The Three Laws of Robotics


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.”

To read the whole story, and other Isaac Asimov greats, get the Complete Series from Amazon.