Despite every bit of pop culture telling us that robots are going to kill all of us in horrifically violent ways (the most popular way being waging an extremely one-sided thermonuclear war), Dubai went ahead and built itself a robot cop. Supposedly the 5′ 5″ 222 lb robot will use facial recognition software to catch suspects, broadcast live video, and allow people to pay fines, and the current plan for Dubai is to have a quarter of its police force be robotic by 2030. It makes sense that Dubai is the first place to make this change. They’ve already made their preference for tech spending for their police for clear, as they’re the ones tearing around in insane supercars. But from what we know of the Dubai police force, they’re not exactly the friendliest force on the planet and giving them an emotionless robot enforcer might not be a great move. They’ve tortured tourists, regularly abuse migrant workers, and there are already plans to use the robot to bust labor strikes. There might not be anything wrong with a robotic police force, but maybe we should have started that grand experiment in a different city.
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