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VIKI appears in the film I, Robot.

(warning, spoilers in the clip)

Does this character appear in any original writings from Isaac Asimov or was she purely a creation of the film?

  • The site didn't alow me to write Viki or Asimov. – Feuergeist May 27 '16 at 14:24
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    Could you rewrite your question in English? Unfortunately, this site only allows English questions. – Adamant May 27 '16 at 14:31
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    If I'm reading the question right, you're asking if the person from the movie I, Robot who took control of all the robots appears in the original story by Asimov. I assume you're talking about the Will Smith movie from 2004. That movie is not directly based on the short story collection, it pretty much just stole the name and had robots, so I doubt they share any characters. – Torisuda May 27 '16 at 14:39
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    @Torisuda I translated the question (I think). I think your comment is worth an answer. Not sure that OP will understand an english answer though. – Kalissar May 27 '16 at 14:47
  • I think we are savvy enough to make an answer the OP could understand. I just don't know the answer. (I've maybe read too little Asimov. I like his ideas, but his prose is less engaging than I'd prefer, I guess. It's something I plan to tackle.) – Meat Trademark May 27 '16 at 15:52
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The 2004 Will Smith I, Robot movie isn't directly based on Isaac Asimov's short story collection. From Wikipedia:

The film I, Robot, starring Will Smith, was released by Twentieth Century Fox on July 16, 2004 in the United States. Its plot incorporates elements of "Little Lost Robot,"[7] some of Asimov's character names and the Three Laws. However, the plot of the movie is mostly original work adapted from a screenplay Hardwired by Jeff Vintar completely unlinked to Asimov's stories[7] and has been compared to Asimov's "The Caves of Steel", which revolves around the murder of a roboticist (although the rest of the film's plot are not based on that novel or other works by Asimov).

Screenwriter Jeff Vintar states in an interview:

When we started this process, the feeling was of course that it would be very difficult to get a movie out of the I, Robot stories. They’re a very loose collection of stories. The idea was that Hardwired would make a good introduction to the Asimov world. So all we really did was change the name of my female lead. She was named Flynn. We called her Susan Calvin [after] the female lead in the Isaac Asimov stories. Of course in those stories, she’s an 80-year-old woman. We of course are keeping her the 30-year-old woman, very close to the character she was in the original spec. So we thought of this story all the time as a prequel. Alex has called it a prequel quite a number of times. We took the female lead and called her Susan Calvin. This required that we rewrite her much more intellectually. Susan Calvin is a robo-psychologist, the first one. The female lead in my original script was a member of security, actually. So she was much tougher. Consequently, the detective became less intellectual and more of a traditional cop. We of course changed the name of the company to U.S. Robotics and inserted the three laws of robotics. That is really it.

There is a scene in the film where the robot suspect does go off and attempt to hide from the police. Of course, like a robot would hide, he goes to the robot plant and hides among thousands of robots that are identical. It’s a great way for a robot to hide. This was inspired by a story in Asimov’s collection called Little Lost Robot, where a man tells a robot to go get lost, but he says it in such a way that the robot takes it literally and hides among the other robots, so Susan Calvin has to find a way to figure out which is the lost robot.

The plot of the movie is completely original. Although it took some character names and elements from the stories, those were bolted on to Vintar's screenplay much later:

Then Fox threw another surprise at us. They had finally acquired the rights to Isaac Asmiov’s short story collection I Robot. So the problem was presented to us; can we make this film the first movie in a series of I Robot films. Can we make Hardwired [into] I Robot. So that was the next step for us.

Someone who's read the stories can tell you if there was an analogous character, but my feeling is probably not. The movie bore almost no resemblance either to Jeff Vintar's original screenplay or to the Isaac Asimov stories; it was basically just a way for Fox to use this license they'd acquired and try to turn it into a franchise of big-budget action movies.

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    I don't recall reading about a VIKI character in the collection. The only thing I could add to the above is that the basic premise of the "bad" robots' motivation seems to have a link to the last story in the book, "The Evitable Conflict", in which the robot community decide that the only way to prevent harm to humans is to take complete control over human destiny. – Cascabel May 27 '16 at 16:14
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    I know that movie wasn't really based on the books, but I saw a parallel between VIKI and the brains that were running the planet in the final story of 'I, Robot'. She does kind of reference it by following the three laws to their logical conclusion of protecting mankind. In the story the brains running the planet were causing different areas to either a)produce more or b)produce less which was causing some difficulties. – CBredlow May 27 '16 at 16:24
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Having read Asimov extensively, I can positively state that VIKI is not a character from one of Isaac's stories. Actually, the whole basis of VIKI's behavior is more closely tied to the core motivation of the robots from The Humanoids by Jack Williamson.

  • Do you have a source for the second sentence? – Riker Jan 23 '17 at 18:57

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