I come across this sentence in Tobira:


I think it means "Robot must not do harm to human", but can it be understood as "Robot must not make human do harm" ?


According to the dictionary 怪我する means "to get hurt", "to be hurt"

怪我するの英語・英訳 - goo辞書 英和和英

So 怪我させる means "to hurt someone".

So the translation becomes:

Robots must not hurt humans.
  • 6
    Wouldn't "Robots must not let humans get hurt" be a better translation? – Christer Nov 20 '16 at 19:51
  • 2
    @Christer Interesting interpretation. However, since robots are still actively researched & developed, I think it's more appropriate to preventing robot from hurting humans than to protecting humans from external threats unless it's a body guard purposed robot. – josephting Nov 21 '16 at 5:29
  • 3
    @josephting It reminds me of the first law of the three laws of robotics which says: "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm". So saying robots should not let humans get hurt implies both that robots should not hurt humans, but also protect them. Just because we are far away from such robots doesn't mean that's not what they are saying. – Christer Nov 21 '16 at 10:02
  • 1
    Hmm, I agree with josephting, and I feel "robots must not hurt/injure humans" is the better translation exactly because this probably refers to the first half of the first clause of the three laws of robotics. This Japanese sentence in isolation refers to robots directly harming humans, not robots letting someone harm humans. (Yes I know what follows this sentence, but don't be confused by it.) Unless you're clearly talking about protecting someone, 怪我をさせてしまった usually means "I (mistakenly) hurt someone", not "I let someone hurt someone." – naruto Nov 22 '16 at 2:12
  • 2
    It's technically ambiguous, but "to injure someone" is the default meaning of 怪我をさせる. 野生の熊が村民に怪我をさせた definitely means "a wild bear injured a villager". ボディーガードが大統領に怪我をさせた may mean "the bodyguard allowed someone to injure the president" because people know what a bodyguard is. In this context, the author is probably talking not about guardian robots specifically but about humanoid robots in general, so I think "Robots must not hurt humans" is the simple and natural translation. – naruto Nov 22 '16 at 3:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.