Simon’s Backup Weblog

Come back Isaac Asimov, all is forgiven…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on June 3, 2006

The Japanese government, more specifically the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is working on a set of what it calls “safety guidelines for next-generation robots“. Of course, we all know what that means: Asimov’s famous Three Laws of Robotics.

And it seems that it’s pretty much what it does mean:

The guidelines will require manufacturers to install enough sensors to minimize the risk of the robots running into people and use soft and light materials so they do not cause harm if they do so, the officials said.

They will also be required to install emergency shut-off buttons, they said.


There are also efforts under way to create global guidelines. The ministry plans to have its measures reflect the global standards, the officials said.

Just watch out for them independently coming up with the Zeroth Law. Oh, and I think someone ought to keep an eye on Will Smith


3 Responses to 'Come back Isaac Asimov, all is forgiven…'

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  1. tanais said,

    …so where do all those really huge ones in those anime cartoon things fit into the 3 laws of Robotics?

  2. stillcarl said,

    Then there’s Tilden’s Laws…

    1. A robot must protect its existence at all costs.
    2. A robot must obtain and maintain access to a power source.
    3. A robot must continually search for better power sources.

    Otherwise known as…

    1. Protect thy ass.
    2. Feed thy ass.
    3. Move thy ass to better real estate.

    Asimov’s laws don’t really tell the robot what to do, other than to be a very obediant slave.

  3. lproven said,

    Did you know that there is a theory that the origin of the name “al Qu’aida” is in a 1951 Arabic translation of the “Foundation” books?

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