Dr. Matt Oliver
September 28th 2010
Robots are not human beings
It is almost impossible to create a creature which is exactly the same as humans. Most of the robots can think as logically as we can and they can maybe act approximately the same we do but they hardly ever can show feelings.
Not be able to think cognitive is one of the major problems in the short science fiction story “Liar” by Isaac Asimov. Herbie, a RB-34 robot, has the gift to read others mind. He is also trained not to hurt other people's feelings. When people ask him something, Herbie gives them the answer they want to hear. The robot does not recognize, however, that with telling them a lie, he is going to hurt their feelings, too. He is not conscious of this issue. When Doctor Calvin explains Herbie his fault, he starts to realize that he always has to tell the truth whether it is good or not. Nevertheless, Herbie cannot change how he is because he is a robot. He was created to always say what the people wanted to know. This is one significant difference between human beings and robots. People can change their thoughts and actions, robots cannot. Calvin and Bogert do not realize at first either that a robot is not like a human being. They both believe that Herbie is like a normal person with extraordinary abilities. They are not aware of problems he might have. Both of them count on what Herbie says without questioning. A good example that demonstrates this behavior is on page 290, where Lanning and Bogert are arguing: “’you haven't any secrets with a mind-reading robot around, so don't forget that I know all about your resignation.’ The ash on Lanning's cigar trembled and fell, and the cigar itself followed, ‘what … what –‘” With the surprising reaction of Lanning we know that what Herbie said is not entirely true. Bogert, nevertheless, really believes that Herbie told him the truth because he thinks that this robot does not make mistakes. Herbie is a...