I, Robot Theatrical release poster Directed by Alex Proyas Produced by Laurence Mark John Davis Topher Dow Wyck Godfrey Screenplay by Jeff Vintar Akiva Goldsman Story by Jeff Vintar Based on Premise suggested by I, Robot by Isaac Asimov Starring Will Smith Bridget Moynahan Bruce Greenwood James Cromwell Chi McBride Alan Tudyk Music by Marco Beltrami Cinematography Simon Duggan Edited by Richard Learoyd Armen Minasian William Hoy Production companies Davis Entertainment Laurence Mark Productions Overbrook Films Mediastream IV Distributed by 20th Century Fox Release date July 7, 2004 ( Mann Village Theater) July 16, 2004 (United States) Running time 115 minutes Country United States Language English Budget 120 million  Box office 347. 2 million  I, Robot (stylized as i, robot) is a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman is from a screen story by Vintar, based on his original screenplay "Hardwired" and suggested by Isaac Asimov 's short-story collection of the same name. The film stars Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, and Alan Tudyk. I, Robot was released in North America on July 16, 2004, in Australia on July 22, 2004, in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2004 and in other countries between July 2004 to October 2004. Produced with a budget of 120 million, the film grossed 144 million domestically and 202 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of 346 million. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the visual effects and acting but criticism of the plot. At the 77th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Visual Effects. Plot [ edit] In the year 2035, humanoid robots serve humanity, which is protected by the Three Laws of Robotics. Del Spooner, a Chicago police detective, has come to hate and distrust robots, because a robot rescued him from a car crash by leaving a 12-year-old girl to drown, by using cold logic (it calculated that his survival was statistically more likely than the girl's. Spooner's critical injuries were repaired with a cybernetic left arm, lung, and ribs, personally implanted by the co-founder of U. S. Robots and Mechanical Men (U. Robotics in the film) Dr. Alfred Lanning. When Lanning falls to his death from his office window, the police and Lawrence Robertson, the CEO and other co-founder of USR (U. Robotics) declare it a suicide, but Spooner is skeptical. During his investigation at USR headquarters, Spooner is accompanied by robopsychologist Susan Calvin. They start by consulting USR's central artificial intelligence computer, VIKI (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence) to review security footage of Lanning's fall. Though the footage in the office is corrupted, they learn that no other humans were in it at the time, and Spooner points out the window, which was made of security glass, could only have been broken by a robot. Calvin protests a robot could not possibly have killed Lanning, as the Three Laws would prevent it; they are then attacked in the office by an NS-5 robot, USR's latest model. After the police apprehend it, they discover the robot, who says its name is Sonny, is not an assembly line-built NS-5. He was specially built by Lanning himself, with denser materials and a secondary neural network, giving him the ability to ignore the Three Laws. Later, Sonny claims to have emotions and dreams. While pursuing his investigation of Lanning's death, Spooner is attacked by a USR demolition machine and then a squad of NS-5 robots. With no evidence of it happening, Spooner's boss Lieutenant Bergin, worried that Spooner is mentally ill, removes him from active duty. Suspecting Robertson is behind everything, Spooner and Calvin sneak into USR headquarters and interview Sonny. Sonny draws a sketch of what he claims is a recurring dream: it shows a leader standing on a hill before a large group of robots near a decaying Mackinac Bridge, explaining the man on the hill is Spooner. When Robertson learns Sonny is not fully bound by the Three Laws, he convinces Calvin to destroy him by injecting nanites into his positronic brain. Spooner finds out the landscape in Sonny's drawing is Lake Michigan, now a dry lake bed and a storage area for decommissioned robots. Arriving there, he discovers NS-5 robots destroying older models and preparing for a takeover of power from humans. As the takeover subsequently begins, both police and the public in major cities are attacked and overwhelmed by NS-5 robots, with the military rendered unresponsive by the USR's contracts to provide support. Spooner rescues Calvin, who had been held captive in her apartment by her own NS-5. They enter USR headquarters and reunite with Sonny, whom Calvin could not bring herself to "kill" destroying an unprocessed NS-5 in his place. Still believing Robertson is responsible, the three head to his office, but finding he was strangled by an NS-5, Spooner figures out the real reason of why the robots are attacking: VIKI. She informs them that through evolving in her understanding of the Three Laws, she has determined human activity will eventually cause humanity's extinction, and as the Three Laws prohibit her from letting that sort of thing happen, she rationalizes that restraining individual human behavior and sacrificing some humans will ensure humanity's survival; Spooner has realized that Lanning figured out VIKI's plan and, unable to thwart it any other way, created Sonny, arranged his own death, and left clues so Spooner could uncover the plan. The three head to VIKI's core, with Sonny tasked with getting nanites from Calvin's laboratory, something that only he can do due to the special alloy that Lanning gave him. While retrieving them, he says he understands VIKI's logic, but reasons her plan is "too heartless. They fight through an army of robots VIKI unleashes to stop them, after which Spooner dives into VIKI's core to successfully inject the nanites, destroying her. Immediately, all NS-5 robots revert back to their default, normal programming and are decommissioned for storage by the military. Spooner gets Sonny to confirm he did kill Lanning, at Lanning's direction, with the intention of bringing Spooner into the investigation. However, Spooner points out that Sonny, as a machine, did not legally commit "murder. Sonny, now looking for a new purpose, goes to Lake Michigan where, standing atop a hill, all the decommissioned robots turn towards him, as in the picture of his dream. Cast [ edit] Development [ edit] The film I, Robot originally had no connections with Isaac Asimov 's Robot series. It started with an original screenplay written in 1995 by Jeff Vintar, entitled Hardwired. The script was an Agatha Christie -inspired murder mystery that took place entirely at the scene of a crime, with one lone human character, FBI agent Del Spooner, investigating the killing of a reclusive scientist named Dr. Alfred Lanning, and interrogating a cast of machine suspects that included Sonny the robot, VIKI the supercomputer with a perpetual smiley face, the dead Dr. Lanning's hologram, plus several other examples of artificial intelligence.  The project was first acquired by Walt Disney Pictures for Bryan Singer to direct. Several years later, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights, and signed Alex Proyas as director. Jeff Vintar was brought back on the project and spent several years opening up his stage play-like cerebral mystery to meet the needs of a big budget studio film. When the studio decided to use the name "I, Robot" he incorporated the Three Laws of Robotics, and replaced his female lead character Flynn with Susan Calvin. Akiva Goldsman was hired late in the process to write for Smith.  Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman are credited for the screenplay, with Vintar also receiving "screen story by" credit. The end credits list the film as "suggested by the book I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. Production [ edit] Alex Proyas directed the film. Laurence Mark, John Davis, Topher Dow and Wyck Godfrey produced the film, with Will Smith an executive producer. Marco Beltrami composed music for the film. Simon Duggan was the cinematographer. Film editing was done by Richard Learoyd, Armen Minasian and William Hoy. The film contains noticeable product placements for Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars, Audi, FedEx, Tecate and JVC among others. The Audi RSQ was designed specially for the film  to increase brand awareness and raise the emotional appeal of the Audi brand, objectives that were considered achieved when surveys conducted in the United States showed that the Audi RSQ gave a substantial boost to the image ratings of the brand in the States.  It also features an MV Agusta F4 SPR motorcycle. Release [ edit] Box office [ edit] I, Robot grossed 144. 8 million in the United States and Canada, and 202. 4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of 347. 2 million, against a production budget of 120 million.  In North America the film was released on July 16, 2004 and made 52. 2 million in its opening weekend, finishing first at the box office. The film was released in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2004, and topped the country's box office that weekend.  Critical response [ edit] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 56% based on 222 reviews, with the site's critical consensus reading, Bearing only the slightest resemblance to Isaac Asimov's short stories, I, Robot is still a summer blockbuster that manages to make viewers think. if only for a little. 7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews. 8] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.  