PDA

View Full Version : Moon: Gerty and the Three Laws. (Spoilers)



Darasen
2010-May-03, 04:20 PM
I watched moon last night and thought that it was a well done movie. I was wondering about some of Gerty's motivations. (So glad he wasn't evil) Do you think that Gerty follows Asimov's Laws of Robotics?

It seems that Gerty does his best to protect Sam, the protagonist(s), while also keeping the base functional. Though Gerty seems to know that fate of all the clones.

Come to think of it I do not recall Asimov ever mentioning, in his works I have read, if robots would consider cloned and non-clone humans as the same.

RalofTyr
2010-May-07, 12:21 AM
I really doubt Gerty's operators even consider a clone a human. Gerty's program is to protect Sam so that Sam can continue to make lots of $$$ for the company.

I don't think Gerty has the three laws.

01101001
2010-May-07, 01:12 AM
Buh?

IMDB: Moon (2009) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182345/)


Plot:
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

SeanF
2010-May-07, 02:05 AM
I really doubt Gerty's operators even consider a clone a human. Gerty's program is to protect Sam so that Sam can continue to make lots of $$$ for the company.
But Gerty seemed to be in protection mode of the first clone even after the second clone had been awakened. There was no benefit to the company in that. However...


I don't think Gerty has the three laws.
I agree. Gerty was programmed to protect Sam, and when there were two Sams, he was protecting both of them. But I don't think we can assume that his protection would necessarily extend to other people.

EDIT: 01101001, that's why there's a spoiler warning in the thread title. The fact that Sam is a clone is not apparent until part way through the movie. Although, I was actually surprised at how early in the movie it was revealed.

Darasen
2010-May-07, 03:47 AM
It seemed to me that he did follow the Three Laws. (Of course they are never referenced in the film but the script may have been written with them in mind.) This is especially true if you consider the idea of the Zeroth law in some later works.

We do not know that Sam would or would not help other humans. It is obvious that he did help Sam, maybe more than his creators would have liked. So we know that he never harms Sam (intentionally) and we know that he did not want to wake up a third Sam for fear that Sam #2 (or #6 most likely) would harm him.

He is certainly following the Second Law. Although he has helped Sams 1&2 he wakes the third Sam and continues with the "program".

It does seem that the Sams all die (I guess the cloning tech is not perfected.) and that Gerty allows it. Asimov later had the Zeroth Law: A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. Following this law it seems Gerty first makes sure that the extraction of HE3 continues for the sake of humanity.

These were thoughts watching the film when it was obvious that Gerty was not an antagonist I wondered if the films makers tried too have Gery follow the laws.

01101001
2010-May-07, 12:21 PM
01101001, that's why there's a spoiler warning in the thread title.

I'm lost. I just provided the sort of link the OP should have to give context to something I, and I'm certain others, had no idea even existed.

Never heard of Moon.

Strange
2010-May-07, 12:37 PM
Never heard of Moon.

Worth seeing. Thoughtful SF, not really spoiled by the spoilers here.

SeanF
2010-May-07, 02:53 PM
It seemed to me that he did follow the Three Laws. (Of course they are never referenced in the film but the script may have been written with them in mind.) This is especially true if you consider the idea of the Zeroth law in some later works.
Gerty's behavior that we saw was certainly consistent with the Three Laws, but that doesn't mean anything. Sam's behavior was also consistent with the Three Laws, but that's no reason to assume he was programmed with them.

Consider a hypothetical situation where another human turns up at the base and threatens Sam in some way and Gerty simply kills the assailant outright.

Such an action by Gerty would be inconsistent with the Three Laws, but would not be inconsistent with anything that we actually saw or learned about Gerty in the film. Therefore, we cannot conclude - from what we saw in the film - that Gerty's programming is restricted by the Three Laws.


I'm lost. I just provided the sort of link the OP should have to give context to something I, and I'm certain others, had no idea even existed.
Sorry. I misunderstood the point of your post. :)

I didn't think it was necessary to include a link to a popular work in order to talk about it, though - especially when the whole point of a "spoiler warning" is that people who haven't seen it might want to steer clear of the thread, anyway.

HenrikOlsen
2010-May-07, 05:55 PM
But how about a generally unknown work?
I have to concur with 01101001 that it's fairly unknown.
Oh, and I think that "In case someone else didn't know what they are talking about either, here's a link" might have been a nice explanation to have together with the link.

SeanF
2010-May-07, 06:15 PM
Well, I'm not going to argue the point - it's not that big a deal. :) But I probably wouldn't've thought it necessary to post a link if I had made the OP, either. There's been threads about the movie in this forum before, after all.

stutefish
2010-May-16, 06:02 PM
Also, wasn't Asimov's point with the "three laws" stories that a simple system of formal logic was wholly inadequate to address the subtle nuances of ethics and morality that arise all the time in human experience?

I mean, aren't all the stories about the shortcomings of the three laws, and the (sometimes lethal) consequences of relying on them?

This what happens with HAL, too: He's a robot with a set of behavioral requirements and a system of formal logic for evaluating behavioral choices. But the logic breaks down, and so does HAL.

One of the things I found interesting about Moon was that Gerty fulfills essentially the same role, but the story ended up being in no way about Gerty's potential for a three-laws breakdown. (ETA: Except, perhaps, subtly, in that the whole movie we're waiting to see if the robot will run amok, only to discover at the end that the robot has been quietly, benignly doing its job the entire time.)

Contrast with Sunshine, where any reasonably well-programmed AI would have had many opportunities to identify and prevent breakdowns simply by following the three laws, even with their limitations.

Solfe
2010-May-17, 01:43 AM
I don't think Gerty follows the three laws as he is shown giving a Sam clone access to the disposal chamber and is able to lie. Gerty to me seems to be incorrectly programed, where he can be deceptive as he wants to be. He doesn't make much an attempt to deceive Sam but he does go out of his way to deceive others. It could be Sam AND Gerty are programed to go together. Sam may lack the ambition/drive to wreck the base and Gerty in any fundamental way and so Gerty is also non-hostile to Sam even though Sam is quiet defiant.

I could be off base, in fact reading back over this post, I am not sure Gerty even has to be male.

Solfe

HenrikOlsen
2010-May-17, 03:09 AM
Also, wasn't Asimov's point with the "three laws" stories that a simple system of formal logic was wholly inadequate to address the subtle nuances of ethics and morality that arise all the time in human experience?
I'm sorry, but I think it was much simpler. The three laws set up the rules of the puzzles presented in the stories, most of not all of which are basically puzzle stories.