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After the
end of world War 2 in
1945, Japan adopted many
scientific and technological  from the US. The robot
became a symbol of this new age. Children’s comics also featured robot’s – two
excellent exampeles are series thet began in the 1950s, Tezuka Osamu’s Astro
Boy, and Yokoyama Mitsuteru’s  Ironman
28. These popular creatures represented two different views of robots. Astro
Boy was made bya scientist to take the place of his son, who had died. This
little hero could think, he had an ego, and he had everyday concerns-in other
words, he had very human qualities.

But Ironman
28 was a huge robotic machine with no will of his own- he moved only at the
instructions of someone manipulating a remote control devise.

People in
the West tend to think that robots are cold and impersonal, like Ironman 28.
The word robot first appeared in 1920, play called R.U.R. by Karel Capek. Capek
coined the term from the Czech word robota, meaning forced labor. This shows
that, unlike the Japanese, he saw robots as objects with only one reason for
being-work.

In 1950,
Isaac Asimov listed three “Laws of Robotics” In his novel, I Robot.

The three
laws were: (1) a robot must not harm a human being; (2) a robot must obey every
order given by human beings, unless doing so would conflict with Law 1; and (3)
a robot must protect its own existence, unless doing so would conflict with Law
1 or 2. These Laws view robots as machines that must obey humans. And the
outlook is pessimistic, in the sense that it is assumed that robots could harm
people.

 Japanese people have a different view. Robots
can be friends with super-human intelligence and real feelings, like Astro Boy.
When robots began appearing on the production line in Japan, they
were given names. We sometimes hear reports of people trying to interact with
robots, imagining they have human qualities. The entertainment potential of
robots has been high-lighten recently by stories of people adopting them as
pets. These virtual pets probably give you a good idea of the way Japanese
people think about robots.

 

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Здравствуйте!
1) What influenced Japanese scientific and technological adoption from the US?
2) When did featured robots begin?
3) What was the reason for making Astro Boy?
4) What is the description of the Astro Boy?
5) What is the difference between Astro Boy and Iron Man?
6) When did the first word robot appear?
7) How did Karel Capek see the options of robots? 
8) Who was the writer of «Laws of Robotics»?
9) What were those laws talking about?
10) Was Asimov's outlook positive?
11) What is Japanese point of view?

05.09.12
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Елена Васильевна

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Елена

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Natalia Yurievna

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25.12.12
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