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"You have to budget the number of fuzzy rules you use to control a system. It turns out, you can state the optimality principle in three words: 'patch the bumps.'"
- Bart Kosko

Restraining Bolt  
  A device that makes sure a robot does what you want (rather than what it wants).  

As robots become more sophisticated, and are given the capacity for choosing goals and working to meet them, you may want a way to make sure a robot does what you want.

Luke's gaze was drawn irresistibly back to the hologram. "I wonder who she is."

He reached again for the Artoo's internal controls, and the robot scurried backward again, squeaking a blue streak. "He says there's a restraining separator bolt that's circuiting out his self motivational components," Threepio translated. "He suggests that if you move the bolt he might be able to repeat the entire message," Threepio finished uncertainly.

Selecting the proper tool, Luke reached down into the exposed circuitry and popped the restraining bolt free.

The first noticeable result of this action was that the portrait disappeared.

From Star Wars, by George Lucas.
Published by Del Rey in 1976
Additional resources -

For an illustrative tale on the subject of computers that do what they want, see the chirpsithra supercomputer, from a great short story by Larry Niven.

Compare to the android safety mechanism from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968) by Philip K. Dick.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Star Wars
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