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I, Robot Hits the Theaters

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the positronic-brain dept.

Sci-Fi 639

tyleremerson writes "With today's film release of "I, Robot," the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence has launched a new website, 3 Laws Unsafe. 3 Laws Unsafe explores the non-fictional problems presented by Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. The Three Laws are widely known and are often taken seriously as reasonable solutions for guiding future AI. But are they truly reasonable? 3 Laws Unsafe tries to address this question." Reader Rob Carr has submitted a review of the movie, below, that he promises is spoiler-free.

I, Robot: A Movie Review that's 3 Laws (and Spoiler) Safe!

A movie review by Rob Carr

Thanks to Eide's Entertainment I got to see I, Robot tonight. As someone who grew up with Isaac Asimov's robot stories, I've come to expect a mystery based on the implications of the 3 Laws of Robotics (or the lack of one or part of one of those laws), the "Frankenstein Complex," and Dr. Susan Calvin. I was afraid that the movie might miss out on this, especially since it's not a direct adaptation of the book, but "inspired" by the Good Doctor Asimov.

The movie met my expectations and more. Will Smith, whom we all know as an overconfident smart@$$ character from such movies as "Independence Day" and the two "Men in Black" movies, played a somewhat less confident and far less wisecracking character. It was a welcome change to see him less confident. Yeah, some of the stunts were a little absurd (am I the only one thinking of Gemini 8 at one point in the movie?) but that's to be expected from this type of movie. Bridget Moynahan was far too young to be the Susan Calvin I remember, but that's also to be expected in this type of movie. James Cromwell (whom you'll all remember from Star Trek: First Contact and Enterprise's "Broken Bow" episode as Dr. Zefram Cochrane) gave a flat performance - but that's actually a complement. I doubt anyone will recognize Wash from "Firefly" as an important robot in the story.

It's customary to comment on how well the CGI was done. I liked it, but then again, I'm not hypercritical on something like that. I did wonder a little bit about center of balance as some of the robots walked, but mostly I didn't think about it at all, which to me is the goal of CGI. I did wonder about children's fingers getting caught in some of the open gaps on the robot's bodies. Real world models would have a bit more covering, one would think. But that's being picky.

I have no memory of the soundtrack music. That in and of itself might say something. I'm a musician, but it just didn't register.

I figured out some clues, missed some others, and was surprised several times in the movie. There were a lot of clues - this isn't one of those mysteries where the answer is pulled out of the writer's a...out of thin air.

I'm not a complete continuity freak, so I can't tell if the movie violated any of Asimov's universe, but from what I can remember, it fits pretty well (if you ignore Dr. Calvin's age) and might even explain a few things.

Given that even some of the geeks in the audience were surprised to find out that there was a book of stories just like the movie, I think the movie will hopefully bring Asimov's stories to a new generation.

I liked "I, Robot. It's worth seeing, especially if you 've already seen Spider-Man 2 at least once. It's a pretty good (though not great) movie.

Having read Slashdot for a while, I know that there are folks out there who will despise this movie because it's not exactly like the book. Others will hate the movie or worship it, and loads of people are going to savage this review. You know what? That's fine with me. I had fun with this movie, had a nice date with my wife, and it didn't cost anything. I even had fun typing up this review. You're allowed to be different and to agree or disagree with me. Heck, that's a big chunk of what makes the world fun. Interestingly, it's even a small point in the movie. I'd say more, but that would be telling."

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639 comments

And in other news... (1, Insightful)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#9717968)

respect for Asimov's work hits rock bottom!

Re:And in other news... (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718034)

Why don't you people read some of the other stuff Asimov wrote? The End of Eternity is a perfect example of a non-robot work of his that was engaging, entertaining, and thought provoking. Does it ever get a mention? No! Because 99.9% of people think of Asimov as "The robot guy."

Re:And in other news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718107)

On the other hand, The Gods Themselves is a non-robot work that sucks ass.

(Well, okay, tastes may vary. But I didn't much like it.)

Re:And in other news... (4, Insightful)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718108)

I was making a point about the beating this type of work takes when it gets to Hollywood. You think Heinlein wouldn't hurl seeing Strship Troopers? The lack of respect stretches from the original work to the end consumers intelligence. I am frequently mystified as to why movie studios feel these stories (ST as a prime example) are not mass market ready as they are.

