Critique of Asimov's "I, Robot" Essay

Critique of Asimov's "I, Robot" Essay

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Isaac Asimov thrills the reader with his story-telling ability in "I, Robot".  Of course, many of Asimov's ideas provide a ploy to add suspense to the story.  However, when the plot completely disagree with the laws which he himself has written, the story becomes confusing.  On the surface, it appears that his stories make legitimate and logical sense, as well as entertaining the audience in a magnificent way.  However, any deeper analysis of the story will prove that there are several significant flaws in the work.  This can best be shown in one of Asimov's earlier stories, "Reason."  In this story, the first and second of the three laws of robotics are broken.  It is never explained how it would be possible for these malfunctions to have occurred.  Still, the work does raise some very interesting ethical, moral, and philosophical issues.


The story "Reason" has flaws from the start that conflict with both the first and second law of robotics.  The first law states, "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."  The second law states, "A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law."  These laws were established by Asimov as the basic fundamental ideas which can never be broken without the robot malfunctioning.  This, however, does not hold true in "Reason."  As the story goes, Michael Donovan and Gregory Powell finished building a new robot known as QT-1 (Cutie) to help them run Solar Station #5.  However, as soon as Cutie is functioning, he questions his existence and his ability to think for himself.  Donovan and Powell both attempt to exp...


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...ons are difficult to pick up after reading the story only once.  It was only after reading the story a second time that I was able to pick out some of the flaws.  It should also be noted that this is a bunch of science fiction stories, made up completely by Asimov.  It should not be read on a technical level or for its content because it is written for the enjoyment of its readers.  It can be compared to watching a Jim Carrey movie.  When one watches this type of movie, he should expect to see a silly comedy and not a movie with deep emotion and meaning.  The laws of nature are bent and broken to help the audience further enjoy the movie.  Similarly, the people who read Asimov should not expect to read a book that follows every rule to its entirety.   While Asimov's book is fictitious, it is still enjoyed by millions of readers.

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