Intelligent machines are not far off. The phone in your pocket is already more powerful than many older super computers. As things progress and self-learning algorithms become smarter, it becomes essential to safeguard ourselves from possible harm at the hand—erm, robotic limbs—of the machines.
Isaac Asimov, the great sci-fi writer and witty cultural critic laid out his own set of rules for which robots should be programmed to obey in his short story Runaround:
“Law One: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
Law Two: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
Law Three: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.”