It was one of Gregory Powell’s favorite platitudes that nothing was to be gained from excitement, so when Mike Donovan came leaping down the stairs toward. Free summary and analysis of “Runaround” in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot that won’t make you snore. We promise. Runaround: robot: Isaac Asimov’s science-fiction story Runaround (). Along with Asimov’s later robot stories, it set a new standard of plausibility about the.
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Runaround | work by Asimov |
It was written in October and first published in the March issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Runaround is notable for featuring the first explicit appearance of the Three Laws of Roboticswhich had previously only been implied in Asimov’s robot stories. Such as in many of Asimov’s Robot storiesthe application of the Three Laws of Robotics is the subject, though in contrast to the majority in which the lexical ambiguities of the Laws are employed to fashion a dilemmathe robot featured in “Runaround” is actually following the Laws as they were intended.
Artificial intelligence researcher Marvin Minsky said: InPowell, Donovan and Robot SPD also known as “Speedy” are sent to Mercury to restart operations at a mining station which was abandoned ten years before. They discover that the photo-cell banks that provide life support to the base are short on selenium and will soon fail. Powell and Donovan become worried when they realize that Speedy has not returned after five hours.
They use a more primitive robot to find Speedy and try to analyze what happened to it. When they eventually find Speedy, they discover he is running in a huge circle around a selenium pool. You catch me and I catch you; no love can cut our knife in two” and quoting Gilbert and Sullivan. Speedy continues to show symptoms that, asikov he were human, would be interpreted as drunkenness.
Powell eventually realizes that the selenium source contains unforeseen danger to the robot. Under normal circumstances, Speedy would observe the Second Law “a robot must obey orders”but, because Runarounx was so expensive to manufacture and “not a thing to be lightly destroyed”, the Third Law “a robot must protect its own existence” had been strengthened “so that his allergy to danger is unusually high”.
As the order to retrieve the selenium was casually worded with no particular emphasis, Speedy cannot decide whether to obey it Second Law or protect himself from danger the strengthened Third Law. He then oscillates between positions: The conflicting Laws cause what is basically a feedback loop which confuses him to the point that he starts acting inebriated.
Attempts to order Speedy to return Second Law fail, as the conflicted positronic brain cannot accept new orders. Therefore, Powell decides to risk his life by going out in the eunaround, hoping that the First Law will force Speedy to overcome his cognitive dissonance and save his life.
The plan eventually works, and the team is able to repair the photo-cell banks.
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Runaround story This article is about the short story. For other uses, see Run around. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov.
Print magazinehardbackpaperback. The Complete Robot I, Robot. Robot series Foundation Series.