Three Laws of Robotics
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
"The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or Three Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov and later added to. The rules are introduced in his 1942 short story "Runaround", although they were foreshadowed in a few earlier stories.
These form an organizing principle and unifying theme for Asimov's robotic-based fiction, appearing in his Robot series, the stories linked to it, and his Lucky Starr series of young-adult fiction. The Laws are incorporated into almost all of the positronic robots appearing in his fiction, and cannot be bypassed, being intended as a safety feature. Many of Asimov's robot-focused stories involve robots behaving in unusual and counter-intuitive ways as an unintended consequence of how the robot applies the Three Laws to the situation in which it finds itself. Other authors working in Asimov's fictional universe have adopted them and references, often parodic, appear throughout science fiction as well as in other genres.
The original laws have been altered and elaborated on by Asimov and other authors. Asimov himself made slight modifications to the first three in various books and short stories to further develop how robots would interact with humans and each other; he also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others:
- 0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
The Three Laws, and the zeroth, have pervaded science fiction and are referred to in many books, films, and other media. It is recognized that they are inadequate to constrain the behavior of robots (see friendly artificial intelligence), but it is hoped that the basic premise underlying them, to prevent harm to humans, will ensure that robots are acceptable to the general public." - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
However, it should be noted that Asimov was not the only author to come up with a set of rules for his robots to follow. Mark W. Tilden is a notable robotics physicist who was a pioneer in developing simple robotics. Tilden justified a set of three laws that would essentially make for more life-like robots. Mark W. Tilden's three guiding principles/rules for robots are:
- A robot must protect its existence at all costs.
- A robot must obtain and maintain access to its own power source.
- A robot must continually search for better power sources.
In Wired magazine, Tilden paraphrased this as
- Protect thine ass.
- Feed thine ass.
- Look for better real estate.