I, Robot Reflection

The title “I, Robot” might make one think that the story is being told in a Robot’s point of view, but this is not the case. Instead, this story is written in Dr. Susan Calvin’s perspective. This may make individuals curious on why Isaac Asimov chose this title. Perhaps he thought that “I, Robot” would suit the title not because of how the story was written, but how the story had an effect on the reader. Asimov also used a strategy somewhat related to the Quantum Theory. Asimov instituted this idea to leave the readers in awe and have them think thoroughly about the ending of the book.While Asimov wrote most of the book in favoring how a robot could always be stopped or controlled by a human, the last chapter gave readers a different possibility of what might happen when there’s a conflict between a robot and a human.
In the second chapter, Speedy was ordered to retrieve selenium for Powell and Donovan. Somehow Speedy got stuck running in circles. Later, they soon realized that Speedy got stuck running in a constant circle because Speedy was trying to go forward to get the selenium but couldn’t because he was obeying the third law. He also couldn’t go away because he was ordered to get the selenium which shows he was obeying the second law. These actions led to him running in constant circles.
In the fourth chapter, Powell and Donovan run into a conflict of a robot not doing his job. Davy does not work unless there is adult supervision. Davy along with six other robots start marching like they were in the military and dancing going crazy instead of being on task. Powell and Donovan began to make a cave-in to see what’s actually causing the robots to go berserk. Of course, they get stuck and are soon surrounded by the subsidiary robots. Donovan is then forced to shoot a “finger” which saves them from being attacked by the robots. They essentially came to the conclusion that the “fingers” were going crazy because Davy couldn’t handle six robots at the same time (Asimov 60).
In chapter five Powell and Donovan face a dilemma of a mind-reading robot. Herbie cannot help, but lie because he is trying to protect the first law. Herbie says to Dr. Calvin, “It’s just I know what other people think - Milton Ashe for instance.” (Asimov 66) Herbie tells Susan that Milton loves her even though that is not the case. He fears if he doesn’t tell people what they want to hear he is hurting a human emotionally. The executives want to know what the problem with the code is for him being able to read minds. Herbie thinks to himself if he says yes then the executives learn the problem, but the humans suffer injury to ego/emotions, but if he says no they never learn the problem. Herbie could possibly shut down due to him protecting his own existence even though it is interfering with him obeying the human's commands, and hurting their feelings.
Chapter six took a turn with the Laws of Robotics. The humans needed a modification with the first law in order for robots to work in radiation zones so they decided to remove inaction from the first Law of Robotics. The NS-2 robots were very clever and annoying so when Gerald Black, there commanding officer, told Nestor 10 to “get lost”, using harsh tone and word choice, he actually got lost (Asimov 82). This was a problem for them so Dr. Susan Calvin came up with trials to catch Nestor 10. After the first two trials failed she came up with a significant third trial. In the third trial, to lure him in, she knew that only Nestor 10 can tell the difference between harmless and harmful radiation. So when the Nestor robots are all told that harmful radiation will be between them and the person in danger, all but one, Nestor 10, remain seated when the rock falls. Nestor 10 moves because he can see that the radiation is not dangerous (Asimov 95). Nestor 10’s reaction to being caught wasn’t all that pleasant. He tries to attack or strangle Dr. Calvin because the Second Law outweighs the First Law. While this was happening Gerald Black covered the room with gamma radiation, which kills robot brains, so she survives and Nestor 10 dies.
Chapters two, four, five, and six are great examples of how no matter how out of hand things got, the humans were able to control and take down the robots. Although in chapters one, three, seven, and eight the robots were not controlled by humans, they did not affect humanity.
These chapters compare to the last chapter because of how it gives a different perspective of what could happen in the future with robots. In the last chapter we are taught that the first Law of Robotics was modified to “No Machine may harm humanity; or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.” (Asimov 146) The robots or machines are now “taking charge”. The machines are now making decisions for the humans regardless if it’s good or bad as long as it doesn’t affect humanity.Technically speaking the machines can minimally hurt humans as long as the result of that action is beneficial to humanity.
With what was said previously readers can now conclude that machines have taken over the human race. They are controlling them and nothing will ever stop them from protecting humanity. This relates back to how Asimov used an idea similar to the Quantum Theory, which more or less, says that everything you have learned up to this day about science is wrong. His book is stating that in most chapters it was inevitable for humans to stop and control the robots, except for the last chapter. The last chapter is saying how it is now evitable for robots to be stopped. The humans could now possibly feel as if they were slaves or property such as when robots were considered property. Perhaps this is the reason why Isaac Asimov chose “I, Robot” for the title of this book meaning that humans are now considered as robots!
Source Cited:

Asimov, Isaac. "I, Robot." SpringerReference (2011): n. pag. I, Robot. Street and Smith Publications. Web. 8 Nov. 2015. .