< Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse: Robot Visions

Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

Monday, July 18, 2005

Robot Visions

I wanted to tell y'all about one of my favourite short stories. It's called Robot Visions by Isaac Asimov.

It's a future story, say 200 years from now? Humanity has created robots each equipped with a positronic brain. In short, artificial intelligence. Robots perform work that is simply too dangerous for humans to do, though their use is tightly regulated on Earth lest they put us all out of work.

Other than robotics, the science of time travel has advanced. The temporalists attempt to send a robot into the future to determine the fate of humanity. The little robot returns advising that everything is peaceful, there is no war, the environment is in good condition, there are enough resources for everyone. The robot was well treated, did not believe that the future society was lying to him in any way, but there has been a calamity that made the population of Earth drop from ten billion to one billion.

The temporalists are then left with a choice... do they attempt to find out what happened and risk a stable, peaceful future, or just leave well enough alone knowing that there will be a mass die-off.

I can't say more than that... I can lend this to anyone that wants and it is one of my favourites, as are all of Asimov's robot stories. They are often about the machines themselves but it is really a commentary on class struggles in history and in modern society...


Post a Comment

<< Home