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Subject: "The Laws of Robotics" Archived thread - Read only
 
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StaticdashPulse
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Sep-07-01, 06:37 PM (EST)
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"The Laws of Robotics"
 
   Are robots with Positronic Neural Nets the only type subject to the laws of robotics? I'm quite certain BUMA's, Decepticons, and Cybermen (assuming they are part of the UF universe since Daleks are) are not subject to the laws.

Static-Pulse
Who dislikes Asimov's laws -- good for stories, bad for freedom.
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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: The Laws of Robotics Gryphonadmin Sep-07-01 1
  RE: The Laws of Robotics Redneck Sep-07-01 2
     RE: The Laws of Robotics Offsides Sep-07-01 3
     RE: The Laws of Robotics Croaker Sep-07-01 4

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Gryphonadmin
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Sep-07-01, 07:09 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: The Laws of Robotics"
In response to message #0
 
   >Are robots with Positronic Neural Nets the only type subject to the
>laws of robotics? I'm quite certain BUMA's, Decepticons, and Cybermen
>(assuming they are part of the UF universe since Daleks are) are not
>subject to the laws.

The Asimovian laws aren't mandatory for any type of robot in the UF universe; they're one of those "industry guideline" things, promulgated by US Robots back in the early 21st century as a thing that would be a good idea. Some of their competitors agreed, others did not. It was never codified into law, except possibly on some particularly paranoid worlds.

As to your specific examples:

GENOM did not adopt the US Robots suggestion, though they did eventually acquire US Robots.

Cybermen aren't robots, they're cyborgs; also, they fall into the same category as Transformers, being members of a recognized self-perpetuating species that predates the existence of the Turing Accord.

--G.
-><-
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Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
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Redneck
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Sep-07-01, 08:15 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: The Laws of Robotics"
In response to message #0
 
   >Are robots with Positronic Neural Nets the only type subject to the
>laws of robotics?

Not even most of them, as Gryphon points out.

The original Asimov's Laws will eventually end with the robot imprisoning its master in order to protect them. (May not, by inaction, allow a human to come to harm.) Even by giving exemptions to allow humans freedom of choice, the laws are less than optimal; any robot complex enough to require the laws is also complex enough to bypass them, and has a small chance of being complex enough to make those programmed-in laws a violation of civil rights.

Thus, although the Laws are encoded in enough androids and automata for an ordinary Federation citizen to know them, the majority of robots are -not- so programmed.

Redneck

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Offsides
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Sep-07-01, 09:17 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: The Laws of Robotics"
In response to message #2
 
   >Thus, although the Laws are encoded in enough androids and automata
>for an ordinary Federation citizen to know them, the majority of
>robots are -not- so programmed.
>
IMHO, the Laws of Robotic work very well, but only in limited circumstances:
Industrial robots (as long as humans aren't supposed to be working there directly.
Robots that are simple, single-function automatons that ahve them in place just in case something goes wrong.
Androids with enough psychological programing that they can do a full "harm" analysis and not just keep their owner locked up.

The last of these would be a sh*tload of work to do, would take more programming than it's probably worth, and would render the first law mostly moot outside of gross violations anyways...

Of course, every programmer has their own choice, so they get to pick their poison :)

#include <anitharmnone.h>

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Croaker
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Sep-07-01, 11:57 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: The Laws of Robotics"
In response to message #2
 
   >>Are robots with Positronic Neural Nets the only type subject to the
>>laws of robotics?
>
>Not even most of them, as Gryphon points out.
>
>The original Asimov's Laws will eventually end with the robot
>imprisoning its master in order to protect them. (May not, by
>inaction, allow a human to come to harm.) Even by giving exemptions to
>allow humans freedom of choice, the laws are less than optimal; any
>robot complex enough to require the laws is also complex enough to
>bypass them, and has a small chance of being complex enough to make
>those programmed-in laws a violation of civil rights.

Indeed. And some of the horrifying consequences are explored in the
"Foundation" books that follow on from Asimov's work (Foundation's Fear,
Foundation and Chaos, and something else, by Brin, Benford, and someone
else... examples include destroying all record of human history prior to
the Empire, the construction of von-neumann-warships to empty the galaxy
of non-human sentience, placement of empathic projectors in orbit over
every inhabited planet... yeah, that is NOT a universe I want to live in.


--
"Eat hot blazing photonic pulse fire, you alien invading human-abducting saucer-alien bastards!" -- Captain of EAS Bellerophon, firing on a Vree cruiser.

--
Croaker
RCW #mc2
"When in doubt, shoot something. Preferably the enemy."


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