Eric Adams is a former cop and self-proclaimed “geek” who loves police robots. He held a press conference today in Times Square to let the city know how much he loves the new robots, which are designed to increase surveillance in New York City. The mayor presided over the press conference alongside police officials, who say that the new robots will help deter crime and make sure that citizens are safe.
Many people are afraid of new technology because they do not understand it. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is not afraid of new technology, he understands it and uses it to his advantage. He is more transparent than his predecessors and allows the public access to his private emails and texts.
The Digidog was met with public backlash in 2021, as many saw it as an invasion of privacy. It was unveiled by the Boston Dynamics company, which is known for its advanced robotics technology. The pet name given to the system by police wasDigidog, and it was met with fierce resistance from the public. People had figured out the catchphrases and language used by police to make the Digidog seem evil and threatening.
Adams claims that the decision to pull the pilot was not based on political correctness or fear of profiling, but on concerns for the city’s safety. Critics of the program accuse Adams of being unwilling to risk profiling in order to capitalize on public sentiment; however, Adams insists that he is only looking out for the best interests of New York City.
As law enforcement agencies continue to face increased scrutiny, the addition of new technologies to their arsenals is necessary in order to keep citizens safe. K5, Knightscope’s egg-shaped robot, is a cutting edge technology that can be used for law enforcement purposes. StarChase’s GPS system can be used to track vehicles remotely and offers invaluable assistance in investigations.
While these raises may be appreciated by the city’s police force, some questions remain surrounding the Mayor’s overall spending priorities. Earlier this year, Adams announced massive cuts to the New York Public Library system amounting to $36.2 million – a move which has been met with widespread criticism. From ROBOTS TO RAISES: WASHINGTON MAYORS APPROACH taxpayers with new attitude 2018 may have started on a low note for political leaders in Washington D.C., but that hasn’t stopped them from raising taxes and asking for more money from constituents…
One possible explanation for the discrepancy between the city’s ranking and overall crime rate may be due to the way that data is collected. The study used FBI population-based statistics to compile its data, which may account for some of the difference. Additionally, there are reports that law enforcement officers in New York City are more proactive in addressing crimes than officers in other cities.
At the time, San Francisco Police Department spokesman Sgt. Monica Macias said the clause was put in place after an officer fatally shot a 73-year-old woman holding a plastic knife outside her home in 2016. But community groups and civil rights activists said it gave Santa Clara County law enforcement too much unchecked power to kill people with robots. The policy was rescinded less than two weeks later amid protests and threats of lawsuits.
The most famous police department to use robots for law enforcement is the NYPD in New York City. The SFPD has been slowly rolling out robots over the past few years, but none of them have been designed to kill. However, in 2016, Dallas became the first U.S. police department to kill a suspect with a robot, by planting an explosive to a bomb detecting system.
Robots have the potential to do great things for society, but we cannot allow them to be used as weapons. This is why the six leading robotic companies, including Boston Dynamics, have signed a pledge to not allow this to happen. They are committed to advancing robotics responsibly and ensuring that they are used for beneficial reasons rather than in warfare.
A major concern with weaponizing autonomous or remotely operated robots is that they could be used to damage or harm innocent people. If these machines are available to the public and can navigate to previously inaccessible locations, it’s likely that individuals will misuse them for their own gain. Additionally, as these machines become more common and capable, rogue actors may develop ways to use them for nefarious purposes. It is important to ensure that these devices are used responsively and beneficially in order to avoid potential consequences like this.
The use of robotic policing systems is certainly raising some eyebrows in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio has cited pushback to fingerprinting, post-9/11 policing measures and the CompStat as reasons for the rollout of these new systems, but Adams insists that they are just the beginning. As technology advances and more robotic systems are released into the city’s streets, it will be interesting to see how public opinion evolves on their use.
Adams started by saying that Digidog is no longer with the pound and is now a free dog. He went on to discuss how Digigold can help people find and adopt dogs in need. Adams’ speech was full of information and made it clear that he cares about the welfare of animals.