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Photo of Ray Bradbury by Alan Light

Photo of Ray Bradbury by Alan Light

When Isaac Asimov began creating stories about robots, he imagined the integration of robots into families. In his story "Robbie" (published in 1940), a rather primitive robot became the "nursemaid" for a little girl.

Ray Bradbury later devised a story about a robotic grandmother who served as a replacement care-taker, taking the place of the dead mother of some young children. "I Sing the Body Electric" was episode 100 of the The Twilight Zone (1962).

Later (1976), Asimov wrote "The Bicentennial Man", a story about a robot that became part of a family. The story was made into a film staring Robin Williams (1999). In that film, the robot eventually had itself re-built so as to be composed of biological body parts and turned into a mortal being.

In my profile, I wonder if Westworld will deliver any interesting ideas about how humans might interact with human-like artificial life forms. In episode 6 (The Adversary) of HBOs Westworld television series, it is revealed that Ford has access to a simulation of his own family in which Hosts play the roles of his parents and his brother. Given technology that allows for the creation of human-like robots/androids, would we humans be able to resist integrating such robots into our families?

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