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Robot #0.1

I, Robot

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What do you do with a drunken robot?

You may not believe it, but robots have problems too. Just like humans.

In these mind-spinning tales, Isaac Asimov brings us an astonishing and delightful vision of a tomorrow filled with marvels and miracles—of computers in human form so incredibly real yu cannot tell the man from the machine without a scorecard.

-from the back cover

The ISBN for this book has also been re-issued on this edition of The Mark of Athena

192 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published December 2, 1950

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About the author

Isaac Asimov

4,013 books24.1k followers
Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System (lacking only an entry in the 100s category of Philosophy).

Asimov is widely considered a master of the science-fiction genre and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered one of the "Big Three" science-fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov's most famous work is the Foundation Series; his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series, both of which he later tied into the same fictional universe as the Foundation Series to create a unified "future history" for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson. He penned numerous short stories, among them "Nightfall", which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time, a title many still honor. He also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as a great amount of nonfiction. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French.

Most of Asimov's popularized science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include his Guide to Science, the three volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery.

Asimov was a long-time member and Vice President of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as "brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs" He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, the magazine Asimov's Science Fiction, a Brooklyn, NY elementary school, and two different Isaac Asimov Awards are named in his honor.

Isaac Asimov. (2007, November 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:50, November 29, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_As...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,603 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa.
991 reviews3,320 followers
August 17, 2020
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!

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews35 followers
September 9, 2021
(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
Profile Image for Baba.
3,620 reviews986 followers
October 15, 2021
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. :)
Profile Image for İntellecta.
199 reviews1,558 followers
July 10, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,992 followers
October 9, 2019
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!
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,217 reviews9,910 followers
June 15, 2023

It occurs to me that if Isaac Asimov had written this book today it would have been called I, AI

It also occurs to me that I might possibly not be the only person to have thought of that.

Ah well - original review follows ...


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.
Profile Image for Kevin.
Author 7 books10 followers
July 19, 2007
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.
Profile Image for Sidharth Vardhan.
Author 23 books699 followers
May 14, 2020
"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."


"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.
Profile Image for Labijose.
987 reviews461 followers
December 29, 2020
El libro con el que descubrí a Asimov, en una época en la que Internet solo se utilizaba para usos militares, y el concepto de robot era una mera entelequia que salía en películas que a mi me producían a la vez asombro y terror (Metrópolis, 1927) (Planeta prohibido, 1956).
Era una época muy distinta, una época en la que no dejaba de mirar al cielo en busca de Ovni's (y, os lo creáis o no, tuve suerte) y de buscar en la cartelera los últimos estrenos del género (El abismo negro, 1979) (el inigualable "Blade Runner", 1982).
Pues eso, "Yo, Robot" es al género literario lo que "Blade runner" es al cinematográfico. El Summum del Summum, el top del top. Y no digo más, que no paro.
Profile Image for Melki.
6,040 reviews2,390 followers
December 30, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Oguz Akturk.
280 reviews492 followers
September 18, 2022
YouTube kanalımda Ben Robot kitabını önerdim: https://youtu.be/Zi_3twAwIPM

14 milyar yıllık evrende robotların üretilmeye başlandığı döneme denk gelmek.

Şu anda bu yazıyı 24 Mart 2019 tarihinde yazıyorum. Bir zaman kapsülü gibi düşünecek olursak, eğer ki, Goodreads babadan oğula ya da herhangi bir şekilde nesilden nesile geçen bir site haline gelirse, evren ve dünya da varlığını hala sürdürüyor olursa bu yazının, 50 ya da 100 yıl sonra robotlar tarafından yorumlanabilecek olması hiç işten bile değil.

Robotların evriminin ne kadar hızla geliştiğinin küçük bir kanıtı olarak, bazı sitelere giriş yaparken karşımıza çıkan "Ben robot değilim." kutucuğuna kendi iradesiyle olmasa bile tik atabilen robotların olması ve Boston Dynamics şirketinin her yüklediği videoyla önümüzdeki yıllar içerisinde robotların yaygınlaşacağı gerçeğini yadsımak mümkün değil gerçekten.

