Weaponised robots are here to stay as the technology becomes a major part of American, Chinese and Russian militaries. However, the adoption of aptly-dubbed Killer Robots has been somewhat limited to police.
In San Francisco, cops are attempting to change that. A new bill has requested the right for copbots to use deadly force against criminals, even allowing the death of a person by the hands of a machine.
More than complete destruction of Asimov’s law of robotics, the San Francisco Police Department is requesting deadly force of robotics typically reserved for military action.
The request is set to be voted on by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors next week. Currently, the SFPD has access to a dozen remote-controllable devices that could be turned into killer robots.
In a draft of the policy written by the police department, the SFPD asked for permission to have robots take the life of citizens that are deemed a sufficient threat. These killer robots would be deployed when “risk of loss of life to members of the public or officers is imminent and outweighs any other force option available to SFPD”.
Furthermore, the police department is asking to exclude “hundreds of assault rifles from its inventory of military-style weapons and for not include personnel costs in the price of its weapons.”
The request has already seen significant pushback since its reveal. Via Engadget, San Fran Board supervisor Aaron Peskin fought against the new policy stating: “Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person.”
The rise of killer robots has been worrisome for many, with worldwide bodies such as the United Nations attempting to stop their adoption. However, as America and Russia are unwilling to stop utilising the machines, regulation cannot take place.
In response to this, advocation charities such as Stop Killer Robots have started fighting against the technology. Fighting autonomous weaponry, the group believes that no one’s life should be taken by a machine.