nice atricle in androidworld

http://www.androidworld.com/prod22.htm
Any comments?

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Hĺken Hveem wrote:

Yes.
The zeroth law of robotics.
A robot must boot its software before it attempts to obey any other laws.
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e7 wrote:

Actually, the zeroth law is:
"A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm"
Asimov noted the need for a zeroth law to protect humanity as far back as the 1950s. Without it, a robot following the three laws could place a single human's interests above that of the race. The zeroth law was first "officially" added in his 1985 novel, Robots and Empire.
-Steve
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R. Steven Rainwater wrote:

Bzzzzt! Very wrong indeed!
0. A robot must boot its software before it attempts to obey any other laws. 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 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.
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R. Steven Rainwater wrote:

Doh! what I meant to say was...
-1. A robot must boot its software before it attempts    to obey any other laws. 0. A robot may not injure humanity, or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. 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 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.
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e7 wrote:

Hmmm... I take it you haven't read much Asimov. His robots didn't have any software in the conventional sense. They relied on "positronic brains" whose "pathways" controlled their behavior, perhaps like the neurnal nets in a human brain which (argh...here we go) come hardwired in a way that supports emergent behavior and learning. I don't believe Asimov ever developed much of a theory about how exactly positronic brains worked or why you might prefer one over an electronic brain (perhaps Chompsky knows?). It was just a fiction plot device to avoid having to add in a lot of psuedo-technical talk about computers and software that wouldn't have been easy to do back when he wrote the stories.
-Steve
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Hĺken Hveem wrote:

I don't find a critical analysis of the three (or four) laws all that meaningful, as Asimov created them as fictional plot devices, and little else. When he wrote his first stories the typical robot fiction of the day was about evil machines. This view grew directly out of the notion of automation displacing human workers, and was especially prevalent during the Depression years.
Asimov was a crafty author who knew his reader. By creating the laws he could base some interesting, thought-provoking stories around them, and without much exposition.
While other people have argued the merits of the laws of robotics, Asimov himself laughed all the way to the bank. I'm not saying that in a negative way, just that we should be mindful of not confusing a brilliant writer's craft with practical visionary insight.
-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases, Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza
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