2015-12-07

XKCD Isn't Funny - #1613 - The Three Laws of Robotics


I have been like, super tired lately, it's awful. Is this what getting old feels like?

So, this is not a bad comic. I think it actually makes a really interesting commentary on how prioritizing things can affect things, but it does it in a subtle way so you don't necessarily feel like you're being preached at. If the comic was "why you should prioritize sinks in the workplace" or whatever, it'd be snoresville, but as it is, robots! The visuals also prevent it from just being a graph joke, and the captions help clarify what the visuals are meant to convey.

There are a few rooms for improvement, though. The killbot hellscape shouldn't have had the same reused art (especially not that reused art, those are some lazy as hell explosions), it should have gotten more intense with each appearance. And in the terrifying standoff, shouldn't the robot not be agreeing to make cars for the guy, since "obey orders" is so far down the list? Like, couldn't the robot just threaten him until he gave [robot pronoun goes here] more pleasant orders?

Also, more philosophically, in the frustrating world, wouldn't there be some robots who were willing to do it even though they'd die? There're humans who are willing to do it, but that raises the question of whether an artificial intelligence would be capable of selflessness. As someone who has not read enough sci-fi, I am ill-equipped to answer this question.

In conclusion, Isaac Asimov was a smart dude and I should probably read some stuff he's written.