In science fiction, the 3 laws of robotics are a set of rules written by Isaac Asimov. The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story “Runaround”, although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories.
3 Laws of Robotics
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws
This wording of the laws is the conventional way in which the humans of the stories enunciate them; Its actual form would be that of a series of equivalent and much more complex instructions in the robot’s brain.
Asimov attributes the three Laws to John W. Campbell, who would have written them during a conversation held on December 23, 1940. However, Campbell argues that Asimov already had them in mind, and that they simply expressed them between the two in a more formal.
The 3 laws of robotics appear in a large number of Asimov stories, as they appear throughout their series of robots, as well as in several related stories, and the series of novels starring Lucky Starr. They have also been used by other authors when they have worked in the fictional universe of Asimov, and are frequent references to them in other works, both science fiction and other genres.