I have a deep affection for robots. All sizes and shapes. I long for the day when artificial intelligence that is indistinguishable from a human’s comes into existence. Imagine the conversations with a sentient robot, what insights we will gain about ourselves from having a third party to contemplate them with.

I also fear the hatred that other humans would pile onto our creations…so many will see them as lesser than, as soulless slaves. And therein lies danger. This poem is inspired by Issac Asimov’s “Caves of Steel.”


There is a sound in the

echoing chambers

of the city,

like that of small hammers

beating on crystal vases,

or roughly handled ceramic

mugs thrown against walls.

Every day this thunder radiates

into every level and every

position of humanity, from

the bathrooms where eyes are

not allowed, to the grime

and heat of the air


Above us is fear of the unknown,

below us is mother and father,

brown dirt and bedrock.

Abounding are machines that

flash copper smiles and whose

innocent red photocells

look out at you with nothing

registering but the First Law.

It goes on and on like this, day

in and out. Supple skin on a carbon

frame does not make a man.

Or flowing positrons in

iridium give you a soul.

Hollowed ground, caves of steel

reprocessing for our meal;

the machines to us enslaved,

like ticking clockwork, graved.


In the haven of the staid,

now created, skinned and flayed;

stands the living, machined-


R. Daneel Olivaw.