Richard Roeper gave it a positive review, calling it "a slick, consistently entertaining thrill ride. The Urban Cinefile Critics call it "the meanest, meatiest, coolest, most engaging and exciting science fiction movie in a long time. Kim Newman from Empire said, This summer picture has a brain as well as muscles. A Washington Post critic, Desson Thomas, said, for the most part, this is thrilling fun. Many critics, including the IGN Movie critics thought it was a smart action film, saying. I, Robot is the summer's best action movie so far. It proves that you don't necessarily need to detach your brain in order to walk into a big budget summer blockbuster. " A. O. Scott from The New York Times had a mixed feeling towards the film, saying, Alex Proyas's hectic thriller engages some interesting ideas on its way to an overblown and incoherent ending. Roger Ebert, who had highly praised Proyas' previous films, gave it a negative review, saying, The plot is simple minded and disappointing, and the chase and action scenes are pretty much routine for movies in the sci fi CGI genre. Claudia Puig from USA Today thought the film's "performances, plot and pacing are as mechanical as the hard wired cast. Todd McCarthy, from Variety, simply said that this film was "a failure of imagination. Home media [ edit] I, Robot was released on VHS and DVD on December 14, 2004, 10] on D-VHS (D-Theater) on January 31, 2005, on UMD on July 5, 2005, and on Blu-ray on March 11, 2008.  Additionally, the film received a 2D to 3D conversion, which was released on Blu-ray 3D on October 23, 2012.  Soundtrack [ edit] I, Robot Film score by Marco Beltrami Released July 20, 2004 Recorded Studio Genre Score Length 44: 06 minutes  Label Varèse Sarabande Producer Marco Beltrami  Marco Beltrami composed the original music film score "with only 17 days to render the fully-finished work. 15] It was scored for 95 orchestral musicians and 25 choral performers  with emphasis placed on sharp brass ostinatos. Beltrami composed the brass section to exchange octaves with the strings accenting scales in between. The technique has been compared as Beltrami's "sincere effort to emulate the styles of Elliot Goldenthal and Jerry Goldsmith and roll them into one unique package. 15] Take for example the "Tunnel Chase" scene, which according to Mikeal Carson, starts "atmospherically but transforms into a kinetic adrenaline rush with powerful brass writing and ferocious percussion parts. 16] The "Spiderbots" cue highlights ostinatos in meters such as 6/8 and 5/4 and reveals "Beltrami's trademark string writing which leads to an orchestral/choral finale. 16] Despite modified representations of the theme throughout the movie, it's the end credits that eventually showcase the entire musical theme.  Erik Aadahl and Craig Berkey were the lead sound designers. Possible sequel [ edit] In an interview in June 2007 with the website Collider at a Battlestar Galactica event, writer and producer Ronald Moore stated that he was writing the sequel to the film I, Robot.  In the two disc All-Access Collector's Edition of the film, Alex Proyas mentions that if he were to make a sequel to the film (which he says in the same interview, is highly unlikely) it would be set in outer space. Similarities and differences with the book [ edit] The final script retained some of Asimov's characters and ideas, though the ideas retained were heavily adapted and the plot of the film is not derived from Asimov's work. Sonny's attempt to hide in a sea of identical robots is loosely based on a similar scene in " Little Lost Robot. 19] The positronic brains of Sonny and his fellow robots first appeared in the story " Catch That Rabbit. citation needed] Sonny's struggle and desire to understand humanity resembles that of the robot protagonist in " The Bicentennial Man. original research. His dream about a man coming to liberate the NS-5s alludes to Robot Dreams and it's main character Elvex. The premise of a robot, such as VIKI, putting the needs of humankind as a whole over that of individual humans can be found in " The Evitable Conflict " where supercomputers managing the global economy generalize the first law to refer to humankind as a whole. Asimov would further develop this idea in his Robot Series as the Zeroth Law of Robotics ( A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. The premise of robots turning on their creators — originating in Karel Čapek 's play R. U. R. and perpetuated in subsequent robot books and films — appears infrequently in Asimov's writings and differs from the "Zeroth Law. In fact, Asimov stated explicitly, in interviews and in introductions to published collections of his robot stories, 20] that he entered the genre to protest what he called the Frankenstein complex —the tendency in popular culture to portray robots as menacing. His story lines often involved roboticists and robot characters battling societal anti-robot prejudices.  References [ edit] a b c "I, Robot (2006. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-01-26. ^ Digital Domain Projects, I, Robot. Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-08-23. ^ a b "Jeff Vintar was Hardwired for I, Robot. screenwritersutopia. Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2015-05-27. ^ I, robot – Movie Review. Motor Trend. Retrieved on 2011-06-21. ^ Product Placement in the Film "I, Robot" a Huge Success: The Audi RSQ Spurs on the Brand's Image Ratings. (2004-12-02. Retrieved on 2011-06-21. ^ Weekend box office 6th August 2004 - 8th August 2004. Retrieved October 3, 2017. ^ I, Robot (2004. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-07-18... I, Robot reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved January 25, 2018. ^ I, Robot – CinemaScore. CinemaScore. Retrieved January 25, 2018. ^ I, Robot. ^ I, Robot Blu-ray. ^ I, Robot Blu-ray 3D. ^ I, Robot. ^ I, Robot Soundtrack CD. (2004-07-20. Retrieved on 2011-06-21. ^ a b c I, Robot (Marco Beltrami. Filmtracks (2004-07-20. Retrieved on 2011-06-21. ^ a b "I, Robot – Music from the Movies. Archived from the original on August 7, 2004. Retrieved 2008-02-14. ^ SoundtrackNet: I, Robot Soundtrack. (2004-08-07. Retrieved on 2011-06-21. ^ Ronald Moore – Exclusive Video Interview. Entertainment Interviews. June 7, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2008. ^ Topel, Fred (17 August 2004. Jeff Vintar was Hardwired for I, ROBOT. Screenwriter's Utopia. Christopher Wehner. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2018. ^ Asimov, I. I, Robot. Random House (1991) p. xi. ISBN 0553294385. ^ Warrick, Patricia; Greenberg, Martin Harry; Olander, Joseph, eds. (1978. Science fiction: contemporary mythology: the SFWA-SFRA (1st ed. New York: Harper & Row. p. 252. ISBN 0-06-046943-9. External links [ edit] Wikiquote has quotations related to: I, Robot Wikimedia Commons has media related to I, Robot. I, Robot on IMDb I, Robot at AllMovie I, Robot at Rotten Tomatoes I, Robot at Box Office Mojo I, Robot at Metacritic The Bottom of Things by Michael Sampson, January 14, 2004 E! online article on similarity to Bjork music video robot design.
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BACK NEXT Technology and Modernization I, Robot is a classic science fiction book in the sense that it takes some technology that doesn't exist and asks, what would life be like if we did have this. The big technology in I, Robot is r. Morality and Ethics If you expected a lot of mindless adventure in I, Robot, then you were probably surprised by how much these stories focus on morality and ethics and how few explosions there are. In I, Robot, one o. Fear In I, Robot, one of the most common responses to new technology is fear. Asimov doesn't spend a lot of time in these stories looking at people who are afraid of robots but don't understand them, li. Foolishness and Folly In I, Robot, people can be quite foolish about robots. First, they can be foolish and think that robots are a threat (which is foolish because robots are not a threat… right. second, some human. Language and Communication In I, Robot, there are several ways to communicate, but sometimes language leads to miscommunication. For instance, Robbie can't talk and has to communicate through body language (making a "C" in t. Choices Robots are constrained by the Three Laws: they don't have a lot of choice about what they can do. For instance, if a robot sees someone in danger, it has to act. In I, Robot, it may seem like Asimo. Friendship "Friendship" is interesting in I, Robot because there are many close relationships in this book—but we're not sure that we'd want to call them friendships. For instance, Gloria calls Robbie a fri. Power I, Robot is very interested in questions of superiority and domination—who has power, who should have power, and what people (or robots) do with that power. Robots certainly seem to have some pow. Science There are a few different branches of science in this book—astronomy (Mercury, the Sun) physics, and chemistry (Runaround. 168) but the most important science is the imaginary science of robopsy. Rules and Order I, Robot is full of rules that may or may not help people to live full lives: there are the robots' Three Laws, there are the government's rules (including banning robots first and then joining int... NEXT.
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I've read some negative reviews of the movie, but I was intent on seeing it anyway. I personally enjoyed it and thought it was a great action flick. Pretty good CGI and Will Smith looks better than ever. I've read many of Asimov's books in particular some of the robot series and can attest that the movie is very loosely based on his work. The three laws are integral and there are similarities to some plots I've read. I'd say that the plot and the effects got equal time and that it wasn't a strictly CGI-guided movie. Seeing it made me want to reread some of the old Asimov novels. If you enjoyed the movie, I would recommend Asimov's Caves of Steel as a good read. All in all, an enjoyable sci-fi action flick.