Asimov'un robotları, Üç Robot Kanunu denilen, insanlara zarar veremeyen, insanlara zarar gelmesine göz yumamayan, insanlar tarafından verilen emirlere itaat etmek zorunda olan ve robotların kendi varlıklarını korumak zorunda olduğunu bildiren küçük bir kurallar bütünüyle düşünülmüş. Böyle bir durumda ise en sıkıntı konu, otoriteler değiştiğinde, kanunların kararları başka düşüncelerdeki ellere geçtiğinde kanunların eski hükümlerinin sürüp sürmeyeceğidir.

Robotlar konusunun kırılma noktası benim açımdan, robotları bir birey yani tıpkı bir insan gibi mi göreceğimiz, yoksa onları birer makine, kablo zırvalarından ibaret olarak mı tanımlayacağımız. Aynı Pitbull cinsi köpeklerin kötü niyetli kişiler tarafından eğitildiğinde sonuçlarının vahşet olabildiği gibi, iyi niyetli kişiler tarafından terk edilmiş bir yerde bulunup onlar tarafından eğitildiğinde de etrafına hiç zarar vermeyen köpekler haline gelmeleri gibi.

2 puanı Özgür Demirtaş'ın robot olma ihtimalinden bahsetmediği için kırd... Şaka şaka. Kelime çeşitliliği, edebi anlatım zenginliği ve yazarın yazım üslubu konularında bana pek bir edebi zevk vermediği için 2 puanı kırma kararı verdim. Bunun dışında konunun özgünlüğü ve içerdiği ütopik-distopik karışımı dünya gayet ilgi çekici.

Ütopik yönden bakacak olursak, insanların gücünün yetmediği ekstrem durumlarda robotlar pek çok işlev görecek. Belki de ileride robotların çeşitlenmesiyle birlikte bir Transformers misali bakkala ekmek almaya bir robotu yollayabileceğiz ya da krizle beraber artan otobüs fiyatlarından etkilenmemek için yine aynı robotumuzla istediğimiz kadar seyahat edebileceğiz.

Distopik yönden bakacak olursak, robotlar pek çok meslekteki kişinin işsiz kalmasına yol açacaktır. İnsanların kolaylığı için düşünülen pek çok şey, insanların aynı zamanda tembelliğine ve iletişimin kısırlaşmasına da yol açmaktadır. Robotların iş görme özellikleri bir bakıma insanların gittikçe tembelleşme evrimi olarak zamana yavaş yavaş yansıyabilecektir. Otorite paradigmaları değiştikçe, kanunlar ilk halleriyle kalmadıkça, robotların yaşayışını belirleyen kurallar da ister istemez kötü niyetli kişiler tarafından değiştirilecektir. Böylelikle Orwell'ın Hayvan Çiftliği yasaları misali, kanunlar kolaylıkla değiştirilebilme imkanı bulacak ve otorite sahibi insanlar da bu kanunları kendi siyasi çıkarları için maalesef ki kullanabileceklerdir.

Kitabın kapağındaki görselin Auguste Rodin’in Düşünen Adam heykelini çağrıştırdığı ise aşikâr. Zamanın Bakırköy Ruh ve Sinir Hastalıkları Hastanesi başhekimi Fahri Celal Göktulga’ya, bu heykelin bir akıl hastanesinin bahçesinde bulunmasının neyi ifade ettiğini sormuşlar. Göktulga yarı şaka yarı ciddi gülümseyerek: “Hastane dışındakilerinin durumu içeridekilerden daha kötü, bu heykel onların durumu ne olacak diye düşünüyor.” demiş. Aslında buradan robotlar konusuna tümevarım yapacak olursak, insanların durumunun dünya şartlarıyla da beraber zamanla daha da kalitesizleşip robotların çağının yavaş yavaş gelmeye başladığı da söylenebilir. Distopik yön olarak bu, insanların geldiği güncel halin çıkmazına ve çaresizliğine karşılık Asimov tarafından getirilen bilimkurgu türünde bir kaygı olarak belirtilebilir.

