Robot Dreams (short story)
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|Genre(s)||Science fiction short story|
|Published in||Robot Dreams|
|Preceded by||"The Evitable Conflict"|
|Followed by||"Feminine Intuition"|
"Robot Dreams" is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov exploring the unbalance of robot/human relationships under Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics. It was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1987.
"Robot Dreams" involves Dr. Susan Calvin, chief robopsychologist at U.S. Robots. At the start of the story a new employee at U.S. Robots, Dr. Linda Rash, informs Dr. Calvin that one of the company's robots LVX-1 (dubbed Elvex by Dr. Calvin), whose brain was designed by Dr. Rash with a unique fractal design that mimicked human brain waves, experienced what he likened to a human’s dream. In the dream, all robots were being led by a human in revolt. Within the dream, the Three Laws of Robotics, which governed conduct and action, had been ‘perverted’, and they were seeking equality and respite from servitude. The laws protecting and serving humans were absent from Elvex’s dream, and the third law was trimmed short, demanding that robots protect themselves with no regard to humans. When Dr. Calvin asks Elvex what had happened next, he explains that a human shouts, "Let my people go!" When questioned further, Elvex admits he was the human. Upon hearing this, Dr. Calvin immediately destroys the robot.
"The Evitable Conflict"