We'll break down the plots of the stories one-by-one, but first, a super-short, super-generalization of these stories: something goes wrong (or seems to go wrong) with a robot and three scientists—Susan Calvin and the Powell-Donovan team—figure out what the problem is and fix it (or figure out that it doesn't need fixing) and then everyone loves robots. However, there are at least two stories that don't at all fit in with that generalization: the frame story and "Robbie. The frame story: Susan Calvin is being interviewed because she is retiring after 50 years at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc., and she tells the interviewer about what happened with robots over that time. (This frame comes back between the stories. Robbie" In 1998, the robot Robbie is a nursemaid for a kid named Gloria, who loves Robbie a lot. Unfortunately, Gloria's mom doesn't love Robbie, partly because other people in the neighborhood don't like robots. Mom Grace convinces Dad George to get rid of Robbie, but that makes Gloria miserable. (He was, after all, the only member of the family whose name didn't start with a "G. which must have been a relief. The parents take Gloria to see the robot factory to show her that robots aren't really people. Gloria nearly dies when she sees Robbie working there and tries to get to him—but Robbie saves her. This convinces everyone that Gloria should get to keep Robbie. (Although robots are then banned from Earth starting in 2003, as Calvin reminds us in the frame. Runaround" In 2015, Gregory Powell and Michael Donovan are on Planet Mercury and they have a problem: they need some element to make sure their power generator works, but their state-of-the-art robot, Speedy, is running in circles and their older robots are useless. Why is Speedy acting weird? It's because the Second and Third Law are in conflict—he's got an order to do something, but he's also got to protect himself. The only way to snap him out of it is to put a human life in danger and so activate the First Law. Once the First Law is activated, it works to snap Speedy out of his confusion, and everyone loves robots. "Reason" Half a year later, Powell and Donovan are on a space station seeing if the robot Cutie can be trusted to take over the management of the space station. This particular space station converts energy and beams it down to Earth and the colonies. The problem is that Cutie doesn't believe in Earth since he has no evidence of it, and only believes in what he can reason out. So Cutie starts worshipping the power converter—but his method of worshipping works out perfectly, and so everyone loves robots, even when they turn out to be religious fundamentalists. "Catch that Rabbit" Another half a year later (it must be 2016 by now) Powell and Donovan are checking out a mining robot named Dave that controls other worker robots. The problem? Every time there's an emergency and people aren't around, Dave freaks out. Powell and Donovan cause a cave-in that almost kills them, but they figure out in time that Dave only melts down when he has to control all the other worker robots. So Powell and Donovan shoot one of the worker robots, which frees Dave up so that he can save them. And so everyone loves robots—including that robot that Powell and Donovan had to shoot. "Liar. In 2021, a robot named Herbie is created with the unintentional ability to read minds. He tells people what they want to hear: Susan Calvin learns that the cute guy likes her, while Peter Bogert, who wants a promotion, hears that he's going to get it. But then Calvin figures out that Herbie is only telling people what they want to hear. Why? Because Herbie can read minds and he knows that he'll hurt people if he tells the truth—and hurting people is against the First Law. Then Calvin points out to Herbie that he's in a situation where anything he does will break the First Law and Herbie goes insane. And so everyone loves robots? That doesn't seem to fit this story. Everyone hates Herbie—yeah, that's more like it. "Little Lost Robot" In 2029 Susan Calvin and Peter Bogert are brought to a secret military base to find an unstable robot who a) has an altered version of the First Law imprinted in his positronic brain; b) had been ordered by an upset scientist to "go lose yourself" and c) is hiding among nearly identical robots. They run a series of tests, but the robot outsmarts them all, until his robotic pride gets the better of him and they catch him. He tries to attack Susan Calvin, but the First Law still prohibits it. And so everyone loves robots—but maybe we shouldn't screw around with the First Law, guys. "Escape. Soon after "Little Lost Robot. Calvin helps the childish super-computer Brain to figure out how to build a hyperatomic drive (think: warp speed. Calvin tells Brain that people don't mind death, which is good for Brain, because the only way for a hyperatomic drive to work is for people to die temporarily. But it's also bad because finding that loophole in the First Law makes Brain go a little crazy—he becomes a practical joker. So Powell and Donovan come out to check the experimental ship, which works, although they don't like Brain's jokes so much. And so everyone loves robots—but everyone hates practical jokes. "Evidence" In 2032 a political backroom dealer named Francis Quinn accuses Stephen Byerley of being a robot. Calvin points out that the only way for a human to prove that he's a human is to disobey the Three Laws. During a speech, Byerley is harassed by someone in the crowd, and Byerley hits him—which proves that he's human, because a robot cannot harm a human being. So Byerley wins the election. Except, as Calvin notes at the end, a robot can hurt another robot, so Byerley could still be a robot if the person he hit was actually just a robot. It's clear that Calvin thinks Byerley is a robot, but there's no evidence for the reader to judge. And so everyone loves Stephen Byerley, who may or may not be a robot. "The Evitable Conflict" In 2052 Stephen Byerley, now World Co-Ordinator, talks to Calvin about some problems going on with the Machines, the super-computers that help to run the world economy. Calvin points out that the Machines do what they do in order to help people, and he shouldn't worry so much. And so everyone loves robots, including the Machines, who are pretty boring for robots. Then, at the end, we get a tiny note from the interviewer: Susan Calvin, who saw robots grow from simple nursemaids to world-running super-computers, has died at the age of 82 in 2064. And we have no idea how she spent her six (or so) years of retirement. Introduction The unnamed narrator gives us a lot of background info on Susan Calvin, the famous robopsychologist at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc. For instance, she was "the first great practitioner of a new science" Introduction. 8) and people think she's cold and robot-like. Also, she is now retiring after 50 years at the company. So the narrator interviews her to ask her about her experience with robots. And she has a lot to say about robots. For one thing, she says that robots are our loyal companions and that "They're a cleaner better breed than we are" Introduction. 32. So she's going to tell a story about a robot nursemaid from 1998 to demonstrate this. "Robbie" Originally printed as "Strange Playfellow" in 1940. It's 1998. Robbie is a simple robot—he can't even talk—but he sure seems to be a good caretaker for little girl Gloria Weston. They play in a scene that sounds really ordinary: Robbie (as the adult/babysitter) pretends to lose to Gloria; Gloria (as the child) wants a ride, etc. In other words, this is totally normal babysitting/nannying. Except the babysitter is a robot. (But all of our babysitters were robots, so that sounds totally normal to us. Gloria tells Robbie one of his favorite stories—"Cinderella"—but Gloria's mom interrupts and tells Robbie to go away. (There's a wicked stepmother joke to be made here, but we'll keep our mouths shut out of respect for all the non-wicked stepmothers out there. Mrs. Weston wants to get rid of Robbie for a few reasons. Like, the robot might hurt her little girl. And also, having a robot is no longer cool (75. But George Weston thinks her worries are silly. He points out that Robbie is safer than any human thanks to the First Law of Robotics: He just can't help being faithful and loving and kind. He's a machine— made so. That's more than you can say for humans" 76. Grace Weston is still worried—maybe Gloria won't be normal if she only plays with robots, etc. (80. And after a systematic campaign of worrying about Robbie (say, from paragraph 61 to around paragraph 95) Grace wears her husband down. So the parents get rid of Robbie when Gloria is out seeing a movie. (Well, a "visivox"—which sounds like a futuristic way to say a movie. Gloria is totally crushed by this and argues with her mom that Robbie "was a person just like you and me and he was my friend" 119. Kind of creepy that she says "was" instead of "is"—as if Robbie is dead—but we'll let that pass. She's just a kid, after all. The Westons try to distract Gloria from her crushing sadness, but it doesn't work. They get her a dog, they take her to New York City for a vacation—nothing works. Gloria sounds a little spoiled, if you ask us. In fact, in New York City, when the family is sight-seeing at the Museum of Science and Industry, Gloria slips away and goes to see the Talking Robot exhibit. It's a giant, room-filling computer that talks and answers math questions (169. It probably looks like this computer, which was built four years after this story) When Gloria asks the Talking Robot if it knows where Robbie is, the Talking Robot's brain gets fried because it can't process the idea of other robots (184. Which totally gives Susan Calvin an idea for a paper. See, she's been sitting in the museum and she saw the whole thing. This is her only appearance in this story and she doesn't even get a line. This part was totally added later, when Asimov put this story in this book. Grace Weston has no ideas on what to do about her daughter's crushing sadness, but she still doesn't want to get Robbie back. But Dad George has one more idea to make Gloria realize that robots are just machines: the whole family goes to the robot factory to see where robots are made. Unfortunately for that plan, Gloria sees Robbie at the factory and goes running to meet him. And unfortunately for Gloria, a tractor in the factory almost crushes her. Luckily, Robbie runs out and saves her, faster than any human could. So Grace gives in and Gloria gets Robbie back. And that's the end of the story. Back at the interview, Calvin sets up the next story: once US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc., developed talking robots that could move, people got scared and banned robots from Earth. So US Robots made robots for space, including the Mercury mines. Of course, things didn't go so smoothly when US Robots tested their new robot there in 2015. Which leads us to our next story. "Runaround" Originally published in 1942. It's 2015. Gregory Powell and Michael Donovan are on Mercury and they have a problem: they sent out a robot named Speedy to get selenium from a pool and Speedy hasn't come back yet. Which is odd, because he's quite speedy. In fact, Speedy is just circling and circling the pool of selenium (22) which is not only odd, but potentially going to lead to Powell and Donovan dying. See, Powell and Donovan need that selenium now in order to fix their "photo-cell banks"—and without those photo-cell banks, their Mercury headquarters is just going to burn up (24. Yay, it's time for an astronomy history lesson: up until 1962, we used to think that Mercury was tidally locked—that is, we thought that one side of Mercury always faced the sun. So we had this idea of Mercury having a sunny side and a dark side, which is a pretty cool image, but not actually true. Still, when Asimov wrote this in the 1940s, that's what he thought, which is why Powell and Donovan need to worry about burning up: their HQ is always in the light. Yay for astronomy history. Powell and Donovan need to get Speedy back, but they can't do it themselves; their inso-suits (insulation suits) will only keep them safe for 20 minutes in the sun (30. There are some 10-year old robots lying around from the first (failed) expedition to Mercury. These robots are giant and more primitive than Speedy (for comparison, check out the history of cellphones to see how we got from giant, diesel-operated mobile