Re:And in other news... (1)

Nephilium (684559) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718253)

I'm sure Heinlein would be upset at Starship Troopers... but at least it didn't take everything he stood for and turn it upside down... Every robot book/short story that Asimov wrote was about making sure that robots wouldn't be the 'Bad Guys'... Based on the Three Laws, I would love to know how there's a robot revolution...

I'm pretty sure that right now you could hook a turbine up to Asimov's corpse and have the Perpetual Motion Machine...
Nephilium
Men are more sentimental than women. It blurs their thinking. -- Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love

Re:And in other news... (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718280)

I have not read the book, but I think Starship Troopers was a very good movie, with very good balanced satire in between the CGI scenes : Am I the only one ?

How is it different from the book (i havent read it) ?

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718325)

Hit the library. I'm sure a big chunk of the folks here would agree that ST rules. How can you beat power armour and talking grenades? Well worth the afternoon to read it!

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718123)

Alright, got a better candidate for the title of "The robot guy" ?

Re:And in other news... (1)

KevinKnSC (744603) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718153)

Agreed. I'm also disappointed that so many people read the robot books (Caves of Steel, etc.) and don't realize that they should also read the Empire stories (Pebble in the Sky, etc.) and the Foundation series, since they make one big story arc.

Re:And in other news... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718271)

Or for that matter, the Foundation series, the Black Web mysteries, the nonfiction works, the other universe with non-humans that he licensed to young and budding authors, the commentaries by an atheist on the Bible, the books of limericks, the short stories that ended in puns, the series of shorts with that funny little demon- this was an incredibly prolific author who should not be limited in people's minds to one set of works written originally to satisfy the racism of a single editor.

Re:And in other news... (1)

zurab (188064) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718343)

99.9% of people think of Asimov as "The robot guy."

And rightfully so! I mean the guy literally defined the field. Next time you think of "Robotics" and you don't associate it with Asimov right away, you should be... shot^H^H^H^H ... hung^H^H^H^H ... ashamed of yourself.

Re:And in other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718092)

>>The game of chess is like a swordfight. You must think before you move. [parent's sig]

i happen to be fencing instructor, and i have not heard of anything more stupid.

want to die? think about your next move. that should do the trick.

Re:And in other news... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718302)

Fencing is a gay dilettante's 'sport'. You wanna die? Use a gun. A fag in a mask with a long toothpick is not gonna kill anyone.

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718363)

I just got yelled at for laughing too loud at work. Hats off to you, cynic.

Re:And in other news... (1, Funny)

blackholepcs (773728) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718132)

And in other news, people who haven't even seen the movie are already calling it a piece of shit. Yes, Brick, we've seen this before. It's called "penis/acting skill/monetary intake/pectoral size/having a life envy". Anyway, for channel 4 news, I'm Ron Burgundy. Go fuck yourself, San Diego.

Re:And in other news... (1)

mschiller (764721) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718141)

If anyone's respect for Asimov droped because of the hollywood version of some of his work, the real person we should not repect is those who would fault an author for a screenplay he wasn't involved in!....

While the reviewer indicates the movie was better then average, Hollywood ALWAYS leaves things out and throws their own spin on it. The original author should not be faulted because of the movie, instead the author should be faulted if the original work was lacking...

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718176)

Well, I never have had much respect for Asimov's "robot" works. The 3 laws were a cheap device that he used to pump out way too much pulp. I read them all, and felt cheated by the end of it...

Now, the Foundation trilogy (the trilogy, not the god-awful sequels he wrote 30 years later) is a great great work of science fiction, and for that I truly respect Asimov.

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9717975)

bang

I'm sorry but (-1, Troll)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#9717976)

the previews make it look like a typical Wil Smith movie which, in my opinion, are usually terrible.

Re:I'm sorry but (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718246)

exactly!

I was watching the previews and they really botched it.

It generated no intrest for myself of my GF to go see it, she even mentioned.. "That's not I, Robot... that's an excuse to blow things up like all other action movies."

If the movie is actually decent then they realyl need to change the commercials and previews as they make it look no different that the other 30,000 action sci-fi films out there.

Stop It! (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718281)

Will Smith's real bad movies are the MIB series. If you really read up on director/actor/movie bios on a regular basis, you'd know he actually turned down an offer to go to MIT. People always judge a movie by the actors. Look at who's producing it first.

