Saturday, May 27, 2023

Quote of the Week: All You Have to Lose Is

In that sense, robots were already free. Whatever a robot was seen doing, within reason, it was always assumed that he had a right to do it and a duty to do it. In a city like this, robot slavery depended very much on those mysterious asimov circuits, not on human supervision.

There were times I wondered whether the asimovs even existed. It was very easy to imagine that there were no asimov circuits, but that people and robots had been conned into believing in programmed slavery. The idea of turning moral decisions into digital data (and screening out wrong ones) was powerful and attractive. People wanted it to be true. They wanted robots incapable of sin, trustworthy slaves.

 - John Sladek, Tik-Tok, pp.383-384 in SF Gateway Omnibus

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