The city of San Francisco has approved the use of killer robot cops after much backlash. While the San Francisco Police Department has yet to reveal plans for its robotic weaponry, the aggressive technology is planned for deployment.
Robotic weaponry has been developed for military use over the past decade. This year, the Russian military unveiled a robot dog with an RPG attached to its back, exacerbating concerns for the tech.
San Francisco’s police force wants to have the freedom to attach weaponry to robots. While its killer robot cops may not be deployed anytime soon, the fact that they’re allowed to be deployed in the future is still worrisome.
The SFPD’s bill to allow weaponised robots was passed in an 8-3 vote. This is despite strong opposition on the matter as well as public and media backlash.
San Francisco Board supervisor Connie Chan lightly addressed concerns for the technology’s approval.
“According to state law, we are required to approve the use of these equipments,” they said via Aljazeera. “So here we are, and it’s definitely not an easy discussion.”
For the time being, the San Francisco Police Department isn’t planning to deploy robots with guns attached to them just yet. Instead, the SFPD has plans to give robots explosive devices to “contact, incapacitate, or disorient violent, armed, or dangerous suspect[s]”.
These killer robot cops are said to only be deployed in “extreme circumstances”. For example, any scenario that would deem the use of SWAT forces may instead deploy robotics.
At the time of writing, the SFPD has access to a dozen-or-so robots that can be weaponised. These robots have been in possession by the police force for a number of years, but are currently lacking weapons.
Robotic weaponry has been a controversial subject across the entire world. While the United Nations has attempted to limit the adoption of killer robots, it’s consistently failed to do so.
Unfortunately, it seems that killer robots will continue to be adopted across the world. At this point, there’s no stopping it.