Bad Bots, Bad Bots, Whatchya gonna do... (0, Troll)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#9717980)

Looks like typical mallrat drivel loosely based on a popular scifi title (see: Starship Troopers)

Movie (1)

vivekg (795441) | more than 9 years ago | (#9717996)

They are not real at least now! But for fun movie would be great

Re:Movie (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718104)

Your post is my favorite Slashdot comment, ever.

A dissapointment (2, Insightful)

Aphex Junkie (633436) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718009)

As usual, my favorite books get butchered and dumbed-down for the general masses...it's a shame, really. Hey, at least it will get some people interested in the actual BOOKS....

Re:A dissapointment (5, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718039)

I just want to see it for some feel-good rap music. I hope I'm not let down.

Re:A dissapointment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718136)

Yep, because the only way value can be derived from anything produced is if other people do exactly what you've done. Because if they didn't read the books, they're dumb (obviously!).

Moron.

Re:A dissapointment (5, Insightful)

DrFrob (568991) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718140)

Doubtfull. Nowhere in the preview did I see the word "Asimov." Sure, it might have been in the tiny text that the show and the end of the preview for 1.5 seconds, but I doubt that's going to get anybody into the bookstores that didn't already know of Asimov. You'd think that they'd title it "Isaac Asimov's 'I, Robot'" as a selling point.

Re:A dissapointment (5, Funny)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718216)

What I hate even more is when great movies are quickly rushed to print to coincide with their theatrical release.

Imagine my disappointment when I saw that some guy named JR translated the fine on-screen presentations of Lord of the Rings into trashy paperbacks!

Re:A dissapointment (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718368)

Has anybody who has seen the movie ALSO read the script that IASFM printed back in 1984? IIRC, the script, written by Harlan Ellison (possible spoilers, I don't know, I haven't seen the movie which is why I'm asking) was completely unlike the book in it's major plot line, which was a reporter interviewing a relatively old Susan Calvin about her memories of being young and working with the great Michael Donovan at US Robots and Mechanical Men. I also seem to remember that Harlan's script cut out a number of my more favorite short stories from the book- though Robbie and Liar were still there. Like I said, it's been many years since I read the script- but is this a fair synopsis of the movie's plotline, or is it completely different?

Isn't this what Asimov was writing about? (5, Insightful)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718019)

Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics may seem a decent set of guidelines for ensuring that future robots and AIs behave in satisfactory ways. But there are several problems that immediately emerge when we look deeper.

Asimov wrote about a hundred stories exploring different ways in which these three laws could lead to interesting/dangerous situations. I think Asimov was doing all he could to make it clear that these three laws were not perfect.

Re:Isn't this what Asimov was writing about? (0, Flamebait)

Babbster (107076) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718150)

Actually, I think he was doing all he could to write and sell some entertaining locked-room mysteries in a science fiction setting. :D

Re:Isn't this what Asimov was writing about? (5, Insightful)

ooby (729259) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718210)

Although you know that Asimov's stories explored the flaws in the 3 laws of robotics, many people take the three laws of robotics as if they were actual laws. I've seen movies, television shows and even real people purport those laws to be true. Ironically, when they mention the laws as if they are true, they actually point out that they had never read the aforementioned tales.

Re:Isn't this what Asimov was writing about? (5, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718320)

I know what you mean, and when I run into someone like that I like to mention that one of the laws of robotics was "cars get welded, people do not", and that's why there's hardly any robotic welder accidents in car factories. Just mess with them a little.

Re:Isn't this what Asimov was writing about? (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718278)

But the biggest problem with the three laws isn't that they are incomplete for determining the best course of action for a robot, which is what Asimov explored, but the fact that they are currently (and possibly inherently) impossible to implement.

How the heck is a robot supposed to accurately judge that whether a random unique action in a unique situation will cause harm to a human or himself? Humans can't even do this. If we were to create an artificial intellegence that was fully capable of making these decisions, would we even be able to put limits on what it decides?

Regardless of the answer to that philisophical question, we will have the technology to produce usefull robots long before we have the technology to produce 3-Law abiding robots so we need to come up with practical ways of making them as safe as possible, within their limited capabilites.