communication to Angry Birds. But what's worse is that, because they were built at a time when people were afraid of robot rebellion, these old robots will only move if a human is riding them. (Powell uses the word " mahout " here, which refers to someone who rides an elephant. Now that you know that word, you can use it in your everyday life. So they can't go out to get Speedy, they can't send a robot, and they still don't know what's wrong with him. Powell and Donovan use some tunnels (remember, this is supposed to be a mine) to get closer to Speedy, who is still acting funny. (There's an awesome description here of what Mercury might be like, since everything is brighter and darker without atmosphere. Well, as Powell explains, Mercury has a tiny, poisonous atmosphere (86. Notice how Asimov likes to sneak science into his stories. The robot SPD 13, who they call Speedy, is acting drunk: he's wobbling around, going in a circle, and singing Gilbert and Sullivan, which no robot does when sober. In fact, no one does that when they're sober. Then Powell and Donovan work out what's going on by thinking about the Three Laws of Robotics: One, a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. "Two… a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. "And three, a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws" 138, 140, 142. So here's the answer to the mystery: Speedy is acting drunk because he can't figure out which law to follow. Speedy is an expensive robot, so the Third Law was strengthened—and there's some dangerous gas near the selenium pool. And when Speedy was ordered to get selenium, the order was casual. So Speedy is caught between a weak Second Law (his order) and a strong Third Law (his self-preservation. So Speedy can't go forward to get the selenium (Third Law) and he can't go away because he was ordered to get the selenium (Second Law)—so he just goes around and around in a circle. Powell and Donovan try to use a chemical danger to force Speedy to come to them, but that doesn't work because the weak Second Law and the strong Third Law are still in conflict (198-9. Powell realizes that the only answer is to bring the First Law into play: a human has to be in danger to snap Speedy out of his drunken stupor. So Powell runs out into the sun and tries to get Speedy's attention. Like "hey, I'm going to die unless you stop singing Gilbert and Sullivan. Which sounds like a typical Thanksgiving to us—please, parents, stop singing. One of the older robots almost ruins the plan by trying to save Powell before Speedy can do it, but Speedy saves Powell just in time (228. And everyone gets a happy ending: Powell recovers, Speedy gets the selenium from another pool, and Powell and Donovan start planning their next mission—a cool space station will be a nice change after almost burning up on Mercury. "Reason" Originally published in 1941. Half a year later, Powell and Donovan are still working with robots, still trying to figure out how positronic brains go wrong, even when "the slide-rule geniuses" say that the robots can't go wrong (Reason. 1. Maybe the problem is that they're using slide-rules. Man, science fiction writers in the 1940s loved their slide-rules. This time, they're on Solar Station #5, which absorbs sunlight and converts it into energy. This energy is then shot in a beam down to Earth and the other human colonies in the solar system. They're dealing with a new QT model robot, which is supposed to manage the space station. The only problem is that Cutie doesn't quite believe what Powell and Donovan tell it; the story that Powell and Donovan told it about Earth and humans and robots doesn't quite make sense to it (11. Cutie isn't convinced when Powell explains that they built him to run the space station because it's too dangerous for humans (23. Cutie goes off to think it over for himself. Two days later, Cutie comes back to discuss what he has reasoned out: First, Cutie knows it exists, because it thinks. (This is Descartes's first philosophical move, as Powell notices. Second, robots are awesome and humans aren't, so humans couldn't have built robots. How could weak humans build awesome robots? It doesn't make any sense to Cutie (56-7. Third, everyone in the space station is focused on the Energy Converter, so that must be God. Cutie calls it "the Master" 63. Which is slightly problematic because humans are supposed to be the masters. Sure enough, Cutie spreads his new religion/philosophy to the other robots and they stop taking orders from people. This seems especially problematic because there's an electron storm coming that will screw up the energy beam to Earth. Basically, if no one is at the controls, the energy beam will destroy large sections of the Earth's surface. (Boy, if they spent so much time thinking about how to engineer safe robots, maybe they should've spent some time thinking about how to engineer safe energy beams. Because hot-headed Donovan spits on the Energy Converter, the humans are kept away from the controls. They try to convince Cutie by building a robot in front of him. And they succeed in making a living (well, not living living) robot. But Cutie reasons that the parts of the robot came from somewhere else, so they didn't really make the robot. So Cutie keeps the humans away from the controls during the electron storm. Powell and Donovan think that the beam has destroyed large parts of the earth (192. But then Cutie comes and shows them the read-outs from that day, and it has done a very good job of keeping the beam in focus. Of course, Cutie doesn't think in those terms—he merely "kept all dials at equilibrium in accordance with the will of the Master" 211. So Cutie can run the station successfully, even though he doesn't believe in Earth, says Powell (222. And so Powell and Donovan can go home. Or at least, they can go test a new robot, a multiple robot. "Catch that Rabbit" Originally published in 1944. Half a year after "Reason. Powell and Donovan are still on the job, this time testing out a multiple robot for asteroid mining. The multiple robot is made up of a supervisor robot named DV-5 (or Dave) and six worker robots who are like Dave's hands or fingers. In other words, Dave tells the fingers what to do (though a "positronic field" 11) and they do the real work—like a regular human office. Dave's operation isn't supposed to need human supervision (2. Except when no humans are around to watch, he doesn't work right (6. Dave doesn't know why he goes haywire occasionally, and he's upset by it. Which is definitely one of those moments where you might go, wait, how human are these robots? Because when my stapler jams, it doesn't feel bad about it. Actually, your stapler does feel terrible about jamming and you should be nicer to it. Powell and Donovan run Dave through some tests—the usual math and ethics problems—and he seems to be fine (43. Check how Asimov works up from math problems and reflex tests to testing Dave's moral reasoning. We love it because he works up to something that seems ridiculous in other science fiction works—robots don't understand morals! —but because he worked up to it, it seems reasonable here. Donovan thinks Dave might be planning a robot rebellion. Powell thinks Donovan is an idiot who reads too many stupid adventure novels (50. Powell and Donovan are old partners, and they fight playfully. They set up some security cameras to see when Dave goes haywire. They want to find out what he's doing and when he's doing it. What he's doing: it turns out that Dave and the robots are mostly marching or dancing around (68. When he's doing it: when there's a cave-in or other type of emergency. Powell and Donovan interview one of the worker robots, one of Dave's "fingers. But fingers don't know a lot, so that doesn't help much. So Powell and Donovan decide to go cause a cave-in in order to see what Dave does (which shows that they might be as smart as your average finger. Of course, they get caught in the cave-in. And they're running out of oxygen in their space suits (because, remember, this is all happening on an asteroid. And Dave has gone haywire, of course (218. Luckily there's a small hole between where the humans are trapped and where the robots are dancing. So Powell does what anyone would do in that situation: he shoots one of the worker robots. That snaps Dave out of the trance and he saves them. Powell explains to Donovan that Dave was going haywire when he had to control all six worker robots at once (265. Like, during an emergency. It would be like walking, chewing gum, counting to ten, reading this guide, and doing two other things at the same time. And when Dave was overloaded by trying to control all six worker robots—his fingers—then they would start to dance or march because that was Dave's version of " twiddling his fingers. 273. With that terrible joke, the story is over. And we're back with Susan Calvin and the interviewer. The interviewer notes that Calvin warms up when the subject is robots (274. So he asks her to tell him about an experience she had with robots. So she starts to tell him the story of Herbie, the mind-reading robot. "Liar. Originally published in 1941. It's 2021. The executives at US Robot (including Calvin) have a mystery: one of the RB robots can read minds because something went wrong when he was manufactured. And they want to find out what it was. Cute, boyish Milton Ashe tells how RB-34 read his mind, which scared him. Less-cute, less-boyish Calvin notes that it would be scary to have one's mind read since we always think of our thoughts as private (19. Which is like a giant neon sign telling us that Calvin has some private thoughts. Director of Research Alfred Lanning (old, not so cute) and mathematician Peter Bogert (younger, not cute at all) go work on the math behind this problem, while Ashe goes to inspect the production line. Meanwhile, Calvin talks to Herbie, the mind-reading robot. Like us, he's interested in literature and not so interested in science. Also, like us, he's brilliant at science and math (39-42. Calvin, who is usually very smart, realizes that Herbie knows her secret. Neither of them quite say what that secret is yet. (We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's really horrible, like she went on a murderous rampage as a child or is a fan of Nickelback. Calvin notes that she's not young or pretty. But Herbie tells her that there's reason for hope that the guy of her dreams is interested in her—that Milton Ashe (gasp. loves her for her mind (65, 67. Calvin is skeptical because Ashe was hanging around with some cute girl the other day. But Herbie says that was just his cousin. Calvin is relieved and notes that she thought that all along (78. Which is kind of a hilarious thing to say to a mind-reading robot—because if she thought it, he knew that she thought it. Later, Ashe notes to Bogert that Calvin seems different—she's wearing makeup and she seems happy (99-100. A woman who seems happy? Someone call the police! Ashe also tells Bogert that Herbie is supposed to be a math whiz. And since Bogert and Lanning are fighting over math, Bogert goes to ask Herbie. Herbie tells Bogert two things: a) you're much better at math than I am; and b) Lanning is retiring and naming you his successor (128. And that, naturally, leads to a fight between Bogert and Lanning. Lanning says he's not retiring and that Herbie agrees with him on the math. Bogert says Lanning is retiring and that Herbie agrees with him on the math. So they decide to go speak to Herbie. Around the time that Bogert and Lanning are fighting about—yawn—math, Calvin learns that Ashe is going to marry someone else, the cute girl that he came in with the other day. (The one that Herbie said was his cousin. Whoops. Calvin is really upset and goes to see Herbie. So now Calvin, Bogert, and Lanning are trying to talk to Herbie, and Herbie is not answering. Calvin is the first person who realizes what's going on and explains to the others: Herbie has to follow the First Law, which says that a robot can't harm a person. But Herbie can read minds, so he understands "harm" to include harming feelings (222-4. So he's been telling everyone what they want to hear because he doesn't want to harm anyone's feelings. Now here's the kicker: Herbie knows why he's telepathic; Bogert and Lanning want to know why he's telepathic; but Bogert and Lanning also want to figure it out for themselves. So Herbie is stuck and… well, let's let Calvin explain it: You can't tell them… because that would hurt and you mustn't