One of the things that always baffled me from Asimov's "Robot" series, was: if the robot's ultimate goal is to look after mankind's welfare, why don't they take care of the scientific research? Why do they rely on humans for that? After all, they are sentient, can read minds, have far more speed and processing power than any human.

In Asimov's universe, even though the robots know that scientific progress is useful for the preservation of mankind, they always rely on third parties (meatbags) for research, and coming up with new developments.

After finishing "The End of Eternity", I kind of suspect why things are like that for him:

"The greatest good?" asked Noys in a detached tone that seemed to make a mockery of the phrase. "What is that? Your machines tell you. Your Computaplexes. But who adjusts the machines and tells them what to weigh in the balance? The machines do not solve problems with greater insight than men do, only faster. Only faster!"

I can't say I wholly agree with him; I suspect things will change in the future. But, at least today, he's absolutely right. As long as we use computers only as minions to carry out our exquisitely specified desires, we won't have anything better than a fancier/faster/dumber human.