Isaac Asimov is the greatest science fiction writer I’ve read. It’s all because of robots.
Asimov’s robot stories aren’t spectacular by today’s standards. There are many current science fiction stories that take robots beyond anything that Asimov wrote. But consider he started writing his robot stories in 1939.
Reading those stories still blows me away. I think about how close he got to the concept of what robots could do. His still go beyond many of the real robots I hear about today.
Asimov devised the Three Laws of Robotics in his 1942 short story Runaround. The laws are incorporated into many of the positronic robots in his stories. These 3 laws are still referred to in science fiction today. Those 3 laws are:
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 to 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 Laws.
I like reading science fiction although it’s not my favorite genre. The stories nudge your imagination to think of the possibilities of the future. I wonder what the world will be like when my great great grand babies are growing up? Will there be hover cars? Will computers be integrated into your thoughts? Will robots do most of the work and people have lots of leisure time?
I reread Asimov’s robot stories every couple of years. I remain amazed as to the man’s imagination of what was to come. Could it be that his stories inspired future generations to create better robots?