“He’s a machine—made so.”: Rethinking humanlike robots in Issac Asimov’s I, Robot

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

While humans in the twenty-first century are still troubled by controversial issues such as race, gender, and class, another non-human movement has been restlessly on the go in the past few years, prompting us to re-examine our connection with a range of forms of Artificial Intelligence. Our relationship with robots is an illustration. Amid the shock that lifelike robots like Sophia, Hanson Robotics’ most advanced robot which was activated in February, 2016, can reason and communicate with humans, the seeds of humanized robots have slipped into our everyday lives, and its telling influence is anticipated alongside a growing number of torrents of robot-phobia. As scholar Gregory Jerome Hampton contends in his monograph, Imagining Slaves and Robots in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (2015), human’s traditional conception of robots, which used to be based on hierarchical dichotomies such as human/robot and master/slave, is problematic now. What is the nature of humanized robots? In what sense are humans distinct from these humanlike technological products? Can robots behave emotionally, intelligently, and ethically like humans. What’s wrong with Issac Asimov’s three laws of robotics? These and many other questions, which have been unsettling traditional mindsets over the years, are pressing topics that will significantly impact our future. Reading stories from Asimov’s classic short story collection, I, Robot, this paper aims at investigating the problem of humanlike robots, their challenges, and their potential impacts. Copyright © 2019 27th ​Annual Conference of the English and American Literature Association.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Citation

Cheung, T.-C. H. (2019). “He’s a machine—made so.”: Rethinking humanlike robots in Issac Asimov’s I, Robot. Paper presented at The 27th ​Annual Conference of the English and American Literature Association, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan.

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