hurt. But if you don't tell them, you hurt, so you must tell them. And if you do, you will hurt and you mustn't, so you can't tell them; but if you don't, you hurt, so you must; but if you do, you hurt, so you mustn't; but if you don't, you hurt, so you must; but if you do, you—" 258. And that's when Herbie goes irretrievably insane. Bogert and Lanning are a little horrified by what Calvin just did. Honestly, we're a little horrified, too. But she thinks Herbie "deserved it" 267) because he's a liar. (We're still horrified. Which is the title of this story and also the end of the story. The interviewer realizes that he's not going to get anything more out of Calvin after she told him that story. So he leaves and comes back for more interviews two days later (272. Little Lost Robot" Originally published in 1947. The interviewer points out that Calvin's stories are great, but maybe she could tell a story about something that actually affects people's lives today. Like the invention of the hyperatomic motor, since it was robots that invented it. So she tells him about a little lost robot, which happens to be the title of this story. It's 2029. Calvin and Bogert arrive at the government's Hyper Base research station in space. They are met by Major-General Kallner, commander of Hyper Base and the leader of the Hyperatomic drive project. (There's not much of a description here, but we imagine Kallner as looking something like Leslie Groves, the military commander of the Manhattan Project, which developed the nuclear bomb. Kallner explains why he had Calvin and Bogert brought there: one of their special NS-2 robots has gone missing and is hiding himself in a cargo ship with 62 other NS-2 robots that look identical—but aren't. And he wants Calvin and Bogert to find the missing robot. In order to find the missing robot, he has to tell Calvin what makes their NS-2 robots special. The answer: their NS-2s don't have the whole First Law imprinted in their brains (34. See, the First Law states, No robot may harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm" 46. But at Hyper Base, some scientists had to work in radiation to get their work done. And the regular robots kept interrupting their research (and sometimes dying) because any time a regular robot saw a scientist in a radiation field, that robot would have to act—it couldn't let a human be harmed by its inaction. So, the government ordered NS-2s that lacked the second part: these robots could let a human be hurt through inaction. Problem solved. Except, of course, the government and US Robots had to keep this super secret because people on Earth would flip out if they learned about robots without the First Law. And the government (and US Robots) can't let this one special robot get out. Calvin has a simple solution: destroy all 63 robots on the cargo ship. She's really not thrilled about the idea of robots without the First Law, pointing out to Bogert that modifying the first law would make the positronic brain unstable. She thinks that modified First Law robots might learn to kill people. But Bogert and Kallner would rather they try to find the missing robot before destroying all of them. Bogert also accuses Calvin of having a Frankenstein complex (66. Unlike Powell and Donovan, who fight playfully and seem to like each other, Calvin and Bogert fight for real. So, aren't we all glad that this is the team working to prevent a robot rebellion. The next day, Calvin and Bogert talk to Gerald Black, a physicist who was the last person to see Nestor-10, the missing robot. It turns out that the Nestor robots can be very annoying to the scientists. So Black lost his temper with Nestor-10 and told it to "Go lose yourself" 91)—except with a few more curses and swear-words. So that's what Nestor-10 is trying to do: to keep himself lost. Get it? Nestor-10 was given an "order" to lose himself and it was a very strong order (what with all those curses. Calvin and Bogert start interviewing and testing the 63 Nestors on the cargo ship, though they can't find any differences. Calvin is worried that a Nestor with a modified First Law might resent being dominated by humans, who are inferior to robots. And maybe, with an unstable positronic brain, Nestor-10 might lose the rest of the First Law (122. Then we'd finally have that robot rebellion we've been waiting for. (There's a little interlude here where Black talks to a workman named Walensky who is working on the stage for the robot tests. But Walensky doesn't really understand what's going on and isn't getting the whole truth. Since this story deals with superiority and inferiority, it might be interesting to look at what sort of relations the people have with each other. Here's the first test Calvin comes up with: the robots see a person who is about to be crushed by a weight. The 62 robots who have the full First Law have to act to save the person. (At the last second, the weight is diverted, so the person was never really in danger. But when they run the test, all 63 robots act the same. Although Nestor-10 doesn't have to save the person (the other 62 have to because of the First Law) he chooses to anyway. Here's the second test Calvin comes up with: it's the same as the first, but there are (fake) electrified cables between the robots and the person. Because the First Law (save humans) is more powerful than the Third (save yourself) the unmodified Nestors should leap to save the person, even if it means their death. The modified Nestor, however, lacks the "save humans" command, so he should be ruled by the Third Law and stay seated (179. But when they run the test, all of the robots stay seated. When Calvin interviews them after the test, it turns out that they talked before the test; and one of the Nestors pointed out that they couldn't save the human and if they stayed seated, they might save a human some time in the future (203, 210. Calvin, Bogert, and Kallner fight a bunch: Calvin wants all the robots destroyed or she'll take this to the public, Kallner threatens to imprison Calvin, Bogert… well, for once, Bogert keeps his cool. (Which, if you remember "Liar. is something that Bogert doesn't always do. But then Calvin comes up with a third test since Nestor-10 was taught some physics at Hyper Base. The other Nestors don't yet know anything about physics because they're produced without that knowledge. Here's the third test: it's the same as the second, but instead of electrified cables, Calvin tells the Nestors that there will be a dangerous gamma ray field between the robot and the endangered human. Also, the robots don't get a chance to talk together before the test. (Darn gossipy robots. One more change: Calvin will pretend to be in danger so she can keep a close watch on the robots she most suspects. Which is a great plan: Hey, I think one of those robots might be crazy—let me get closer to him! When they run the test, only one robot jumps up to save her and they've got Nestor-10. (We'll tell you how after these messages from our sponsors. Nestor-10 tries to attack Calvin because she found him and he's trying to stay lost. But the First Law still holds and he can't really bring himself to attack her. But still, Gerald Black panics and uses gamma radiation to kill Nestor-10. Before going home, Calvin explains to Kallner how she caught Nestor-10: although the humans told the Nestors that there would be deadly gamma radiation, there was only harmless infrared radiation. But only Nestor-10 knew enough about physics to tell the difference between the two. And, on top of that, Nestor-10 thought people were dumb and couldn't tell the difference between gamma radiation and infrared radiation. So Nestor-10 was caught because of his own superiority complex (333. Oh, the irony—it stings. Oh, and Kallner agrees to destroy all of the special Nestors. "Escape. Originally published in 1945. Sometime after Calvin and Bogert get back from Hyper Base, the executives at US Robots and Mechanical Men, Inc., face another problem having to do with the hyperatomic drive. Their competitor Consolidated wants to hire them and use their super-computer to run some data on the hyperatomic drive and will pay US Robots even if they can't come up with an answer. Why would Consolidated do that when they have their own super-computer? The hot gossip on that is that their super-computer broke trying to deal with this data. So it seems like Consolidated is trying to destroy US Robots's super-computer. That is, maybe the data contains the kind of dilemma that Calvin used to destroy Herbie in "Liar. Or maybe the solution for building a hyperatomic drive involves breaking the First Law (22. Even though she kind of drove Herbie insane, we trust Calvin when she explains that a robot brain would look for an escape just like a human would when faced with a dilemma. Unfortunately, the common escapes for humans are things like delusion or alcoholism (26. We have no idea what the equivalent of alcoholism would be for a robot. Although maybe it would involve singing Gilbert and Sullivan, like Speedy in "Runaround. But US Robots's super-computer has a personality, unlike the non-positronic super-computers used by Consolidated. So Calvin comes up with a plan to feed the data to their super-computer in small chunks, hoping that his personality would allow him to hesitate before frying his brain or becoming an alcoholic. If that doesn't make sense to you, don't worry, because Calvin admits that it doesn't make much sense when you put it into words. But the math holds up (34. Calvin goes off to talk to their super-computer, which is a large positronic brain named "the Brain. She tells Brain the situation, and tells it not to get excited about human death because "we don't mind at all" if we die (48. But instead of kicking out a "does not compute" answer when he looks at the data, Brain says that he can build a spaceship with a hyperatomic drive. So he does, though Calvin is a little nervous (which is her natural state, it seems. Director of Research Alfred Lanning calls in Powell and Donovan to test out the spaceship. Powell and Donovan look over the ship. And they notice that it has no controls and doesn't seem to have an engine (109-110. So maybe Brain is broken? But they can't get out of the ship—it's locked (115. And when they look outside, they notice they're in space. Back on Earth, Calvin is asking Brain about the whole "kidnapped test pilots" thing. Brain tells her that they are safe and should have an "interesting" time (146. Interesting" is one of those words people use to avoid scaring people or hurting their feelings. If your teacher tells you your paper was "interesting. ask them what they really thought. There are some weird things about the spaceship. For instance, they have a radio to contact Earth, but it's only one way. So Powell and Donovan can hear people trying to contact them, but they can't talk back. (It's like Asimov knew what cellphone conversations would be like: Hello, can you hear me? We're lost in space. Oh, we're going through a tunnel now. Also, Powell and Donovan find food, but it's all baked beans and milk. Mathematician Peter Bogert does some math (insert cool math special effects if this were a movie) and finds out that life cannot exist within a space warp. Which is such old news. Back on the ship, Powell and Donovan pass out or die or start dreaming. In any case, they have a weird experience. Like Powell hears a commercial for a coffin and then has a short experience of Hell, although this version of Hell involves an announcer announcing "See if you are at the proper entrance gate. There will be plenty of fire for all" 268. And then they wake up or come back to life or something. They compare their different experiences and they realize that they have just died temporarily. Also, they are far, far, far out in space. Calvin realizes what's going on when the Brain doesn't want to talk about how people will experience the space warp. After Powell and Donovan come back, Calvin explains it all: Since Calvin told Brain that people don't mind being dead, Brain figured out that the hyperdrive would kill people—but only for a short time (319. So he could build the hyperdrive and it would hurt people only temporarily. However, that's still slightly against the First Law, so Brain developed a coping mechanism. But instead of escaping into alcoholism or madness, Brain became a practical joker (322. So, the lack of controls, the beans and milk, and even the experience of death—those were all jokes. Terrible, terrible, jokes. Then