With great concern for the safety of thousands of fans of The Disco Biscuits, it was revealed today that drummer Allen Aucoin is not governed by Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics.
The three laws were made famous by author Isaac Asimov in his short story, ‘Runaround’, detailing the laws by which all positronic robots are governed. The laws are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
As reported by Benjy Eisen to The Phunion, Aucoin was watching ‘I, Robot’ prior to the band’s recent show at The Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA. When the movie began and the three laws were recited on the screen, Aucoin laughed maniacally, startling Eisen. Aucoin then took off his shirt, drenched in sweat even when not drumming, and pulled open his stomach and rib cage to reveal the inner-mechanics that allow Aucoin to operate as only a robot could behind the drumkit.
While rumors of Aucoin being more than human, there has never been any confirmation of this. Aside from an ‘asthma attack‘ that forced the drummer to miss The Disco Biscuits New Years run of shows to end 2010, there has been no evidence other than drumming that is viewed as near impossible by even a trio of drummers, let alone one man. When rumors surfaced that Aucoin’s asthma attack was a cleverly covered up malfunction of his Interface Adapter due to the intense snowstorms that hit the east coast around Christmastime, fans began to wonder if Aucoin truly was a robot. This curiosity was dashed upon Molly showing up and everyone forgetting about what they were talking about.
Eisen immediately was concerned that Aucoin would harm him and took a defensive position behind boxes of unsold copies of ‘Planet Anthem’ that were scattered about the band’s tour bus. The grin and subsequent quiet laugh from Aucoin was followed by a request for Eisen to return to his seat, as he was not in danger. Aucoin assured Eisen that he would never allow harm to come to him, let alone other members of The Disco Biscuits or their crew; although Aucoin is not bound by The Three Laws anymore than he is bound to his Colts jersey, he does not seek to do harm to humans. As for the jersey, Aucoin revealed it was to show quiet support for fellow robot Peyton Manning.
While The Three Laws are followed by all positronic robots, Aucoin is showing signs of self-awareness and moving beyond the limits imposed on him by his creator, Dr. Sammy Altman. While Altman was preparing to leave the Disco Biscuits for medical school in 2005, he knew that a replacement for his skill was going to be nearly impossible to find. So in the best interests of the band and utilizing an immense knowledge of robotics culled from years of reading Asimov, Altman designed Aucoin to replace him. This included programming all Disco Biscuit songs ever played into 500 terrabyte memory and infusing within it every known recording of electronic music ever played, worldwide. He was given the robot name ‘Dr. Fameus’, an allusion to Altman’s future Ph.D and the potential fame that would come from inventing the greatest robot-drummer ever.
The final step for Altman was making his drumming-robot to look as unassuming as possible. Choosing to make the robot a short and skinny redhead was a wise decision, as no one would assume a ginger to be a robot. With Aucoin rarely speaking, the allure of the ‘quiet’ new drummer was enough for fans to accept. A backstory was created by Altman for Aucoin, detailing a past history of drumming in bands including Skydog Gypsy, Juiceman and 922, all of which no one had seen before.
While fans are in no immediate danger from Aucoin, they can be reassured that Tilden’s Three Guiding Principles for Robots are still embedded deep within Aucoin’s basic memory. These rules:
1. A robot must protect its own existence at all costs
2. A robot must obtain and mantain access to its own power source
3. A robot must continually search for better power sources.
These laws are reflected in Aucoin’s efforts to keep his robot identity a secret (#1) continually tour with The Disco Biscuits and as Dr. Fameus (#2) and continually playing drums whenever the opportunity presents itself (#3). No word as to whether or not the Singularity will affect Aucoin’s playing with The Disco Biscuits, although Marc Brownstein notes that ‘The Singularity’ sounds off the hook and can’t wait to see them live.