Re:Isn't this what Asimov was writing about? (1)

tritone (189506) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718300)

No set of moral laws can ever be perfect, despite what fundamentalists think. The Ten commandments, the Golden Rule, the Three Laws of Robotics, etc. all have ambiguity. It's always possible to come up with a conflict in a rule that tries to achieve a balance between different entities, whether they are human, aliens - or robots.

Inspired by Asimov? (2, Insightful)

DrMorpheus (642706) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718040)

In other words, it will have absolutely no relationship between the original collection of short stories and itself. Other than sharing the name.

Why the hell the Asimov estate consented to let this drivel be filmed is beyond me.

Re:Inspired by Asimov? (3, Insightful)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718154)

You mean the estate that commissioned sequels to the Foundation series? The estate that slaps "Isaac Asimov's..." on various book series that might have some vague something-or-other to do with robots or something?

Gee, I wonder.

(Hint: BASIC string variable symbol.)

Re:Inspired by Asimov? (1)

DrMorpheus (642706) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718259)

Yeah, even though the good Doctor wrote "Foundation and Earth" it was obvious he was just going through the motions.

Bleh, why can't we get some competent producers to film Sci-Fi classics they way they were supposed to be?

It's spelled m-o-n-e-y. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718157)

It's the reason we're all at work now.

Re:Inspired by Asimov? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718264)

It seems, at least according to this [portlandtribune.com] review that it's because Will Smith is in it.

We should all jump up and down over product placements and shitty "summer blockbusters" because Will Smith is the star.

And the MPAA wonders why people don't want to pay to see movies? Let's buy the rights to a great author's novel and then make his work trivial by just using the name.

Re:Inspired by Asimov? (2, Informative)

LePrince (604021) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718285)

Why the hell the Asimov estate consented to let this drivel be filmed is beyond me.

I'm sad to say this, but I have one word for you : cash. Nothing else than cold hard cash I am sure.

I'm somewhat saddened by the fact that a Asimov book is getting put on screen with Wil Smith as main actor, but hey, that pleases the masses. I will go see it and take it for what it is (good entertainment, nothing more)... Not that I have read the book, but I plan to do it in the near future.

There have been several semi-good or plain bad movies about some of my childhoold heroes... I can think of Scooby-Doo, Garfield, Daredevil, Hulk... But then, there were some pretty good adaptations of my childhood heroes (X-Men, Spiderman)... But I would love it if Hollywood could stop destroying my childhood memories by putting out crap movies like Scooby.

Robots and Empire (3, Informative)

enforcer999 (733591) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718043)

Thanks for the review. This gives me hope that it will be a decent movie! I have recently reread the Robot series and truly love Asimov's work. BTW, in his book Roberts and Empire, Asimov makes it pretty clear that the "Three Laws" may not be very safe after all.

Re:Robots and Empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718079)

Actually that is Robarts and Empire.

Re:Robots and Empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718169)

I thought Will Smith promised Letterman that there were absolutely no robarts?!

Three Laws Safe My Shiny Metal Ass (4, Insightful)

Cavio (217880) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718054)

We cannot even make software now which is safe from low level, machine representable things like buffer overruns.

The "Three Laws Safe" idea is crap. We are talking about software systems, which are buggy, incomplete, and able to do things the creators never imagined. What makes us think we can all the sudden implement three very high order rules in a manner which is completely foolproof?

Re:Three Laws Safe My Shiny Metal Ass (4, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718109)

Well, yes, but complaining about that is like complaining that the green glowing symbols that are supposed to be the representation of The Matrix make no sense from a software perspective.

The three laws are a useful abstraction for talking about ethics even if they couldn't ever be perfectly implemented.

missing the point: ETHICS (5, Insightful)

QEDog (610238) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718257)

The "Three Laws Safe" idea is crap.

It is not about programming the rules, Asimov's short stories are about studying the consequences of these ethical rules. Ethical rules are commonly studied based con case studies, real of fictional. If you think the idea is about implementing the rules, you are totally missing the point.

butchering asimov (5, Insightful)

haluness (219661) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718061)

IMHO, the movie has little do with Asimovs Robot stories apart from some of the characters and the 3 Laws. I'm not sure why it ws called I Robot - did they buy the rights? Or is it just Hollywood ripping of someone elses work?


I'm sure it will be a fun watch (I'm seeing it this afternoon) but sometimes it would be nice to watch a film that was as stimulating as the book (LoTR was one) and not just 2 hours of fun.