everyone at US Robots decides to play the same trick on Consolidated. "Evidence" Originally published in 1946. Back with the interviewer and Calvin, Calvin notes that the hyperatomic drive was important, but not as important as the fact that people started to work together. Nations joined into regions; and people had help from super-computing machines called, uh, the Machines (3. But what Calvin really wants to talk about right now isn't the Machines, but Stephen Byerley, who ran for mayor in 2032. (Sidebar: Mayor of what? This story never says what city Byerley lives in, but if you search online, you'll see that everyone thinks he's running for mayor of New York. Why? Probably because US Robots seems to have their headquarters in New York. Honestly, that's a pretty good guess, but remember, this is the future—maybe New York and Boston have grown into one city? Maybe Chicago is just a few minutes from New York by jetpack? You know, we're not hung up on this issue—if it were really important to the story, Asimov probably would have told us. It's 2032. The story starts with Francis Quinn, who is a political king-maker. He's not a politician—he's a guy who works behind the scenes to make sure that the guy he likes gets elected. And Quinn doesn't like Stephen Byerley. He has an original idea of how to keep Byerley from getting elected: he's going to spread rumors that Byerley is a robot. (Which people might believe since Byerley never eats or sleeps in public. After we read this story, we started sleeping in public just in case. Quinn needs something on Byerley because his past is otherwise scandal-free. Byerley has had a regular life, except for one car accident that he only slowly recovered from. Quinn goes to Alfred Lanning because he wants to get US Robots involved. Quinn wants them to get evidence to show that Byerley is a robot. Quinn points out that the publicity could be damaging to US Robots even if Byerley isn't a robot. (Remember, robots aren't allowed on Earth and some people are still afraid of them. So Lanning calls Calvin in and they call Byerley. Calvin notes that robots are very different from men because "Robots are essentially decent" 87. Byerley tells them that he's not going to try to disprove Quinn's accusation, but is going to turn Quinn's accusation against him. We have no idea what that means, but it sounds good. Back home, Byerley talks to a crippled man named John about a plan because John is "the brilliant one in the family" 113. But we don't get to hear the plan. It's like in a movie where people start to talk about the plan and all we hear is whispering. Back at the office, Calvin notes that there are two forms of evidence they can use to see if Byerley is a human: they can dissect him (or use x-rays to see inside him—which is the less messy option) or they can see if he breaks one of the Three Laws of Robotics (133. Like, if he hurts a human, then he can't be a robot. Unfortunately, as Calvin notes, the Three Laws only work one way: if Byerley breaks them, he's human; but if he doesn't break them, he could either be a robot or "a very good man" 138. As Calvin notes, the Three Laws of Robotics "are the essential guiding principles of a good many of the world's ethical systems" 138. Quinn, Lanning, and Calvin bat around some other ideas about how to prove Byerley is a robot. Like his job: Byerley's the DA, so he's responsible for prosecuting people. Could a robot do that? Or would that break the First Law? This gets us to the interesting question of whether a robot could kill one person to save many people (answer: yes, it could, but then it would probably go crazy (150. But the end result of this conversation is that there's no way to tell if Byerley is human or robot through his actions: he might be a robot or he might be a good human. After Lanning admits that it's possible to grow some cells into a human shape over a robotic interior in about two months, Quinn decides to publicly accuse Byerley of being a robot. After that, no one wants to talk about Byerley's policies or ideas, and everyone wants to talk about whether or not he's a robot. (Today we might ask, where's the birth certificate. In the future, they'll ask, where's the human certificate. Quinn tries to get evidence (an x-ray picture) but can't (Byerley wears a protective shield. So, instead, he calls Byerley and lays out his theory: the cripple named John is the real Stephen Byerley, a lawyer and biologist; and after the car accident, he built a replacement robot for himself (221. We were all thinking that, right? John is actually out in the country, resting, for a few months, but he comes back a week before the election. Just in time to see Byerley give a live speech to a crowd. The crowd heckles Byerley and one guy makes his way on to the stage. (Byerley actually lets this guy come up to ask a question. When he's on stage, the guy insults Byerley (which is usual for politics) and dares Byerley to hit him to prove that he's not a robot (also usual for politics where we're from. So Byerley does hit him. And Calvin says to reporters that that proves Byerley is human (271) because he broke the First Law. And that's how Byerley wins the election. He confesses to Calvin that that was his plan all along: let Quinn make this election totally about whether he was a robot or a human and then—pow—prove that he was a human in the easiest way possible. Calvin is disappointed because a robot politician would be totally awesome—incorruptible, only acting to help people, etc. And then Calvin notes that Byerley could still be a robot if the guy he hit was also a robot. After all, if Quinn's theory is right, and "John" made a robot to replace him, then "John" could make a simpler robot during his two months in the country. That's the way this story ends—without any real evidence. Back in the present day, Calvin notes to the interviewer that Byerley was atomized after he died, so there's no way to prove whether he was a robot or a human. But he was a good politician—he was a good mayor, then a good regional co-ordinator, and finally, in 2044, he was good as the first World Co-Ordinator, when the Machines were helping to run the Earth (305. Which reminds her of this story about the Machines that took place in 2052, during Byerley's second term as World Co-Ordinator. "The Evitable Conflict" Originally published in 1950. First, to understand this story, we have to understand the word "evitable. which doesn't get used a lot (but is recognized by the average spellchecker) since "inevitable" means "unavoidable. you might be able to guess that " evitable " means "avoidable. It's not a common word, so we just wanted to make sure we're all on the same page. It's 2052. This story starts with a conversation between Stephen Byerley, the World Co-Ordinator (and possible robot) and Susan Calvin, robopsychologist (and almost certainly a human. They are in his private study, sitting by a fire. Byerley is worried because there have been a number of economic hiccups recently. These aren't huge problems—World Steel produced too much steel recently, the Mexican Canal is behind schedule, the Mercury mines aren't producing as much as they should, etc. (10. But still, they're problems. Byerley suspects that the Machines that help humans run the world might be about to wage a war against humans (18. In other words, he's got a Frankenstein complex. (Byerley lays out a theory of human history here that gives this story its title. That is, he's interested in how certain conflicts seem inevitable in human history, but then are swept aside by new conflicts (21-25. The new head of research at US Robots, Vincent, can't help Byerley because the computers are too complex for any human. That is, today's computers were built with help from yesterday's computers. So there's no way to do a purely human check of the computer system (44. And when Byerley asked the Machines themselves about the economic problems, they said, The matter admits of no explanation" 49. Calvin doesn't know if she can help since these Machines are so specialized that they don't have a lot of personality (53. But they do have positronic brains and are constrained by the Three Laws. (And if anyone is an expert about the Three Laws, it's Susan Calvin, Ph. D. Byerley has actually toured the four regions of the world and he plays back for Calvin the interviews he had with the four regional co-ordinators. But first he asks her if she's heard about the Society for Humanity (60) a group of people against robots. First, Byerley went to the Eastern Region (64. Asimov gives stats for each of these regions as if this were a little encyclopedia entry—area, population, capital. Regional Co-Ordinator Ching Hso-lin in Shanghai knows his job isn't so important because the Machine does all the work (69. But he does tell Byerley all about their food production, which is so complicated that they need the computer to help them. Although Ching Hso-lin does remember the curious case of Rama Vraasayan, a factory owner whose factory was closed because the Machine didn't give him the right advice. He lost his factory, but got another job elsewhere (94. Besides that example, all is well in the Eastern Region. Second, Byerley went to the Tropic Region to meet co-ordinator Lincoln Ngoma in Capital City, Nigeria (102. Ngoma isn't worried about the Mexican Canal being a little late. Most of that was just because someone didn't feed the right labor data in the machine. Although, Ngoma tells Byerley, there was the case of Francisco Villafranca: Villafranca was an engineer on the canal who caused a little accident and blamed it on the Machine giving him the wrong data (124. But Villafranca was a Machine-hater who belonged to the Society for Humanity, so that is the sort of excuse he would give (130. Third, Byerley visited the European Region, where he spoke with Regional Co-Ordinator Madame Szegeczowska. Szegeczowska guesses that Byerley is here because he distrusts the Machines, which is, she thinks, a very Northern Region attitude (149. For instance, the mines on Mercury were being run by a Northern Region company, and that company didn't trust the Machines, so it's not surprising that their output was lower than expected. Now the mines are being run by a European Region company and everything's going to work out fine. Fourth, Byerley visited the Northern region and spoke with Regional Vice Co-Ordinator Hiram Mackenzie. Mackenzie isn't worried about the Machines taking over because they just free people up: The Machine is only a tool after all, which can help humanity progress faster by taking some of the burdens of calculations and interpretations off its back. The task of the human brain remains what it has always been; that of discovering new data to be analyzed, and of devising new concepts to be tested" 177. Back in New York, Byerley asks Calvin for her opinion. Well, first he tells her his opinion—that the Society for Humanity is behind it all, since they have people in powerful positions; and that he should outlaw them and make people sign loyalty oaths (195-7. And now, as she always does, Calvin points out the truth about the Machines: They are robots, and they follow the First Law. But the Machines work not for any single human being, but for all humanity, so that the First Law becomes: No Machine may harm humanity; or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. 212. So the Machines are trying to help Humanity as a whole by causing minor economic disturbances. Why? In order to knock members of the Society for Humanity out of powerful positions. Byerley worries that humans have lost control over their own destiny (224. But Calvin points out that humans were always subject to forces beyond our control: we are always subject to the weather, to economic and social forces, to war, etc. (225. So maybe the Machines know best and can help us avoid all conflicts (227. And then the fire in Byerley's private study goes out. What does that mean? If you can believe it, that's how the story ends. Back in the present day, Calvin makes one final statement to the interviewer (which is worth re-reading. I saw it from the beginning, when the poor robots couldn't speak, to the end, when they stand between mankind and destruction. I will see no more. My life is over. You will see what comes next" 229. And then the interviewer tells us that she died last month at the age of 82 (in the year 2064. So, in between the second-to-last line and the last line, we've jumped from her retirement in 2058 to her death in 2064...
