Phys/CSci 135: Robotics exploration studio
Home Syllabus Assignments Samples

Assignment 2: Reason

Due: 8:10am, Monday, November 2. Value: 60 pts.

Read the short story Reason from I, Robot. Then write an essay answering the questions below. The essay should be approximately 3–4 double-spaced pages, though it may be shorter or longer as long as you answer the questions fully. The essay should fluently integrate answers to the questions into one coherent whole response, and it should be able to stand on its own without reference to the assignment. Please include page numbers for any citations of the source story.

Is the robot QT-1 functioning properly in the events recounted in Reason? One human character argues that QT-1 is working properly; the other character disagrees. Briefly recount the arguments made by each character. Then state which character you believe to be correct, and argue why that character's belief is right and why the other character is wrong. Be sure to back up any claims you make with evidence.

In analyzing whether QT-1 was functioning properly, you will need to have articulated a definition of what it means for a robot to properly function. How does that definition apply in terms of the programs you have been writing in this course? Give at least two specific examples of how that definition applies to robot programs you have completed so far.