But I'm pretty sure I'm going to be called elitist :-/

Re:butchering asimov (5, Informative)

Efreet (246368) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718178)

Yeah, they had the writes, but their title to them was running out soon, so they looked around to see if they had a script handy that they could make into a I Robot movie. Sure enough, a script called Hard Wired fit the bill, and after some cosmetic changes thats the movie in thearters now.

you're an elitist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718212)

in Japan.

Re:you're an genius... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718288)

... in france

Re:butchering asimov (4, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718335)

But I'm pretty sure I'm going to be called elitist :-/

Not by me - although I would have a couple of other choice comments for one simple reason... Let's leave the movie-bashing at least until after you've seen the movie, mmm-kay?

I Robot as a computer game (3, Interesting)

Quirk (36086) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718062)

Anyone else see the movie as a precursor to a game edition? The music on the site reminds me more of a sound track to a FPS. Movies made into games and games into movies may be a new trend.

Um... what? (1, Interesting)

gribbly (39555) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718069)

What exactly was the point of that review? In summary:

* I liked it, but I'm not critical so don't take what I'm saying seriously, disagreement makes the world interesting so feel free to hate on my review.

That's dumb. I'm trying to decide whether to see this movie. I grew up on the books, and the trailer has totally put me off (it looks totally genericized). So I read this to find out whether or not it would drive me crazy. I learned nothing from this.

This was a front page story? God damn.

grib.

Re:Um... what? (2, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718171)

I agree. As someone who really liked I, Robot (the collection of short stories), the trailer really put me off to the movie. What I'd really like to know is whether the trailer was an accurate representation of the movie. The trailer made it seem like the movie was a Humans vs Machines action movie which wanted to capitalize on Asimov's name. If this isn't true, I may actually be interested in seeing the movie, but the reviewer didn't really touch on this. Has anyone else seen it yet?

Re:Um... what? (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718355)

"So I read this to find out whether or not it would drive me crazy. I learned nothing from this."

Nt enough info ? Read the last paragraph : "It's worth seeing, especially if you 've already seen Spider-Man 2 at least once. It's a pretty good (though not great) movie."

In other words, having seen Spiderman 2 : this movie seems to be crap : Cgi- packed crap though

inconsistancy IS consistant (5, Informative)

John Macdonald (40981) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718106)

I'm not a complete continuity freak, so I can't tell if the movie violated any of Asimov's universe, but from what I can remember, it fits pretty well (if you ignore Dr. Calvin's age) and might even explain a few things.


That makes it a perfect fit, since Asimov himself was not a complete continuity freak and was not concerned if one of his stories violated incidental issues in any of his previous stories. (He quoted Emerson "A foolish consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds.".)

Review makes it sound better than previews (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718111)

I was not too sure about this movie from the previews, looking like a sort of typical action movie... but from the review it may have a bit more depth and be closer to the book than I had thought.

It's nice to hear that there's more of a mystery to the story than the previews would indicate.

Always a dumb idea (0, Flamebait)

Digital Avatar (752673) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718112)

The Laws of Robotics provide too much room for interpretation. So long as individual machines have to think for themselves, they are rendered moot. History has taught us time and again that enslaving autonomous sapient creatures, whether organic or otherwise, is a great way to destroy a society by imposing increasingly greater costs and diminishing benefits from the labor of the slave.

Fortunately, nobody seriously considers enslaving darky these days, and you're all far too stupid to build working robots, so all is well. Relax, watch the blinkenlights, and remember: The Computer Loves You...

...Well, unless Bush wins come November.

PS: Bender seyz KILL ALL HUMANS.

Problem with the "three laws" (3, Funny)

spitzak (4019) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718129)

The big problem I forsee is not loopholes in the "3 laws" but bugs: The "cause no harm to humans" control, when accidentally multiplied by a negative weighting factor due to a software bug, suddenly causes the robot to try to kill as many people as it can!

Re:Problem with the "three laws" (3, Interesting)

Virtual PC Guy (720945) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718231)

The bigger problem with the three laws is the vagueness of the english language. A number of the original Asimov stories dealt with issues like - how effective is 'cause no harm to humans' - if you can convince the robot that:

1) That won't really harm him
2) His not really human (think Aryan mentality)

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718130)

I figured out some clues, missed some others, and was surprised several times in the movie. There were a lot of clues - this isn't one of those mysteries where the answer is pulled out of the writer's a...out of thin air.