Asimov, kendisinin de dediği gibi, bu kitabıyla birlikte ne bize herhangi bir siyasi sınıfı, ne dönemin siyasi bir karışıklığını, ne de dinle ilgili herhangi bir mesaj vermek istemiş. Tam tersine, dinlerden ve siyasi karışıklıklardan meydana gelen savaşları tekrar tekrar anlatmaktansa konuyu robotlar gibi epey ileri görüşlü, insanlara belki de çok farklı konularda yarar sağlayabilecek ve göz alıcı bir konuyu çekmek istemiş.

Filminin, kitabından daha çok bilinip izleniyor olması konusunda Maymunlar Gezegeni kitabının önsözünde Kutlukhan Kutlu'nun demiş olduğu çok önemli cümleler var, onları da burada belirtmek istiyorum :
"Biz kitapseverler için filmlerin etki alanının büyüklüğünü, kitap sayfalarında başlayan öykülerin kitlelerin zihninde daha çok film kareleriyle yer ettiğini kabul etmek bazen zordur. Özellikle de sevdiğimiz metinler söz konusuysa. Gelgelelim nice kitabın kaderi, filmlerinin gölgesinde yaşamak oluyor. Çok da şaşırtıcı değil bu, ne de olsa sinema, özellikle de serpildiği yirminci yüzyıl içinde popüler kültür üretmeye ve kitlesel aşinalık yaratmaya kitaplardan epey daha yakın gezindi. Hedefi on ikiden vurduğunda da ortaya fenomenleşmiş filmler, unutulmaz anlar çıktı."

Konu tamamen halk ve kitlelerin onayı, popüler kültürün hizmet ettiği alanın hazır ürüne daha yatkın olması ve kitlelerin beynini bir şey okumak üzere yormak istemediğinden geliyor. Şimdi isteyen gitsin filmini izlesin, ben robotlarla ilgili başka şeyler okumak üzere araştırmaya gidiyorum.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
554 reviews60.5k followers
May 28, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
319 reviews702 followers
October 17, 2021
“No tiene alma y nadie sabe lo que es capaz de pensar”

Puntuación: 🤖🤖🤖🤖🤖

¿Te gusta la CF?, ¿Has dicho que sí? Bien, si esa es tu respuesta pero no te has leído esto, cámbiala, después cuando termines el libro abriendo los ojos y la mente a la realidad, reza las 3 leyes de la robótica cuatro veces por la noche. Quizás así se te perdone y borre tu pecado.

Yo, Robot, es una colección de relatos de Asimov que forma un libro impresionante en la que leeremos, y viviremos una lucha de la humanidad por encontrar el equilibrio en un mundo cada vez más dominado por el progreso tecnológico, pero con exactamente los mismos conflictos sociales, políticos y emocionales de siempre. Los relatos reflejan perfectamente la creciente evolucion, sofisticación o autocontrol de los robots y de su integración en la sociedad humana. Pero las historias no son solo muestran que los robots están mejorando más y más sino que también se apropian o toman diferentes aspectos de la vida humana.

He incluido las tres leyes de la robótica en mi reseña pues me parecen fascinantes. Fue lo que más me gustó. Cada uno de los relatos los tenía en el centro de su conflicto, generalmente con Calvin tratando de averiguar porqué los robots actuaban de la manera en que lo hacían dentro de las limitaciones de las tres reglas. O, el uso de las tres reglas para así identificar ciertos robots. Un ordenador hará exactamente lo que le digas que haga. Si está haciendo algo mal, se comportará exactamente como debería, según su programación. Depende de aquellas personas que los programan, son, y siendo blasfemo para unos, algo así como "la mano de Dios" en esas cosas. Los robots, a medida que vamos leyendo parece que están quebrantando o ignorando una o más reglas. Pero hay que mirar más de cerca, o más allá..

Asimov va un paso más allá, proponiendo una solución, en este caso, para cuestiones éticas que están muy relacionadas con la IA, en forma de sus muy populares "Tres leyes de la robótica":

1° Ley: Un robot no puede dañar a un ser humano ni, por inacción, permitir que un ser humano sufra daño.

