Friday, February 15, 2013

I, Robot

[July 2009] It's always fun reading "old" futurist books that talk about the present day. By today, they were expecting flying cars, interplanetary travel and impressive robots. However, robots still had vacuum tubes, and newspapers were read in paper form.
These provide some interesting chuckles in this book. However, despite the title, the book is primarily a comment on man and his post World War II prejudices. The fear of the 'unknown' in robots can be replaced by many other modern technological fears, or could even be viewed as a fear of "immigrants". The main thrust of the many stories, however, involve how to 'outwit' robots that have been programmed to obey certain rules.
The many "stories" contained in the book are seen through the reflection of a robot psychologist, and while having some threads keeping them together, all could stand as short stories on their own. They each give rise to many psychological and sociological questions and help make this an interesting read.

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