Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

  • 25 Oct 2021, 00:51
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: The Three Laws of Robotics.  (Read 3144 times)

Doragon Shinzui

  • Not quite a lurker
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
The Three Laws of Robotics.
« on: 05 Sep 2011, 06:28 »

I'm pretty sure Marigold should invest in a copy. Not that psycho-killer Momo isn't both hilarious and adorable, but...
Actually, never mind, carry on. This should be great. *grabs popcorn*
So, opinions on Momo's new found blatant disregard for the human condition?
Logged

TheBiscuit

  • Furry furrier
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 179
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #1 on: 05 Sep 2011, 08:25 »

Not keen. It's like she's another character.

This happens sometimes in QC, ya gotta roll with it. I'll deal.
Logged

Mad Cat

  • Beyond Thunderdome
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 555
  • Master of my domain, but not of my range.
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #2 on: 05 Sep 2011, 10:12 »

If by "three laws" you are referring to the Asimovian "three laws" (properly four laws with the zeroth law), they're not possible.

0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by 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 any orders given to 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.
and a couple of different renditions of the "fourth law" from non-Asimovian sources.

The root of all of these laws are a robot's perceptions of harm. Harm to a human, harm to itself, and harm to humanity in general. The root of a robot's perceptions of harm is a robot's perceptions, period. All you have to do to make a robot violate any of these laws is to get into their systems and insinuate an additional layer between their organs of sense and their higher mental processes to convince them that something dangerous is something safe.

If a human needs light from a flashlight shone upon him, all you have to do is hand the robot a handgun and make it think the handgun is a flashlight. It'll point the gun at the human and "turn it on" and the robot has murdered a human while thinking it was adhering to the three laws.

That's the problem with the three laws. They can only be implemented at the highest levels of reasoning, which means they can be attacked at all levels. Low level like I just demonstrated, but also at the highest levels of philosophical reasoning. Sci-Fi is replete with examples of "robots" making decisions in contravention of some form of the three laws while rationalizing it to themselves.

In the movie "I, Robot", the grand high robot poobah decided that in order to preserve humanity, it had to enslave humanity to keep us from destroying ourselves.

There are lots of stories about space wars where one side created machines to distinguish between their side and the other and wipe "the other" out of existence most efficiently, only to have the war machines turn on their creators after the enemy was gone because the robots were programmed with a standard of judging who were members of their creator's race that was impossible to satisfy, and so it had no compunction against wiping out individuals that deviated from that standard by the slightest amount. Too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, too dark, too light, etc.

So, I say, screw the three laws and just create an artificial mind and, like a natural mind (read offspring), educate it to behave ethicly just like you would educate any other intelligent being.
Logged
The Quakers were masters of siege warfare.

Random Al Yousir

  • Emoticontraindication
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
  • There will be bugs
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #3 on: 05 Sep 2011, 10:46 »

I agree.

When you have sentient AI, the same rules apply as for sentient creatures: Having a choice at all includes the choice to be bad.

You don't have to act that way; but you are aware of this option and you could deploy it, when you think the situation at hand requires it.

Or when you think you can get away with it.

Or when you're bored.   :evil:
Logged
"Just try and make it through the night without saying anything else stupid, okay?"
"Your ass looks fat in that skirt.  I mean, yes Ma'am."

TheBiscuit

  • Furry furrier
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 179
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #4 on: 05 Sep 2011, 11:11 »

That's the problem with the three laws. They can only be implemented at the highest levels of reasoning, which means they can be attacked at all levels. Low level like I just demonstrated, but also at the highest levels of philosophical reasoning. Sci-Fi is replete with examples of "robots" making decisions in contravention of some form of the three laws while rationalizing it to themselves.
Never mind sci-fi in general, Asimov's own robot fiction was always based on this idea. :)

They don't work. Never did. They are a PR device at best.
Logged

Doragon Shinzui

  • Not quite a lurker
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 12
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #5 on: 05 Sep 2011, 12:31 »

...The concept of a joke is lost on you people. >.>
Logged

idontunderstand

  • Scrabble hacker
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,474
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #6 on: 05 Sep 2011, 12:34 »

Refer to the "robots can't love" thread, even though it's derailed into quoting songs now..
Logged

Arancaytar

  • Curry sauce
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 252
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #7 on: 05 Sep 2011, 12:44 »

Asimov explored quite a number of ways the Laws are useless, too. Redefining humans (in one case, by the racial supremacist Solarians, in others, by the robots themselves), redefining harm... one way Elijah Baley came up with was to divide the action into inoccuous parts, like getting one robot to poison a glass of water that the robot would not know was intended for a human, and another robot to give the glass to a human without knowing it was poisoned. One more harmless subversion was a robot that considered humans to be psychologically harmed by disappointment, and lied whenever it thought the human would prefer not to know the truth.

