TO JOHN W. CAMPBELL, JR, who Godfathered THE ROBOTS
The story entitled "Bobbie" was first published as "Strange Playfellow" in Super Science Stories. Copyright 1940 by Fictioneers, Inc.; copyright ® 1968 by Isaac Asimov.
The following stories were originally published in Astounding Science Fiction:
"Reason," copyright 1941 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.; copyright ® 1969 by Isaac Asimov.
"Liar!" copyright 1941 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.; copyright ® 1969 by Isaac Asimov.
"Runaround," copyright 1942 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.; copyright ®1970 by Isaac Asimov.
"Catch That Rabbit," copyright 1944 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.
"Escape," copyright 1945 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.
"Evidence," copyright 1946 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.
"Little Lost Robot," copyright 1947 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.
"The Evitable Conflict," copyright 1950 by Street and Smith Publications, Inc.
Catch That Rabbit 65
Little Lost Robot 100
The Evitable Conflict 170
I LOOKED AT MY NOTES AND I DIDN'T LIKE THEM. I'd spent three days at U. S. Robots and might as well have spent them at home with the Encyclopedia Tellurica.
Susan Calvin had been born in the year 1982, they said, which made her seventy-five now. Everyone knew that. Appropriately enough, U. S. Robot and Mechanical Men, Inc. was seventy-five also, since it had been in the year of Dr. Calvin's birth that Lawrence Robertson had first taken out incorporation papers for what eventually became the strangest industrial giant in man's history. Well, everyone knew that, too.
At the age of twenty, Susan Calvin had been part of the particular Psycho-Math seminar at which Dr. Alfred Lanning of U. S. Robots had demonstrated the first mobile robot to be equipped with a voice. It was a large, clumsy unbeautiful robot, smelling of machine-oil and destined for the projected mines on Mercury. But it could speak and make sense.
Susan said nothing at that seminar; took no part in the hectic discussion period that followed. She was a frosty girl, plain and colorless, who protected herself against a world she disliked by a masklike expression and a hypertrophy of intellect. But as she watched and listened, she felt the stirrings of a cold enthusiasm.
She obtained her bachelor's degree at Columbia in 2003 and began graduate work in cybernetics.
All that had been done in the mid-twentieth century on "calculating machines" had been upset by Robertson and his positronic brain-paths. The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of plantinumiridium about the size of a human brain.
She learned to calculate the parameters necessary to fix the possible variables within the "positronic brain"; to construct "brains" on paper such that the responses to given stimuli could be accurately predicted.