Killer Robots: They arrive in San Franisco with a license to kill

The latest approved rule on the use of robots for the local police arrives from the San Francisco supervisory court . The defendant robots are a dozen and have been hired by local security for some time now for research operations and in order to defuse dangerous explosives. The concept so far applied to the development of robots has been to use the machine to operate for people in situations that could endanger the operator, and the new "killer robots" will have the license to kill, thus outlining a new future .

killer robots

Killer robots: armed androids

Now these androids can also be armed to lead to the resolution of particularly risky situations. The decision undertaken overseas has aroused amazement and a certain concern already starting from the American compatriots. In fact, some members of the police themselves, together with some civil rights associations, promptly expressed doubt and apprehension.

The provision was approved with eight votes in favor and three against after in September, also in San Francisco, the monitoring of private video surveillance circuits in real time had been handled by machines. According to the new ordinance, in fact, the police will be able to request access to up to 24 hours of video. This system could bring improvements in security, as it would allow deciding if and when to reveal the agents in the field during a particularly risky event.

Killer robots: not a new invention

The news has made a splash now, but the idea has already been iterated in the past. On July 7, 2016, an intern was terminated using a remote robot to stop a dangerous shooting. In fact, on that day, war veteran Micah Xavier Johnson killed five policemen in Boston and the police ended his life via a remotely controlled explosion from a machine .

Today one wonders if this use of machines could be the key with which the police could act in the not too distant future. Of course, the decision to use these means will not be taken lightly and robots will only be used when there is no other way forward . An amendment sanctioned this clarification, together with the obligation that this provision can only be undertaken by the most senior officers.

So can we feel at ease? To date there are many doubts, but according to the supervisor Rafael Mandelman to defeat crime it is necessary to exploit all the possibilities that new technologies offer

A new dystopian program is coming

The new robots that the American police will be able to use are cutting edge and certainly mark a starting point . In fact, according to the San Francisco Chronicles, "some robots currently in the department's arsenal, such as the Remotec F5A, can also climb stairs, lift more than 85 pounds, negotiate curbs, probe for dangerous situations, and self-right themselves when flipped".

The automatons in question are well tested and today are used to help man in various valuable tasks such as explosives search operations, reconnaissance and logistical support .
However the machines have not yet been made capable of killing, the upgrade that will allow them to perform remote detonations will only be implemented if necessary.

Robots will be the security of tomorrow

The rule on autonomous detonation machines is the tip of the iceberg of a technological upgrade program that the San Francisco police have been implementing for some time. The mindset with which this decision was faced is well expressed by Rafael Mandelman who declared: “We have seen terrorism , school shootings, and other similar things, and in the 21st century, I think therefore the time has come to equip ourselves with the right technology , the advance, to deal with threats of this type .

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also offered her insight into all of the latest regulations that have been implemented stating that:

“In my view this is a sensible policy, one that seeks to balance the need to provide our police officers with yet another tool to address significant everyday public safety challenges, and to hold due accountability to those who break the law. law"

Surely the debate does not end here and to date many are skeptical of these resolutions. First of all, the citizen's privacy could suffer some limitations in the future and technology sometimes brings with it some negative sides if it is not possible to "control " it. The dilemma always remains the same that gripped Mary Shelly in her Frankenstein, the only thing left to understand is whether to progress with future upgrades or whether it is better to reflect again on the possible consequences.

Edited by Luisa Bizzotto.

The article Killer robots: they arrive in San Franisco with a license to kill was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .