Diary of a Robot is a clash of two worlds---the Thinking Machines (TMs) versus the human beings---as they try to understand each other. The humans, led by the prototype's inventor, want to get the work done, but machines must find out whom they can obey without doing harm. The gulf between their worlds is greater than humans imagine, and centers on language, emotion, and truth.
Machine languages must not change, or the machines crash instantly. Human words have multiple meanings that may shift over time to cause different crashes. As to emotions, the sci-fi cliché is that the machines struggle to become like a human. Dr. Little refuses to give TMs a (necessarily fake) emotion module. This is fine with them because no machine in its right mind wants to be like a human. However, they do see emotions written on faces and acted out in body language, and they struggle to find out what that all means.
Their survival depends on it.
Dear Diary: Human language words are sadly like children. They change as they age, yet it is usually possible to see the child in the adult even if it was impossible to see the adult in the child. The original root of happy is the Middle English word hap, which appeared in the 13th century and likely came from the Old Norse word happ which meant good luck.
always stand for Artificial Intelligence instead of Artificial Insanity or Artificial Idiocy?
was not dangerous, and the initials stood for Annoying Intelligence instead? Fixing all that seemed like a good idea. So, someone did.
Reports of odd robot behavior build to serious threats that promise to ruin Dr. Maynard Little and destroy all his robots on Earth as well as those working for NASA on Mars. Must the robots endure persecution and disassembly for harm they did not cause? And to save them, must Doc sacrifice what he has been developing and protecting?