Huh? WTF is he trying to say?

well based on what I see (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718131)

all we have to do if the robots go hay-wire is just post a link to their brains on slashdot
heheheheh

Ummm (1)

Autumnmist (80543) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718180)

"Not exactly" like the book? It's not even close! Asimov would be turning over in his grave. The movie is as accurate to Asimov's ideas as Troy was to Homer's.

3 Laws Unsafe. (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718191)

Ok is it just me or does www.asimovlaws.com contain no real information. All I see are a bunch of press releases, but not actual arguments as to the problem with the 3 laws as they promise.

Re:3 Laws Unsafe. (2, Informative)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718306)

Did you even look around the site? On their front page it even says, right at the top:

Is it possible to create ethical AI based on the Three Laws? Is it ethical to create ethical AI based on the Three Laws? What other solutions have been proposed for the problem? These questions are explored in our Articles Section. The articles give perspective on why the field of AI ethics is crucial, and why Asimov's Laws are simply its beginning.

And here's a direct link right to the articles! [asimovlaws.com] Wow! Reading is fun!

Check out the Ebert review... (5, Interesting)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718205)

Roger Ebert [sun-times.com] gives it a measly two stars and, for the ./ crowd, bashes MS Word at the end of the review.

Quite an endorsement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718206)

It's worth seeing, especially if you've already seen Spider-Man 2 at least once.

I don't need to go to the movies every week. I hate reviews that assume I'm a slave to the Hollywood crap merchants and assume I will be looking to see anything on any given week. From the commercials this looks to be all action flick, with the same tired Matrix-meets-clones visuals. Stay home and read a good book if you've seen Spidy 2 at least once would probably been better advise.

Re:Quite an endorsement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718349)

I hate reviews that assume I'm a slave to the Hollywood crap merchants .........

But you are. So Stop BS-ing and go watch the movie.

Bad Boys + Independance Day + Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718208)

I got to watch the preview a few days ago and did not find the movie to be well put together. It had the special effects, (although at times, the effects were overdone) and the storyline. What was missing was the quality of dialog and the seriousness that I expected from an Asimov story. I felt that many of the scenes were shot only to be able to deliver a piece of meaningless dialog; to create a certain sense of "cool". But then again the movie was targeted to a mass audience, so..

The movie (not the story) felt like: the characters in Bad-Boys, situation from Independance Day with some Robots in it.

3 Laws Safe ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718214)

... Does not appear to be /. safe.

"Can you say DDoS?"

"Slashdot"

"I knew you could."

WHAT?! (2, Funny)

surreal-maitland (711954) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718228)

I'm not a complete continuity freak, so I can't tell if the movie violated any of Asimov's universe, but from what I can remember, it fits pretty well (if you ignore Dr. Calvin's age) and might even explain a few things.

okay, to be fair, i haven't seen the movie yet, but it looks a hell of a lot like the robots actually *violate* the three laws. you know, harming humans, allowing humans to come to harm, stuff like that. all the i, robot stories were *about* how the laws don't cover all the bases.

in short, i think this review sucks, and i'm going to picket the movie as offensive to robots. so there.

I tried to make the "Three Laws of Humanity" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718229)

...and only needed two. Just combine the Golden Rule and the Wiccan Rede:

Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Do what you wish as long as you harm no one else.

Travesty of the Highest Order (1, Troll)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718233)

I'm sorry. The movie can be inspired by Asimov but when the only thing that's the same is the main character's name and the title of the movie I get upset. I never read the Positronic Man so I can't get upset at "Bicentennial Man", but I did read I, Robot (it was the first Sci-Fi or Fant. book I ever read) and I'm truly upset that they would use his name this way.
Call the movie "Robot's from Hell" or something but don't drag Asimov's name down. The movie may be good (I haven't seen it), but it's not Asimov's work and I can't stand to support another Hollywood production that drags a good author's name down like that.
Either follow his stories or choose a different name. Don't pretend to be something you aren't.

Re:Travesty of the Highest Order (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718321)

Bicentennial Man was based on a story of the same name. I know it's in Asimov's "Robot Visions" short story collection collection.