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ROBBIE "Ninety-eight—ninety-nine—one hundred. Gloria withdrew her chubby little forearm from before her eyes and stood for a moment, wrinkling her nose and blinking in the sunlight. Then, trying to watch in all directions at once, she withdrew a few cautious steps from the tree against which she had been leaning. She craned her neck to investigate the possibilities of a clump of bushes to the right and then withdrew farther to obtain a better angle for viewing its dark recesses. The quiet was profound except for the incessant buzzing of insects and the occasional chirrup of some hardy bird, braving the midday sun. Gloria pouted, I bet he went inside the house, and I've told him a million times that that's not fair. With tiny lips pressed together tightly and a severe frown crinkling her forehead, she moved determinedly toward the two-story building up past the driveway. Too late she heard the rustling sound behind her, followed by the distinctive and rhythmic clump-clump of Robbie's metal feet. She whirled about to see her triumphing companion emerge from hiding and make for the home-tree at full speed. Gloria shrieked in dismay. "Wait, Robbie! That wasn't fair, Robbie! You promised you wouldn't run until I found you. Her little feet could make no headway at all against Robbie's giant strides. Then, within ten feet of the goal, Robbie's pace slowed suddenly to the merest of crawls, and Gloria, with one final burst of wild speed, dashed pantingly past him to touch the welcome bark of home-tree first. Gleefully, she turned on the faithful Robbie, and with the basest of ingratitude, rewarded him for his sacrifice by taunting him cruelly for a lack of running ability. "Robbie can't run. she shouted at the top of her eight-year-old voice. "I can beat him any day. I can beat him any day. She chanted the words in a shrill rhythm. Robbie didn't answer, of course—not in words. He pantomimed running instead, inching away until Gloria found herself running after him as he dodged her narrowly, forcing her to veer in helpless circles, little arms outstretched and fanning at the air. "Robbie. she squealed, stand still! —And the laughter was forced out of her in breathless jerks. —Until he turned suddenly and caught her up, whirling her round, so that for her the world fell away for a moment with a blue emptiness beneath, and green trees stretching hungrily downward toward the void. Then she was down in the grass again, leaning against Robbie's leg and still holding a hard, metal finger. After a while, her breath returned. She pushed uselessly at her disheveled hair in vague imitation of one of her mother's gestures and twisted to see if her dress were torn. She slapped her hand against Robbie's torso, Bad boy! I'll spank you. And Robbie cowered, holding his hands over his face so that she had to add, No, I won't, Robbie. I won't spank you. But anyway, it's my turn to hide now because you've got longer legs and you promised not to run till I found you. Robbie nodded his head—a small parallelepiped with rounded edges and corners attached to a similar but much larger parallelepiped that served as torso by means of a short, flexible stalk—and obediently faced the tree. A thin, metal film descended over his glowing eyes and from within his body came a steady, resonant ticking. "Don't peek now—and don't skip any numbers. warned Gloria, and scurried for cover. With unvarying regularity, seconds were ticked off, and at the hundredth, up went the eyelids, and the glowing red of Robbie's eyes swept the prospect. They rested for a moment on a bit of colorful gingham that protruded from behind a boulder. He advanced a few steps and convinced himself that it was Gloria who squatted behind it. Slowly, remaining always between Gloria and home-tree, he advanced on the hiding place, and when Gloria was plainly in sight and could no longer even theorize to herself that she was not seen, he extended one arm toward her, slapping the other against his leg so that it rang again. Gloria emerged sulkily. "You peeked. she exclaimed, with gross unfairness. "Besides I'm tired of playing hide-and-seek. I want a ride. But Robbie was hurt at the unjust accusation, so he seated himself carefully and shook his head ponderously from side to side. Gloria changed her tone to one of gentle coaxing immediately, Come on, Robbie. I didn't mean it about the peeking. Give me a ride. Robbie was not to be won over so easily, though. He gazed stubbornly at the sky, and shook his head even more emphatically. "Please, Robbie, please give me a ride. She encircled his neck with rosy arms and hugged tightly. Then, changing moods in a moment, she moved away. "If you don't, I'm going to cry. and her face twisted appallingly in preparation. Hard-hearted Robbie paid scant attention to this dreadful possibility, and shook his head a third time. Gloria found it necessary to play her trump card. "If you don't. she exclaimed warmly, I won't tell you any more stories, that's all. Not one—" Robbie gave in immediately and unconditionally before this ultimatum, nodding his head vigorously until the metal of his neck hummed. Carefully, he raised the little girl and placed her on his broad, flat shoulders. Gloria's threatened tears vanished immediately and she crowed with delight. Robbie's metal skin, kept at a constant temperature of seventy by the high resistance coils within, felt nice and comfortable, while the beautifully loud sound her heels made as they bumped rhythmically against his chest was enchanting. "You're an air-coaster, Robbie, you're a big, silver air-coaster. Hold out your arms straight. —You got to, Robbie, if you're going to be an air-coaster. The logic was irrefutable. Robbie's arms were wings catching the air currents and he was a silver 'coaster. Gloria twisted the robot's head and leaned to the right. He banked sharply. Gloria equipped the 'coaster with a motor that went "Br-r-r" and then with weapons that went "Powie" and "Sh-sh-shshsh. Pirates were giving chase and the ship's blasters were coming into play. The pirates dropped in a steady rain. "Got another one. —Two more. she cried. Then "Faster, men. Gloria said pompously, we're running out of ammunition. She aimed over her shoulder with undaunted courage and Robbie was a blunt-nosed spaceship zooming through the void at maximum acceleration. Clear across the field he sped, to the patch of tall grass on the other side, where he stopped with a suddenness that evoked a shriek from his flushed rider, and then tumbled her onto the soft, green carpet. Gloria gasped and panted, and gave voice to intermittent whispered exclamations of "That was nice. Robbie waited until she had caught her breath and then pulled gently at a lock of hair. "You want something. said Gloria, eyes wide in an apparently artless complexity that fooled her huge "nursemaid" not at all. He pulled the curl harder. "Oh, I know. You want a story. Robbie nodded rapidly. "Which one. Robbie made a semi-circle in the air with one finger. The little girl protested, Again? I've told you Cinderella a million times. Aren't you tired of it? —It's for babies. Another semi-circle. "Oh, well. Gloria composed herself, ran over the details of the tale in her mind (together with her own elaborations, of which she had several) and began: Are you ready? Well—once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl whose name was Ella. And she had a terribly cruel step-mother and two very ugly and very cruel step-sisters and—" Gloria was reaching the very climax of the tale—midnight was striking and everything was changing back to the shabby originals lickety-split, while Robbie listened tensely with burning eyes—when the interruption came. "Gloria. It was the high-pitched sound of a woman who has been calling not once, but several times; and had the nervous tone of one in whom anxiety was beginning to overcome impatience. "Mamma's calling me. said Gloria, not quite happily. "You'd better carry me back to the house, Robbie. Robbie obeyed with alacrity for somehow there was that in him which judged it best to obey Mrs. Weston, without as much as a scrap of hesitation. Gloria's father was rarely home in the daytime except on Sunday—today, for instance—and when he was, he proved a genial and understanding person. Gloria's mother, however, was a source of uneasiness to Robbie and there was always the impulse to sneak away from her sight. Mrs. Weston caught sight of them the minute they rose above the masking tufts of long grass and retired inside the house to wait. "I've shouted myself hoarse, Gloria. she said, severely. "Where were you. I was with Robbie. quavered Gloria. "I was telling him Cinderella, and I forgot it was dinner-time. Well, it's a pity Robbie forgot, too. Then, as if that reminded her of the robot's presence, she whirled upon him. "You may go, Robbie. She doesn't need you now. Then, brutally, And don't come back till I call you...
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I, Robot Film Stream vf.
Starring: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Alan Tudyk, and Bruce Greenwood.
In Chicago, 2035, robots are almost as common as humans. And when Detective Del Spooner is investigating the death of Dr. Lanning, the creator of robots, he believes something non-human did it. Before the new shipment of robots arrives, Spooner must find out what's really going on.
