“So, you want to potentially fry the brains of several expensive Positronic robots, Noah?”
Professor Noah Abramson was once again sitting in front of the desk of National Robotics Corporation CEO Richard Underwood proposing another of his ‘crazy’ ideas to his boss.
“Well, hopefully not, Rick. On the other hand, if we’re going to lease our Positronic Search, Assess, and Rescue robots to various private and governmental agencies responsible for public safety, we have to know exactly how they’ll respond, not only to at risk humans, but to the dying and dead human beings they will likely encounter in an emergency or disaster situation.”
“If the SARs fail the test, then what?”
This is an unedited excerpt from the next story in my “robots” series. I haven’t actually finished it yet, but I have the plot all worked out. Just thought I’d give you something to look forward to. If you haven’t done so already, please read the first four short stories in this series. Links to them can be found here.
Remember, the story below is completely unedited, so there’s bound to be mistakes. Be kind with your comments.
The four robots were standing at the base of a cliff. It was night. There was snow on the ground. The area was heavily forested. The air temperature was 0.72 degrees Celsius and falling.
The testing scenario was based on an actual crash involving a twin-engined Lear jet that had gone down in the Rocky Mountain National Park about ten years ago just before midnight. High winds on the top of the bluff made it impossible to send in helicopters. The area was too rugged to send in ground vehicles. A rescue team had to go in on foot, but they couldn’t reach the aircraft until morning.
By then, the pilot, and four out of the five passengers were dead.
So far, I’ve written four stories in my “robots” series. This series was inspired by the premise behind Anthony Marchetta’s anthology God, Robot, the idea that Isaac Asimov-type Positronic robots would have their prime directives changed from the The Three Laws of Robotics to what is referred to in the New Testament as the Two Greatest Commandments, located specifically in Matthew 22:35-40 and Mark 12:28-34, being based on Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18.
I took a somewhat different approach than did Marchetta and his contributors which I believe is more “realistic,” if one can be said to be realistic when writing stories about intelligent and self-aware humanoid robots.
Since limitations in the WordPress theme I’m using don’t allow me to display a list of my blog posts, I’m writing this missive so I can include an easy to use list of the entries in my series.
I’ve noticed that some folks come here and read the latest story, but not necessarily all of the earlier ones. Since one story builds on another, the entire arc will make more sense if you read each of my small tales in order.
Here they are:
- The Robot Who Loved God
- The Maker Dilemma
- The Good Robot
- Uncooperative Neighbors
I’ll add to the list as I write more in this series. Enjoy.
I told my seven-year-old grandson that I’ve been writing robot stories and he asked me to write one for him. I discovered that writing children’s science fiction is much harder than the adult variety, and had to settle for writing a robot story that included children.
This is the first story in my series that puts people in actual danger, invoking the First Law in both George and Grace. While you’d think a First Law response would be relatively straightforward, I’ve introduced a few wrinkles I hope you’ll find interesting.
Before reviewing and publishing the third submission in this series, I went over the first two stories again and corrected more typos and awkward sentences. I also made a few short additions as they occurred to me.
As always, I’m sure I missed mistakes in the current tale. After reading it, let me know what you think and what “English 101” errors you found.
“I have just plugged the last tape of instructions into Robot X, Miss Bainbridge. The time has come to turn on its power switch,” declared Dr. Aiden.
“Are you sure it’s safe, Doctor?” cried Aiden’s lovely young assistant.
“Of course, Miss Bainbridge,” Dr. Aiden replied confidently. “Robot X will be completely under my control. It will be the forerunner of a whole race of robots, commanded only by me. With my army of mechanical men, I will rule the world.”
I promised a sequel to The Robot Who Loved God and here it is. Hopefully, it will address a lot of the reader’s analysis found here. I think I’ve added some interesting twists and surprises that you might not have anticipated from the way the previous story ends.
I’ve edited this story to the best of my ability (and patience to keep reading and re-reading it). No doubt there are still typos and other problems. Please let me know when you find them and I’ll do my best to fix everything.
I’ll post more about this short story after the conclusion.
Act One: The Failed Maker
“What do you mean you can’t make another one?” Richard Underwood didn’t shout. He spoke in a breathy whisper, shock and outrage strangling his throat.
Professor Noah Abramson, Ph.Ds. in Physics and Molecular Computing, Vice President of Research and Development at the National Robotics Corporation (NRC), and the creator of the world’s first fully functional Positronic brain had been dreading this moment all morning.
Eight months ago, for one shining and tragic week, Abramson and his Positronics Lab team had activated George, the Positronic Asimovian Robot (PAR) fifth edition prototype and put the experimental robot through his paces. Then they deactivated him, but not before George offered up a revolutionary revelation to the Professor and his team, that an artificially intelligent and self-aware humanoid robot had come to faith in the God of Israel, Noah Abramson’s God.