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Would The Three Laws of Robotics Work?

Fans of science fiction master Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation Series (or “I, Robot”) are familiar with his “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 any 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.

But as we get closer to having actual artificially intelligent robots, would these laws really work or even be practical?

The Three Laws were a fail-safe built into robots in Asimov’s fiction. These laws, which robots had to obey, protected humans from being hurt and made robots obedient. This concept helped form the real world belief among robotics engineers that they could create intelligent machines that would coexist peacefully with humanity.


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May 11th, 2011

Stranger to the World


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