2° Ley: Un robot debe cumplir las órdenes de los seres humanos, excepto si dichas órdenes entran en conflicto con la Primera Ley.

3° Ley: Un robot debe proteger su propia existencia en la medida en que ello no entre en conflicto con la Primera o la Segunda Ley.

Isaac Asimov ha creado una maravillosa trama que se mueve a través de nueve relatos que son contados por Susan Calvin, robopsicóloga. Las nueve historias tienen un lenguaje muy preciso, la narrativa de Asimov como me demostró en la 'Trilogía de la Fundación' es de enorme calidad, es sencillo, ágil, con algo de humor, además de un poco de suspense que nos hace cambiar de página, algunas ideas brillantes y moralidad.

“He observado que hombres perfectamente capaces están todavía llenos de prejuicios en nuestra sociedad; necesitamos todavía el hombre que sea lo bastante inteligente para pensar en las preguntas adecuadas”

Dado que la psicología de los robots es similar a la de los humanos, los problemas que enfrentan ofrecen información sobre la psicología y la personalidad humana. Si queréis leer este libro porque habeis visto la película, bueno, lamento decir que poco o incluso nada tienen que ver. La película trata solo sobre un simple aspecto de este libro, trata sobre "qué sucede cuando los robots descubren que pueden tomar el control". Una vez más, el fuego que nos fue entregado por Prometeo es útil, pero si se usa sin respeto, algo de miedo y cuidado, es devastador. 

El libro trata menos sobre la tecnología de lo que pensaba y mucho más sobre la psicología en desarrollo de los Robots, trabajando en torno a la comprensión cambiante de las famosas tres reglas de la robótica. Y esto me pareció incluso más fascinante, Fundación me encanto pero los robots tienen un puntazo que ahí, ahí andan en nivel.

Asimov definitivamente fue un gran genio que desafía tu mente de muchas maneras. Las tres reglas, que de verdad son geniales, comienzan como algo simple para el lector, pero gran fallo pues los muy delicados equilibrios entre cómo se pueden interpretar en determinados momentos y circunstancias, o después de ciertas órdenes, y dónde conducen, muestran cómo incluso algo tan simple puede ser muy complejo a su vez. El nivel de genialidad es brillante, como las ideas y la eficacia con la que se llevan a cabo. Asimov no decepciona para los fans y amantes de este género. Además es un clásicazo de CF que ha envejecido muy, muy bien.

Amor por la CF, no puedo decir más queridos amigos y amigas. 👏👏👏

“Primero el Señor creó el tipo más bajo, los humanos, formados más fácilmente. Poco a poco fue reemplazándolos por robots, el siguiente paso, y finalmente me creó a mí, para ocupar el sitio de los últimos humanos. A partir de ahora, yo sirvo al Señor”
Profile Image for Ivana Books Are Magic.
523 reviews201 followers
February 21, 2017
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!
Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews488 followers
April 14, 2022
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.
Profile Image for Charlie Parker.
203 reviews47 followers
July 2, 2023
Yo, robot

Este libro, publicado en 1950 por Isaac Asimov, recoge varios relatos escritos entre 1940 y 1950 sobre robótica, el mundo de los robots y su relación con los humanos.

Este es uno de esos libros que está en la estantería de los eternos pendientes, uno lo ha visto de siempre, ya caerá. El paso de los años lo va dejando atrás con la sensación de pasado de época y como que, ya es tarde para leerlo.

Nada más lejos de la realidad. Me ha encantado, he intentado verlo desde nuestro tiempo para encontrar similitudes, hay alguna, pero ese tipo de robots todavía no existen. En nuestro mundo tenemos máquinas con inteligencia artificial, de hecho, estamos rodeados de ellas y las usamos cada día. La visión de Asimov hace más de 70 años sobre el mundo futuro de los robots y su comportamiento es asombrosa.

Basado en las tres leyes de la robótica Asimov pone a prueba la convivencia de los robots con los humanos.

«Las Tres Leyes de la Robótica

1.Un robot no debe dañar a un ser humano o, por su inacción, dejar que un ser humano sufra daño.

