Law of Robotics n.
in the writing of Isaac Asimov: each of three (later sometimes four) rules devised to govern the behaviour of robots
Esp. in the Three Laws of Robotics, formally stated as:
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 orders given 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 Law.
In 1985, Asimov added a ‘Zeroth Law’, taking precedence over the others:
0. A robot may not harm humanity or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
‘You know the fundamental law impressed upon the positronic brain of all robots, of course.’…‘Certainly…. On no conditions is a human being to be injured in any way, even when such injury is directly ordered by another human.’]
Liar! in Astounding Science-Fiction May 53/2
Let’s start with the three fundamental rules of Robotics—the three rules that are built most deeply into a robot’s positronic brain.]
Runaround in Astounding Science-Fiction Mar. 100/1
If your analysis were correct, Dave would have to break down the First Law of Robotics: That a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to be injured.
Catch That Rabbit in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 165/2
1944 Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 5/1
The robot part of the robot bomb is, of course, a low-grade idiot among robots. Incidentally, it violates, seriatim, all three of Asimov’s ‘Three Laws of Robotics’.
The First Law of Robotics states that a robot cannot harm a human being.
Caves of Steel viii. 94
1962 Fantastic July 102 (editorial summary of Albert Teichner’s ‘The Thinking Disease’)
An ingenious re-examination of the Laws of Robotics, involving a new way for robots to kill people and a new way for people to kill robots.
Perhaps we are robots. Robots acting out the last Law of Robotics… To tend towards the human.
Coffin for Canary viii. 100
The robot girls are so well behaved that they will never seduce others’s husbands…. They’ll bravely defend their chastity from assault because self-defence is mandatory in the Third Law of Robotics.
tr. Wei Yahua Conjugal Happiness in the Arms of Morpheus in Amazing Stories Sept. 60
His memory erased, his human ethics are replaced by four directives to govern his behavior (an idea borrowed from Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics).
in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Feb. 116/1
Last modified 2020-12-20 18:37:51
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.