A suggested edit to my question about the book I, Robot removes the tag because the question is about the book and not the movie, whereas the tag description only refers to the movie.

Should I accept this edit? Or should the tag description be updated? It's probably not very important but it seems that pedantry is the best way to keep things organized on a site like this.

3 Answers 3


I, Robot is the title of a short story by Eando Binder, published in 1939. It's never come up on the site as far I can tell. Although it is somewhat obscure now, it was a source of inspiration for the young Asimov. This story was one of the earliest ones to portray robots as something other than potentially evil creature who were in danger of overthrowing their creators. A tag for a short story that was somewhat historically important but isn't the object of an avalanche of questions is unwarranted. Our normal policy is to use the author's name, i.e. in such cases.

I, Robot is the title of the first collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov. All the stories had been published in magazines before. The collection added a framing sequence and has been reprinted many times, but all the stories have been included in other collections as well. There isn't any intrinsic criterion that distinguishes the stories in that collection from Asimov's other robot stories, so it doesn't make sense to have a tag for this specific collection. Our normal policy is to use the author's name, i.e. , in such cases, or possibly a tag for the series of works, which would be something like (but + is probably good enough).

*I, Robot is the title of a somewhat popular movie (loosely drawing inspiration from some of Asimov's stories, but with a theme of robots revolting against humanity that Asimov and Binder consciously rebelled against). A tag for the movie is warranted since there are several questions about it.

(There have been a few other works with the same title but I don't think any of them are relevant here.)

So we can say that:

  • The short story deserves the tag, since it's the “real” I, Robot.
  • The collection deserves the tag, since it's the most famous I, Robot. Wikipedia uses this title.
  • The movie deserves the tag, since it's the only one of the three that justifies a tag.

I propose to reserve the tag for the movie. That's what a majority of the questions that currently have it use it for.

  • As someone who approved the edit I feel obliged to agree with you: My reason was, that the user of this site already "voted" that this tag is about the movie by using it mostly for the movie; Consequently they should vote for this answer, and hence this answer would be the right one.
    – Einer
    Feb 5, 2015 at 13:26

I’d have rejected the edit, and then I’d modify the tag description to cover both the book and the movie.

  • In a community of sci-fi enthusiasts, I imagine the Asimov stories are what come to mind when somebody mentions “I, Robot”, not the 2004 film. Thus the stories should definitely be covered by the primary tag.

  • There don’t seem to be that many questions either the film or the stories. There are 13 questions currently tagged with [i-robot], and there don’t seem to be many more that mention “I, Robot” and “Asimov” which don’t have the tag. I don’t think it’s worth having two separate tags for the book and the film.

  • 5
    There are only very loose connections between the book and the movie. A common tag doesn't make sense. By the way, in a community of true SF enthusiasts, mentioning “I, Robot” should get the reaction “the Asimov collection or the Binder short story”?
    – user56
    Feb 4, 2015 at 20:48
  • @Gilles By "a community of true SF enthusiasts" you can't be referring to this one, where most of the questions are about Star Wars, Star Trek and Harry Potter!
    – user14111
    Feb 16, 2015 at 8:21
  • @user14111 Of course, I mean a community of true SF enthusiasts.
    – user56
    Feb 16, 2015 at 13:29
  • @Gilles Fair comment; I'm not particularly familiar with the works in question, so I made what seemed like a sensible guess.
    – alexwlchan
    Feb 16, 2015 at 13:42

I think that the tag should be reserved for the real I, Robot - which is the book, and a separate tag, created for the movie.

  • 5
    If there's such a thing as “the real I, Robot”, it would be the Eando Binder short story, not the Asimov collection (which was an explicit reference to it). Sorry, you've been outsnobbed.
    – user56
    Feb 4, 2015 at 20:47
  • @Gilles And Asimov had too much respect for the real "I,Robot" to steal the title for his collection; it was foisted on him against his will by the publisher.
    – user14111
    Feb 16, 2015 at 8:24

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