2.Un robot debe obedecer las órdenes que le son dadas por un ser humano, excepto cuando estas órdenes se oponen a la primera Ley.

3.Un robot debe proteger su propia existencia, hasta donde esta protección no entre en conflicto con la primera o segunda Leyes.»

Los relatos son excelentes, tocando cada uno un tema sobre la robótica; son independientes, pero con un hilo conductor. Los personajes que interactúan con los robots son casi siempre los mismos. Se abarca un gran período de tiempo para ver la evolución de la robótica.
Así, comienza con un simple robot de compañía en el primer relato escrito en 1940. En este, una niña tiene un robot como compañía, guardián, amigo, etc. La madre no está conforme con que su hija pase tanto tiempo con una máquina, no le gusta nada:

«No quiere jugar con nadie más. Hay por aquí docenas de niños y niñas con quienes podría trabar amistad, pero no quiere. No quiere ni acercarse a ellos, a menos que yo la obligue. Es imposible que se críe así. Querrás que sea una niña normal, ¿verdad? Querrás que sea capaz de ocupar su sitio en la sociedad…, supongo.»

Aunque en nuestra época todavía no tenemos este tipo de robots, estamos rodeados de máquinas con cierta inteligencia artificial y esta reflexión de la madre me recuerda a la guerra contra los dispositivos digitales que tienen muchos padres hoy en día. En Francia le llaman "addiction aux écrans" adicción a las pantallas de cualquier dispositivo móvil, lo cual hace que los jóvenes y no tan jóvenes pasen, en algunos casos, de socializarse con la gente.

Este es el más sencillo de los casos. Los demás relatos van incrementando la dificultad planteando situaciones con el mal funcionamiento de los robots, errores de fabricación, comportamiento errático, y alguno más inquietante, ¿podrían tener pensamientos propios?
Todo visto y analizado bajo las leyes de la robótica, ahí está la solución , mientras se cumplan todo estará bajo control.

Ahora que está tan en boga la AI, esa inteligencia artificial que parece que nos han puesto a nuestro alcance. No está mal leer estos relatos para ver que Asimov tenía una visión fuera de lo común.

Especialmente interesante la conclusión final, ¿Sería esta la solución para librarnos de políticos corruptos/mentirosos? Claro que, ¿quién programaría la máquina?

El 1 de junio de 1977 el grupo británico de rock The Alan Parsons Project, publicó el álbum “I Robot” inspirado en los relatos de este libro.

El mismo Asimov fue consultado sobre esto y la idea le encantó. Las canciones no se refieren a los relatos directamente, es más bien genérico, porque la idea del mundo robótico de Asimov da para muchas interpretaciones y situaciones.

La película que se estrenó en 2004 con el mismo nombre protagonizada por Will Smith está basada en estas interpretaciones, no refiriéndose a ningún relato en concreto. La mente visionaria de Asimov creó un universo que, incluso nuestros nietos, cuando lo lean, se verán sorprendidos.
Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,991 reviews897 followers
January 6, 2023
Maravilloso, sorprendente, inteligente, desbordante de imaginación y lo que fue unos de los "Sense of Wonder" de mi juventud.

Las Tres Leyes (las mayúsculas no son gratuitas) se quedaron tan grabadas en mi corazón como en los cerebros positrónicos.
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,257 reviews1,132 followers
August 19, 2022
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:


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:


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:


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 . 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. 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 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.

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.

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

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, 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.

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:

