In I, Robot, there are several ways to communicate, but sometimes language leads to miscommunication. For instance, Robbie can't talk and has to communicate through body language (making a "C" in the air when he wants to hear "Cinderella"). Similarly, to communicate that he's a man, Byerley also uses body language (that is, he hits a guy). And when people do talk, we find that speech can sometimes be ambiguous or misinterpreted. So, for instance, Nestor-10 hides because he was told to get lost, which leads to a big problem for Calvin. Language can be useful to communicate, but sometimes doesn't work perfectly.
Questions About Language and Communication
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I, Robot traces the evolution of robots from Robbie to the Machines. One way that robots grow is that they become better and more human in their speech, from non-speaking Robbie to cold-voiced Cutie to warm-voiced Dave, and on.
Robots are sensitive to speech, which explains why Susan Calvin is often so cold and frigid—to avoid giving them orders that she doesn't mean to give.