I’ve decided to read a bunch of Asimov books (I’ve only read Caves of Steel until now). The general consensus was that I should start with this book, which is a collection of short stories dealing with robots.
Some of the stories (particularly the Bicentennial Man) are much better than others. They are interesting to read together though.
With respect to robots, Asimov sets up his own ethical system – the three laws of robotics, which are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
At first, this seems like about the most objective, clear cut and straightforward ethical system that one could hope for. But, through all the stories, you begin to see that nothing in ethics is quite so simple.