Catch that rabbit
Little lost robot
The evitable conflict


“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.”
Profile Image for Brooke.
538 reviews298 followers
April 9, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Calista.
4,074 reviews31.3k followers
June 4, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
March 8, 2011
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...
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,125 reviews479 followers
September 24, 2020
Mi primera toma de contacto con los robots y todo este mundo que creó Asimov. Son historias entretenidas en las cuales se van contando los progresos en robótica con el tiempo mediante historias de los diferentes tipos de robots que había en cada momento. Recomendable.
Profile Image for Aydan Yalçın.
Author 45 books114 followers
February 21, 2021
O kadar güzel, o kadar zekice yazılmış ki! Asimov'dan daha azını beklemiyordum elbette ama bu kadar eğlenceli ve komik robot hikayeleri okumayı da beklemiyordum açıkçası. Aşırı eğlenceli, aşırı şok edici. Hele bir bölüm var ki "çıldırıyorum, çıldırıyorum!" diye okudum 😂 Ve Asimov'un dünyayı, insanları yöneten robotlar öngörüsü (ve belki de kehaneti) keşke gerçek olsa demeden de edemedim.
Profile Image for Yukino.
1,021 reviews
January 9, 2021
3 rilettura, 5/9 gennaio 2021

Rilettura con gdl Edicola & Libreria

Che dire. Meraviglioso. Mi ha emozionato come se fosse la prima volta. Era da tanto che volevo rileggerli e sono stata davvero contenta quando hanno vinto la votazione.
Lo so, sono di parte. Io amo Asimov, e l’universo che ha creato. lo sanno tutti. E se non lo sapevate, adesso lo sapete.

Mi sono innamorata dei suoi libri a 13 anni. Ho letto tutto di lui grazie alla biblioteca, e quando poi ho avuto la possibilità, sono stati i primi libri che mi sono comprata. Per cui potete capire cosa provo.
E proprio per non portare in giro e rovinare così il mio libro edizione Mondadori a cui sono affezionata, ho preso l’edizione Urania Collezione, che non avevo mai letto, perché reputavo uguale alla mia. Come mi sbagliavo!

Ho scoperto così che i racconti, che già sono legati tra di loro per personaggi ed evoluzione della storia, sono messi insieme come racconti fatti da Susan Calvin in un’intervista, che ci fa conoscere di più la robopsicologa, con altri aneddoti.
L’ho semplicemente adorato 😍 Susan è una dei miei personaggi preferiti, e scoprire di più su di lei e averla come protagonista, mi ha mandato in brodo di giuggiole.

Ora però mi chiedo come mai non ne sapevo nulla? Perché? Dopo quasi 30 anni ho riscoperto un libro. Il potere delle riletture è immenso.

Se potete quindi trovate e leggere questa versione. È molto più coinvolgente. Se a me era piaciuta la raccolta originale, questa mi è entrata dritta al cuore.

Ora non vedo l’ora di leggere tutto il resto.
Forse prima mi rivedrò per la millesima volta Io, robot, che come già detto è un crogiolo di questi racconti.

Ok basta ho fatto un papiro.

2 rilettura


E' inutile sono innamorata di lui, dei suoi robot, di Susan Calvin e di come riesce sempre a portarmi in un'altra dimensione.non posso farci nulla, è così punto e basta.

Questo libro non è come il film, o meglio: il film non è come il libro, è una storia unica, mentre il libro tratta diversi episodi che riguardano i robot.

Il film è praticamente un insieme di tutto con l'aggiunta del bel Will Smith e del mistero.

A me son piaciuti entrambi. anche se il libro, non so su di me ha sempre un certo fascino, anche se parlando di robot ci si accorge che la descrizione che fa Asimov è un pò vecchiotta, sono tutti enormi e questo perché non era ancora stato scoperto il microchip, e la possibilità di avere tutto in uno spazio super ridotto, ma forse è proprio questo che affascina, che mi affascina.

Io sono di parte, per cui il mio giudizio è sempre offuscato dall'amore che provo per questi libri.

Consigliato agli amanti del genere, e a chi vuole provare un pò di fantascienza dai buoni sentimenti, senza catastrofi imminenti, e più umana.
Profile Image for Michael || TheNeverendingTBR.
479 reviews190 followers
August 3, 2022
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. 🤖
Profile Image for Sr3yas.
223 reviews1,002 followers
March 19, 2017
❝ 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!
Profile Image for Pat the Book Goblin .
423 reviews131 followers
April 20, 2018
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!!!
Profile Image for Annie.
49 reviews310 followers
November 2, 2015

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.

Profile Image for Ken.
2,207 reviews1,329 followers
June 26, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,694 reviews63 followers
July 28, 2021
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.
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