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Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics

Contributor(s): John Barefield

Science-fiction author Isaac Asimov is often given credit for being the first person to use the term robotics in a short story composed in the 1940s. In the story, Asimov suggested three principles to guide the behavior of robots and smart machines. Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, as they are called, have survived to the present:

1. Robots must never harm human beings or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. Robots must follow instructions from humans without violating rule 1.
3. Robots must protect themselves without violating the other rules.

Also see artificial intelligence, mechatronics, nanorobot, and robot.

This was last updated in March 2007

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