to enter out lives, and some are just riddles. It's all pretty engaging, and some of it is great. Robbie Sentimental story about a little girl who loves her robot. Studies show that people build emotional connections with robots easily. Runaround Starting a trend that will shortly become boring, Asimov sets up a situation where his three rules cause an unforeseen conundrum - in this case, a robot running around in endless circles. The solution involves invoking Rule #1. This is not very exciting. Reason One of my favorites, about faith and evidence: a robot takes the available evidence and comes to the logical conclusion that the ship's engine is God and humans are deeply inferior. You're like okay, how will Asimov talk his way to out of this? How can they prove that they're really the robot's creator? Humans realize, after much fluster, that (view spoiler)[actually who cares. (hide spoiler)] Catch that rabbit A new kind of robot that controls several other robots goes wrong, why, who cares, this one is pretty dumb. Liar! A robot who can read minds may be lying. Turns out (view spoiler)[it's the only way for him to avoid harming people. (hide spoiler)] Here we learn that women think about love and men think about careers, as Asimov follows the First Rule of Science Fiction: never understand women. Little lost robot A batch of robots has been secretly made with altered first laws: while they still can't harm humans, they can now stand by and allow humans to be harmed. One of the altered robots is hiding. How can he be picked out of a crowd? Parallels to slavery are pronounced as humans call the robots "boy," which succeeds in making you uncomfortable; they'll continue doing this but Asimov never really digs into the idea. The story is one of his better ones, although the puzzle solution is just okay. Escape! Robots help us invent light speed travel, with unforeseen and unconvincing side effects that cause problems for the robots working on it: (view spoiler)[it somehow requires us to temporarily die. (hide spoiler)] Forgettable. Evidence A man running for office is suspected of being a robot. This is the first appearance of robots that look like humans, and also the story in which a version of the trolley problem is very briefly dealt with. I liked this one a lot. The Evitable Conflict Somehow, robot-directed industry is making mistakes. Why? (view spoiler)[Robots are framing anti-robot agents - creating mistakes that get blamed on them - to make them lose their jobs, because anti-robot agents are acting against the best interests of humans. (hide spoiler)] This story deals with the singularity, the moment when robot judgment becomes better than ours. Asimov seems unconcerned, as am I. This is another one of the better stories.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    ***NO SPOILERS*** (Full disclosure: Book abandoned on page 86 [out of 273 pages].)Under other circumstances, it might have been a beautiful sight. The stream of high-speed electrons impinging upon the energy beam fluoresced into ultraspicules of intense light. The beam stretched out into shrinking nothingness, a-glitter with dancing, shining motes.Unfortunately, this is how I, Robot goes (at least up until page 86). Asimov’s vision is an inventive and interesting one, but it isn’t geared to the e ***NO SPOILERS*** (Full disclosure: Book abandoned on page 86 [out of 273 pages].)Under other circumstances, it might have been a beautiful sight. The stream of high-speed electrons impinging upon the energy beam fluoresced into ultraspicules of intense light. The beam stretched out into shrinking nothingness, a-glitter with dancing, shining motes.Unfortunately, this is how I, Robot goes (at least up until page 86). Asimov’s vision is an inventive and interesting one, but it isn’t geared to the everyday reader. His writing here is heavy on the technical, jargon-y talk and light on lay speech. Focus is on two scientists and their work alongside robots; however, Asimov opened with a compelling domestic scene, one involving a family of three and arguments concerning their “robot nursemaid,” but a skim of the rest of the book reveals that, oddly, the story never returns to that human element. If the inter-related stories had continued in this vein and not abruptly switched to a different focus in subsequent chapters, I, Robot may have been the better for it. Final verdict: Recommended only for true lovers of science fiction.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lori Keeton

    ”I saw it from the beginning, when the poor robots couldn’t speak, to the end, when they stand between mankind and destruction…” Dr. Susan Calvin It is the year 2057 and Dr. Susan Calvin is retiring from US Robotics and Mechanical Men Inc. after 50 years. She is 75 years old when a reporter arrives to interview her about her work as a robopsychologist. Calvin begins to recount stories from the beginning, as the quotation states above, when robots couldn’t speak. But over these many years, the robo ”I saw it from the beginning, when the poor robots couldn’t speak, to the end, when they stand between mankind and destruction…” Dr. Susan Calvin It is the year 2057 and Dr. Susan Calvin is retiring from US Robotics and Mechanical Men Inc. after 50 years. She is 75 years old when a reporter arrives to interview her about her work as a robopsychologist. Calvin begins to recount stories from the beginning, as the quotation states above, when robots couldn’t speak. But over these many years, the robots become more and more sophisticated and human-like altering the very world of humanity. Calvin is a stoic and cold personality who exhibits more affection for robots than humans. She has spent her entire life in their heads, so to speak, learning and understanding their way of thinking and emotions as a psychologist would a human. She holds a high opinion of robots and explains to the reporter: “Then you don’t remember a world without robots. There was a time when humanity faced the universe alone and without a friend. Now he has creatures to help him; stronger creatures than himself, more faithful, more useful, and absolutely devoted to him. […] But you haven’t worked with them, so you don’t know them. They’re a cleaner better breed than we are.” Asimov created his 3 Laws of Robotics which pervade the 9 stories and are repeated throughout. 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. As the stories progress, the characters are placed into complicated situations with robots and often are trying to figure out what has happened or gone wrong using the logic of the 3 Laws to help them. The three Rules of Robotics are the essential guiding principles of a good many of the world’s ethical systems. Ergo, these are what make sure that the robots are good and moral. Some of the questions that arise have to do with the actual control that humanity would have over the technologies it has created and even over their own lives. This novel is rather prescient towards new technologies and how humans adapt to them. Asimov has seemed to have foreseen a future that includes artificial intelligence. What I kept having to remind myself while reading these stories was that this book was written in 1950, not 1990, 2000 or even present day. But the modern feel of the writing and themes is quite hard to believe. This was way out of my regular reading pleasure but I am so glad to have experienced Asimov’s most famous novel.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...