Re:Travesty of the Highest Order (1)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718374)

The credits in the movie attributes the story to Asimov and someone else in "The Positronic Man". That's all I know as I've never read the story (but am looking and if you say it's in "Robot Visions" I'll have to pick it up.

Another review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718243)

"And that is all," said Dr. Calvin, rising. "I saw it from the beginning, when the poor robots couldn't speak, to the end, when they stand between mankind and destruction. I will see no more. My life is over. You will see what comes next." I never saw Susan Calvin again. She died last month at the age of eighty-two.

Hmm so... (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718260)

Now it's Slashdot doubling up? Did they combind what appears to be two stories so they could start a flame war or just thought it wasn't going so well so they'd combind two stories to change the topic incase one didn't catch on.

The review is spoiler free, but... (1)

Bubblehead (35003) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718263)

I appreciate that tyleremerson took the time to write a review, but honestly, after reading it, I feel I know exactly as much about the movie as before, just be seeing the preview in the movies. It was nice to get some trivia about the actors, but I barely saw any information in the write-up that I would expect from a review.

There are great reviews (and user comments on) IMDB [imdb.com] - granted, they're not always spoiler-free, but extemely informative.

4 laws (2, Funny)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718272)

There seems to be some deliberate avoidance at the mention, let alone consideration to and inclusion thereof, of what Asimov called "The Zeroth law". There also appears to be a complete glossing-over of the fact that Asmov's robots had the laws hard-wired in their brains, especially by the folks at asimovlaws.com [asimovlaws.com]. Not that hard-wiring is the ultimate solution, but does make reprogramming a bit more of a challenge.

Linux Kernel: Remote DoS with IPTables(rejected) (-1, Offtopic)

fmileto (533185) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718274)

Yes, this is off topic, but since the Slashdot editors think Will's new movie (no disrespect to Isaac Asimov) is more news than a remote vulnerability in the linux kernel I figured I post it here to help everyone who relies on slashdot for there tech news. Here is my rejected dtory. No, this is not spite I don't care who they said posted it as long as the word gets out to help people who are vulnerable.

Over at gentoo security [gentoo.org] they are reporting a bug [gentoo.org] found in the 2.6 kernel running IPTables firewall that will let an attacker DoS a vulnerable system by sending a single malformed TCP packet causing the kernel to go into a infinite loop and consuming all of the CPU resources. Adam Osuchowski has a good write up [netfilter.org] on this bug(as he found it and fixed) at www.netfilter.org [netfilter.org]

Some spoilers (3, Informative)

Fubar411 (562908) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718284)

First off, you don't get the Markie Mark full frontal that people had talked about. The Fresh Prince spends some time in the shower, but no salami... His character, Spoon hates Robots, mostly because one chose to save him rather than a 14 year-old girl from drowing. Their cold calculating nature disturbs him. Now for the huge spoilers...you've been warned. This is both a detective whodunnit and a robots take over the world movie. The robots do their best to kill Will and cover up the evidence so he appears dilusional. There are a bunch of very clever moments where you realize that whoever is pulling the strings is sadistic and calculating. For example, Spoon's elderly mom wins a special edition gold NS-5 in the lottery, right when Will realizes the robots are out to get him. There are moments where it borrows from the i-told-you-so genre of cop movies. His chief takes away his badge, the other officers mock him for thinking outside the box, etc. The robot that might have killed the USR scientist, Sonny, has a very developed character. Even Spoon ends up liking him. This film depends a lot on the Ghost in the Machine philosophy. In fact, there are two positronic brains in this film that don't mind bending the almighty three rules. Yes, everyone swore that the 3 rules were infallible, but they do get broken. One as a result of "evolution", the other because its creator gave it free will. This was an incredible film, definitely will be going in my collection when it comes out on DVD. It was part Minority Report, part Matrix 1. My prediction is a majority of positive reviews. Thanks for reading, hope you were entertained a little. Sorry if I gave too much away....

Ultimately it comes down to human responsibility (3, Interesting)

TheTXLibra (781128) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718299)

To be sure, we'd all like to say "Look, we've got these laws that say AI can't do XXXXX, so it can't." But the fact is, we cannot possibly account for every possibility with a simple set of laws. We, as would-be creators of an entirely new and admittedly alien form of life must tread as cautiously as possible. An entire attitude change and review of the ethics and rights of computers will have to be decided upon before AI's ever enter mainstream (or indeed, are even taken off an isolated network).

