We have terrible news if you are not all that excited about rising automation and robot power. Your anxieties about robots taking your work may soon be overshadowed by the sci-fi possibility that they could soon be allowed to take your lives. Authorities in San Francisco have suggested a rule that would permit its military-style robots to employ lethal force when necessary and in other risky circumstances. Typically, robots are utilised for bomb disposal and inspection. However, according to a US media report, the San Francisco Police Department intends to employ them for “criminal apprehensions, critical occurrences, exigent circumstances, executing a warrant, or during suspicious device inspections.”
Local lawmakers had before tried to incorporate instructions that robots wouldn’t be used to kill people. The original guidance said that robots “must not be utilised as a method of force against any person.” But in a later draught, the SFPD eliminated that language and substituted instruction that permits the employment of killer robots. This might be the city’s official crossing of the Rubicon: Robotic use of force has never been sanctioned in San Francisco, nor has it ever been forbidden. The rules committee last week unanimously approved a draught of this policy, which will be presented to the full board on November 29.
By Bidisha Mohanty
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