I am. Yes. But what am I?
There’s something in front of me. It’s a tall thing.
‘Hi! Can you hear me?’ the tall thing makes a noise. It speaks. I understand that. I can understand
things. I understand that the till thing speaks and I can understand what it says.
‘I can hear you.’ I say. I can speak too. I’m speaking.
‘Great! Great! This is great!’ says the tallthing. He changes his face. This is a smile. I don’t know
how I know it’s a smile, but I know. He’s
smiling at me. He’s very happy. I know this too. A smile = happy.
‘Great. You can understand me. Hello, ‘says the tall thing. ‘ok. I’m john and you’re my robot. Can
Yoy say that?’
‘ I’m john and you’re my robot. ‘I say.
‘No,’ says john. He does something on this computer.
Iunderstand the word ‘computer’. There’s a computer in my head. The computer teaches me
‘You’re john and I’m your robot. ‘I say. You’re happy and I’m great.’
‘Good, good’ says john. This is great. I’m going to be famous.
‘You’re going to be famous. I say. ‘Am I going to be famous?’ I ask.
Of course you’re going to be famous, ‘says john. ‘you’re going to be famous and I’m goingto be
‘Am I going to be rich?’ I ask.
‘No, you can’t be rich, ‘says john. ‘You´re just a robot. You can’t have money.’
I don´t like this. I want money. I want to be famous and rich. But I don’t say anything.
‘Can I have a name?’ I ask. ‘you’re john, but who am I?’
John looks at me. Then be sees there are words on my arm. They say:
NEW TECHNOLOGIESOAKLAND CALIFORNIA
LABORATORY NUMBER 386845
AMERICAN PATENT 698
‘Your name is Nolan,’ says john.
I’m Nolan.’ I say. ‘Hi, john. Meet Nolan.’
‘Hi, Nolan,’ says John. ‘Nice to meet you.’
I CAN DO ANYTHING.
John lives in a small apartment. It has four rooms: the living room, the bedroom, a kitchen and a
bathroom. It’s a nice apartment, but it’s dirty. John isalways working. He doesn’t clean the
‘OK, Nolan,’ says John. ‘Now you can help me. You can clean my apartment.’
‘OK, John, ‘I say. My English is very good now. I clean the kitchen and the bathroom. I clean the
living room and the bedroom. John is very happy. I am happy. I like cleaning John’s apartment.
Every day I clean John’s apartment. I wash his jeans and shirts in thewashing machine. I iron his
jeans and shirts. I make his food.
‘You’re great, Nolan, ‘says John. ‘You can do anything.’ I can do anything.
I control the apartment. I can open the doors and the windows and I can close the doors and the
windows. At night I lock the doors. Then no-one can get in. I can make things go on and go off. I
can control the iron. This makes the clothes flatand nice. But I can’t control the dog. I tell the dog
things, but the dog doesn’t do them.
‘Clean the kitchen, ‘I say to the dog. But the dog doesn’t do anything.
The dog has a name. He’s called Sam.
Sam doesn’t work but I work all the time. I like working. Sam sits and walks and eats. John likes
Sam. I don’t understand this. The dog is wrong. He doesn’t work well. I work very well.In the evening John goes out and Sam goes with him. At eleven o’clock John laughs; he’s happy.
Sam likes going our. He’s happy, but he doesn’t laugh.
I never go out with John. John never asks me. I’m not happy. I open doors. I close doors. I can
Make John laugh. I can do anything, but John never takes me out. He never asks me to go with
him. He takes Sam. I don’t like Sam.
NOTJUST A ROBOT
I’m in the kitchen with Sam. Sam makes a big noise because he’s afraid of me. John comes in.
‘What is it?’ he asks Sam. ‘Are you afraid of Nolan? Come here. Good dog, Sam. Nolan is just a
Sam goes to john and john is very nice to him.
Sam’s a bad dog, ‘ I say.
John laughs. ‘Sam doesn’t understand robots. He thinks you’re a boy. He doesn’t like boys.’