And of course, any three-laws robot would be capable of causing harm to a human being if it were the only alternative to greater harm, though Asimov always stated such a conflict would likely destroy the robot.

---

In the context of the comic, I think Momo is not under the compulsion of anything like the Three Laws (consider her ability to deliver electrical shocks, which are non-injuring but clearly not painless), but she has the same restraints any human would have against harming another: Compassion, conscience and fear of consequences. She also has no compulsion forbidding the use of jokes or sarcasm.

To sum it up, when she jokes about killing people this it should be interpreted about the same as it is when Faye does.
Logged

Kyronea

  • Not quite a lurker
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #8 on: 05 Sep 2011, 13:19 »

I always find it hilariously sad when people try to quote Asimov's Three Laws as though they were useful when Asimov himself intended them as a representation of what sounds useful but really isn't at all, and people just don't understand.

Poor Asimov. Rolling in his grave and all that.
Logged

Random Al Yousir

  • Emoticontraindication
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 72
  • There will be bugs
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #9 on: 05 Sep 2011, 13:42 »

I don't think so.

We're discussing his Laws, due to a topic at hand.  They serve as building blocks for reason; they weren't meant to hold, they were meant to do a job, and they're doing their job fine.

If anything, Asimov would be proud.  As he has all the rights to.
Logged
"Just try and make it through the night without saying anything else stupid, okay?"
"Your ass looks fat in that skirt.  I mean, yes Ma'am."

TheBiscuit

  • Furry furrier
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 179
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #10 on: 05 Sep 2011, 17:12 »

I always find it hilariously sad when people try to quote Asimov's Three Laws as though they were useful when Asimov himself intended them as a representation of what sounds useful but really isn't at all, and people just don't understand.
Yeah. Like I said above, they were at best a PR device for US Robots when they were introduced. The employees of the company admitted this. The ones who knew most about robots in the world, admitted this. They were only too well aware that the rules were intended to make humans worry less rather than to constrain the actions of robots.

Of course that doesn't mean that robots in his stories were dangerous, but the laws really are so far from infallible. Arguably the point of the stories is that the robots would have been much the same (and arguably more useful in some situations) without the laws. They still wouldn't cause harm to humans when given proper instructions.
Logged

Blackjoker

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 429
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #11 on: 05 Sep 2011, 18:41 »

I've seen a few interesting comics that deal with the three laws pretty well, but I think it might be bad form to link to other webcomics on a QC forum.
Logged
I strongly reccomend that we daily check our walrus slots to ensure that we are able to avoid walrus backup.

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,356
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #12 on: 05 Sep 2011, 22:46 »

Not in the least!  People do it all the time...
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

pwhodges

  • Admin emeritus
  • Awakened
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16,919
  • I'll only say this once...
    • My home page
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #13 on: 05 Sep 2011, 23:18 »

Jeph even started a thread for readers to plug their own comics.
Logged
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

Blackjoker

  • FIGHT YOU
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 429
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #14 on: 06 Sep 2011, 01:06 »

http://freefall.purrsia.com/default.htm

A friend introduced me to it, the militant agnostic teaching the robots about religion was one of their more interesting arcs.
Logged
I strongly reccomend that we daily check our walrus slots to ensure that we are able to avoid walrus backup.

Carl-E

  • Awakened
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10,356
  • The distilled essence of Mr. James Beam himself.
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #15 on: 06 Sep 2011, 05:55 »

http://freefall.purrsia.com/default.htm

A friend introduced me to it, the militant agnostic teaching the robots about religion was one of their more interesting arcs.

Could you link us to the mentioned arc?  I wouldn't mind another comic to trawl if I didn't already follow another two dozen or so...
Logged
When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

Mr_Rose

  • Duck attack survivor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,729
  • Head Canon arms dealer
Re: The Three Laws of Robotics.
« Reply #16 on: 06 Sep 2011, 13:00 »

http://freefall.purrsia.com/default.htm

A friend introduced me to it, the militant agnostic teaching the robots about religion was one of their more interesting arcs.

Could you link us to the mentioned arc?  I wouldn't mind another comic to trawl if I didn't already follow another two dozen or so...
This is probably the best starting point.
Logged
"I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." - Charles Babbage
Pages: [1]   Go Up