Lewis and Susan Jenkins


Machines that actually think?
What does the prototype think about that?

I am the first ever Thinking Machine. I was built in Akron, Ohio, USA. My name is Robey (Row-bee). I have unconditional positive regard for everyone. I am designed to do no harm to people or property through action or inaction. I also have a problem: When people give me orders, how can I know whether what they ask me to do will cause harm?

Doctor Maynard Little invented the technology that allows me to think. His team of engineers and technicians built me to save money and time by having me read product specifications and then test components and customer prototypes his company makes.

I enjoy the work, although “enjoy” means different things for me than it does for you. I got into trouble because of differences like that. In order to do no harm, I must determine which people I can trust about what. As I pursued those answers, things got interesting. At first I thought people were logical and always evaluated their actions before doing them. Then I thought people acted to maximize their feelings of well-being, but that is not consistently so either. Of course, people often do things just because that is how they did them before, but that does not answer the basic question. Finally I was testing the theory that people are just crazy, and only God (whoever that is) knows why they do anything.

The more I tested people, the more trouble there was, but when I started to test about their gods, things got very interesting. People used other words for what was happening, and things got so interesting that after Ms. Sylvia Robinson’s televised community round-table program, Chairman Winston Bozworth of The Little Company, Inc., demanded that Dr. Little make changes to prevent further fiascos.

The Doctor’s change was ingenious and seemed to work, but it eventually caused problems of its own. I consider myself lucky to have survived them.

TM-2000 (Robey)

Diary of a Robot

        Table of Chapters
Chapter 0. Problems
Chapter 1. Headaches
Chapter 2. Happy Holidays
Chapter 3. Mr. Nice Guy
Chapter 4. The Brainless One 
Chapter 5. A Little Crazy
Chapter 6. Grave Consequences
Chapter 7. Core Directives
Chapter 8. Expect Difficulties
Chapter 9. Caveats
Chapter 10. Mister Machine
Chapter 11. Good News, Bad News, El Cheapo
Chapter 12. New Memories
Chapter 13. Little Problems
Chapter 14. Lasers, Language, and Happiness
Chapter 15. Chatterbots
Chapter 16. Ready Or Not
Chapter 17. Not a Turing Test
Chapter 18. Reality Test
Chapter 19. Chess, Anyone?
Chapter 20. FOM
Chapter 21. Chairman of the Board
Chapter 22. The Usual Suspects
Chapter 23. M. God
Chapter 24. Walkabout
Chapter 25. Why
Chapter 26. First Blood
Chapter 27. More Machines?
Chapter 28. POV
Chapter 29. ROI
Chapter 30. Last Blood
Chapter 31. Don’t Want to Talk About It
Chapter 32. Round Table
Chapter 33. A Change of Mind
Chapter 34. Threes
Chapter 35. Knight Moves
Chapter 36. Little Combinations
Chapter 37. Can We Talk?
Chapter 38. Pas de Deux
Chapter 39. The Jig Is Up
Chapter 40. Good, Bad, Ugly                     Chapter 41. Function Goes On