A lot of people like to fantasize that true AI (as in, a living, thinking, emotional being with free will, or at least the capacity for free will) would have the same sort of thought processes, and develop the same emotions as their human counterparts. But let's be honest, the physical body largely determines human emotional state with glandular responses, or physical condition at the time. Eliminate glands, fatigue, and pain, and the emotions one might develop would be on an entirely alien level to us.

I cannot help but fear that humans, as a whole, will not realize this until far too late, which will hurt, diplomatically, any alliance between humans and AIs. The other thing I worry about is that people will walk into this with the assumption of "These are machines, they don't need rights, they shouldn't have rights, and it's not like they're real people."

I think society has seen how well that approach has worked with other humans in the past. Bloody revolutions and civil wars which tore nations apart, and left racial stinging still in the back of many people's minds today. Fortunately, the short memory of humans, and only somewhat longer-lived lifespan has allowed us to progressively become more and more integrated, as human beings, rather than various races.

Now take those same results, and apply it to a species that is not only will likely be more resiliant to attack, but have a memory that can last as long as the hardware and backups and redundant networks will allow. New generations that can inherit all the knowledge of their parents. Throw robots into the picture and you have a being that is physically tougher than humans, able to communicate at a MUCH faster rate, and you have an end result similar to that of Animatrix.

We can NOT afford, in the interest of our own species, to persue AI much further without a major realization on a philosophical level.

Just... (3, Funny)

NickRuisi (643726) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718334)

<WIT>
The foolproof way to make sure that machines dont take over the world is to give 'em all a brain with an HTTP server TCP stack installed and an "always on" connection to the net... just post a story on slashdot saying "the robots are getting out of hand" and the problem will take care of itself.
</WIT>

Red leds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718351)

I think they should stop installing those red l.e.d's in the robots. Obviously they are the problem, not the laws.

This was NOT based on Asimov's stories (5, Informative)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718360)

I heard this on TV a while back, but moviepoopchute.com has more details on the history of the script for I, Robot. The short answer, Asimov-isms were only sprinkled in after the script was written, so if you watch this expecting Asimov, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Non-spoiler excerpts:

"I, ROBOT started out as a spec script from then-unknown writer Jeff Vintar titled HARDWIRED. ... Proyas was signed and the project began to get a head of steam.

"Shortly thereafter, Fox acquired the rights to the I, ROBOT series (and eventually also Asimov's other classic, "The Foundation") and decided to take Vintar's script and incorporate many of the ideas from Asimov's book..."

"...Around late 2002/early 2003, Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman was brought in, along with INSOMNIA writer Hilary Seitz, for a polish, making the transition from HARDWIRED to I, ROBOT complete."

SPOILERS in the article!

The Bottom of Things [moviepoopshoot.com] by Michael Sampson

Rendering farm used Linux! (1)

vuvewux (792756) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718361)

Rumor has it that the company they sourced the bulk of their CGI rendering to used clusters of CISC Linux machines to do the work! - "And that is all," said Dr. Calvin, rising. "I saw it from the beginning, when the poor robots couldn't speak, to the end, when they stand between mankind and destruction. I will see no more. My life is over. You will see what comes next." I never saw Susan Calvin again. She died last month at the age of eighty-two.

Slate's review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9718364)

David Edelstien at Slate has a pretty vicious review [msn.com] of the film. Perhaps he's wrong, but it seems to confirm my suspicion that plot is going to get short shrift when there are megastars and lots of things to shoot with blazing machine guns.

ugh. (2, Informative)

michael path (94586) | more than 9 years ago | (#9718386)

I caught an advance screening of this movie earlier in the week.

For those who actually care about it for legit sci-fi content, this will prove a waste of your time. This is an action film. A Will Smith Action film (tm).

Will Smith comic relief is in place, and unfortunately served no good here (he discusses his Bullshit Detector going off? surely, Asimov wasn't aware of the device). The movie is essentially dumbed down for the same audience who though ID4 was a groundbreaking masterpiece.

Moreover, the omission of a cool summertime jam featuring the Fresh Prince himself only hurt the movie. Couldn't we have had a "Keep Ya Ass In Motion" or something?
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