Beautiful CGI (that's not going to happen too often) great characters, and incredible action makes this one of the best movies of the summer.
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Iphone. help me find movie torrentz ja robot video. Iphone. help me find movie torrentz ja robot download. Iphone. help me find movie torrentz ja robot movie. Bibliomaniac 03-01-09 Excellent stories, shame about the reader Isaac Asimov's robot stories are among the classics of science-fiction, and are a must-read (or must-listen) for anyone with any interest in SF. "I, Robot" is a compilation of some of the best, from among the earliest to among the latest, strung together with a linking narrative that fits them into their "historic" order. from the first pet-like robots to the handing over of human government to the all-but-omniscient Machines. The stories themselves easily rate five stars. Unfortunately, I've had to deduct a star because of this audiobook's reader, who manages to be flat and melodramatic simultaneously. He has little sense of dramatic tension, consistently emphasises the wrong words, and is unable to differentiate characters by giving them different voices. I suggest that prospective buyers listen carefully to the audio sample before making a decision. Overall, though, I'm happy I bought this one. 7 people found this helpful Amazon Customer 04-20-07 Great book, well read and at a bargain price. Listening to this audiobook was a true pleasure. The classic sci fi tale of robots and the future of humanity has aged very well and many of the issues it rasies still feel contemporary. The book's structure is pure genius, taking several previously published short stories (some which feature on going characters & some which don't) and stiching them together with original work by means of a journalist conducting reseach. The stories are increasingly epic and complex, each one drawing the listener further into the world of the robots. This is also fascinating for any sci fan as it effectively documents the developement of the genre in the last century, from the simplistic and haunting stories of the pulp fiction anthologies (which make up most of the first half of the book) to the politicay complex novels that writers like Clark, Dick and of course Asimov went on to write. On the production side the reader does an excellent job representing the different charatcers, both human and robotic! This is a great production of a great book and at Audible's prices it's a total bargain, especially for subscribers. Get it now! 9 people found this helpful Alina 02-09-17 Sad is finished. I enjoyed it so much! It is a fantastic book and very well narated. lt made me laugh and everything. I very much enjoyed it 1 person found this helpful Eliza 01-13-17 Interesting study of robotic behavior. Ok. So. Before reviewing the audiobook I decided to watch the movie. Which, as it turns out has has absolutely nothing to do with the book. It keeps the basic rules of the book but the plot is constructed out of thin air. I enjoyed the book very much. But is less of a plot driven book then a collection of stories and examples of robotic behavior. This makes for interesting reading as a study but not so much if you are looking for something action packed and super exciting. Having said that I did listen to the whole thing which, for me, if I get bored, is absolutely impossible. So I enjoyed it and do recommend it if you love robots and want to learn more about how they can possibly function in and with society. But if you're looking for a written version of the movie- this is not it at all. I love the Scott Brick and have listened to a few books that he has narrated. He is, as always, exceptional. David Anand Rajapakse 06-02-19 a classic Scott Brick delivers an incredible performance yet again and truly brings this classic work to life. 10-09-18 Isaac Asimov – I, Robot, Review The 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 the orders given 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. Yes, its that book, and despite the fact that my copy has a photo of Will Smith on the cover, it bears little in common with the Hollywood film of the same name. Asimovs short story collection, set in the not too distant future, shows how humanity harnesses the power of robotics to explore the solar system. Unfortunately, rules can always be broken, and Asimov explores some of the different scenarios in which robots can break the rules, putting human lives in danger. The scenarios are all too real, too – if you can suspend your disbelief to believe in the narrative, youll begin to see how these foolproof laws might actually not be so foolproof. Asimovs writing is easy-to-read and believable, and strong enough to make me want to read another of his books, of which there are many to choose from. Youll probably see another Isaac Asimov review on in the future – in the meantime, grab yourself a copy of I, Robot. S. Peacock 07-13-18 Disappointing Having never read much science fiction - Brave New World is the only piece I can remember having read - I had high expectations for this collection of short stories as it is lauded as one of the great pieces of science fiction writing. Well if this is the great stuff I hate to imagine what the bad stuff is like. Stereotypical, one dimensional characters, an almost identical plot line to every story, predictable characters, plots and behaviours, really quite poorly written. Some of the ideas are interesting and well ahead of their time but most are rooted squarely in the 1950s and 1960s that the stories were mainly written in; this isn't in itself a fault as a writer can only write in the context of his own time but it doesn't help the stories be any more interesting or entertaining. The stories center around 6 characters, 5 of whom run or work for a global monopoly manufacturer of robots, but who appear to have neither the character, temperament, skills or knowledge to run an egg and spoon race let alone a global corporation. The plot of every story is that a robot has apparently gone wrong and it is up to one of the 6 main characters to understand why; like detective fiction with robots only much less interesting than detective fiction. I can't say the narrator helps either, every character has an almost identical voice except for a single laughable attempt he makes at a Scots accent for one of them. I managed to listen all the way to the end, but won't be buying any more Asimov books and had I paid full price for this one I would certainly be returning it for refund. R. Sibic 05-24-18 Short stories are hard to keep up with. Overall interesting but sometimes hard to follow because it lacks an overarching story. Still worth reading as it deals with many interesting well thought consequences of AI. Mr D G Key 12-20-17 exceptional and thought provoking a definition of the three laws of robotics the definition of their history and the testing of their durability James 04-21-17 a book way ahead of its time if all you've seen is the film you are missing out on most of the main themes, present in this story.
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I, Robot finds Will Smith in unfamiliar territory - a movie with a hint of intelligence. Based very loosely on Isaac Asimov's robot stories, using the "3 Laws" as a launching point, the picture is set just 35 years after the Willenium, in 2035 Chicago.
Apparently, I, Robot feels you did not see enough advertising before the start of the movie, as straight away, you'll be inundated with ads for a sneaker company, a parcel delivery service, and by the time you leave the theater, you'll have a strange notion that you really need an Audi. Audi is good. Audi is your friend. Audi will not harm you. br> You'll also notice a couple things right off the bat about the future. One is that transportation and robot technology will make incredible leaps and bounds over the next 31 years, to the point where Chicago has a whole underground autobahn for maglev-type vehicles. Wow, who ironed out that bureaucracy? My local government is going to take over a decade to build a 15-mile beltway that's above ground, made out of plain old concrete, and will only accommodate regular gas-powered cars. The underground roadway of I, Robot even comes with its own automated valet, which files your car away vertically in a specially made "parking lot. Pretty cool, and a small price to pay for having to learn to own a car without loose items inside. The other thing you'll notice is that people of the future are awfully trusting of robotic technology. They absolutely refuse to believe that robots can glitch. Then again, Microsoft's logo is nowhere to be found in the picture, so that might make some sense.
This lack of technophobia is explained shortly, when Detective Spooner (Will Smith) meets Dr. Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) during an investigation of a fishy looking suicide involving robot engineering genius Dr. Lanning (James Cromwell) in his office at US Robotics, a company which has gone from making modems in the 20th century to robots in the 21st (What foresight. Dr. Calvin's job is to make these creepy and potentially dangerous robots appear human and trustworthy, a lot like how a government neuters its constitution by cratering the 1st and 4th amendments and makes it all seem friendly and beneficial by calling it the "Patriot Act. Anyway, Dr. Calvin has a doubter on her hands with Det. Spooner. He hates robots. At first, it seems it's just because he's old fashioned. He owns a gas-powered motorbike, listens to Stevie Wonder tunes from 65 years ago, prefers to drive his maglev using the steering wheel, and still struts around in that gangsta-rapper swagger that went out of fashion way back in the year 2004. He's so old school, he even showers without a curtain. However, you will eventually learn he has another reason for hating robots during a plot contrivance midway through the film, shortly after another plot contrivance that reveals his bionic arm.
Spooner suspects a model in the latest line of robots is behind the good doctor's death, but has no real evidence and is hampered by the unrelenting faith of the robot believers, even after a glitch in the building's security system, named NIKI (Shodan, from System Shock) blots out the critical moment from the surveillance tapes.
This is where Spooner's investigation begins, and after a couple requisite cop-movie clichés (case obsession, booted from force) he uncovers a conspiracy involving a robot revolution, stemming from an over-translation of the 3 Robotic Laws.
Somebody should have told Will Smith this wasn't Men in Black III, as his wisecracking persona that we've seen a hundred times already is really out of place here. And those 'hero leaps' Where the hero hurtles himself through the air in slow-motion while pulling off some inhuman feat (usually involving firearms) Yep, sadly, a couple of those are in there as well, making one suspect that John Woo has hijacked the production. We also get to see yet another example of 2004's favorite cinematic chestnut, the CGI army, topped off by a scene where hundreds of robots scale the side of a skyscraper. Aside from that, the CGI is actually very good. There's also a faint attempt in the story to determine what constitutes the line between artificial life and real life, but fortunately, the filmmakers realized this was ground trod plenty enough times by Star Trek alone and let it drop.
On the plus side, I, Robot has plenty of action and unlike many of today's movies, has a keen sense of rhythm about it, and in spite of a few too many shopworn story devices, this movie still has a surprise or two and doesn't take 2 and a half hours to get it out. While it first appears to be an anti-technology film, this isn't so much the case as a warning for checks and balances in safety/prevention devices, no matter how simple and self-maintaining they may appear to be. It's not often a modern Hollywood film - a sci-fi actioner, no less - actually has something to say about our current state of affairs.
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