Two writers can take credit or blame for the legions of metal men that marched through the movies - Karel Capek, who coined the word robot in his play "R.U.R." in 1920, and Isaac Asimov, who codified the Three Laws of Robotics and a series of stories collected in "I, Robot," and mostly ignored in the Will Smith movie of the same name.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "I, ROBOT")
WILL SMITH: (as Detective Del Spooner) You know what they say, laws are made to be broken.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later in the program, we'll continue our series of conversations and look ahead with NPR's Deborah Amos, who's been covering the war in Syria. But we begin today with a court order obtained by The Guardian's U.S. team, which authorizes the National Security Agency to collect information on billions of phone calls made by U.S. Verizon customers since late April.
A man takes a photograph with his cell phone of names on the walls of "Empty Sky Memorial" at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. The concrete and steel memoria pays tribute to the 746 citizens of New Jersey who lost their lives on Sept. 11.