Post details: Bicentennial Man


Permalink 12:12:26 pm, Categories: Review, Film, 476 words   English (UK)

Bicentennial Man


This is an Asimov story about robots. In fact our lead Andrew Martin's first act when he arrives in the Martin household is to give a presentation on the 3 laws of robotics.

I've not read either of the stories that gave rise to Bicentennial Man, but I have read a lot of Asimov's robot stories, and it's clear to me that the ending of this film makes no sense whatsoever.

In order to acheive his dream of being recognised as human, Andrew has Rupert replace his circulatory fluids, with new fluids that will degrade his inner workings and cause him to age. To give him an vague but finite lifespan. He asks Rupert to do this, knowing that it will damage him and eventually cause him to cease functioning. His reasons for doing this are entirely personal and they do not come about from a need to avoid harming another human, or from any orders given to him.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Finally at the end of the film, after Andrew has passed away. Portia asks Galatea to unplug her from the life support machines. In fact she orders Galatea to do it.

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Both of these occurences in the film show robots with Asimovian positronic brains contravening the laws of robotics.

It's just not possible in a world consistent with Asimov's vision.

The more I think about it, the more it riles.

I'm going to have to go and lie down.

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