Not over a decade ago, the general public was obsessed with the dystopian future. There were automated humans, robots with human intelligence, flying cars, underwater houses and what not. All of this seemed a part of our ‘future’. And media played it to the t, giving us Terminator, Robocop, and much more.
Its 2017 and it seems like we are heading towards that vision as robots have started popping into our everyday lives. But with the change in our surroundings, much things need to be put into consideration, whether Robots host artificial human intelligence and questions of morality being at the top.
A robot security guard at DC Mall is what brought the age old debate into focus again as it decided to drive into the mall fountain and drown itself.
Bilal Farooqui tweeted;
“Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself.
We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots.”
Knightscope K5 is a security robot made to detect the presence of potential criminals in its vicinity using facial recognition. Built by a Mountain View robotics startup company after driving inspiration from Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting incident.
The 5 ft. 136 Kgs K5 became center of attention when a 41 years old man pushed the robot over while it was patrolling the parking lot. Then the alleged report of the K5 rolling over a toddler surfaced and the company apologized profusely for the damage, dubbing it as a “freakish accident”.
Even though K5 has suicidal tendencies and has a tendency to harm others, it has proven to be economical and useful, especially for patrolling public places like parking lots and malls. Uber at also employs the K5 for some of its parking lots.
The rental prices for K5 begin for as low as 7$ per hour, way less than what is federal minimum wage and thus the robot is way cheaper than what it would take to hire an actual person to patrol. There is also safety of human life casualty and theft.
The suicide incident, however, has caused quite a lot of fuss in the world, let’s wait and see how the company does damage control for its reputation and K5’s credibility.
Another person, Greg Pinelo tweeted an image of the Drowned robot with the caption:
“It’s a fun day here at @gmmb. The super high-tech security robot at our office complex has had a mishap.” .
Jeremie Scott, a National Security fellow at Electronic Privacy Information Cell (EPIC) had to say;
“Automated surveillance, facial recognition and license plate recognition in public makes us all suspects. The K5 could become like a cuter, less aggressive Terminator that kills privacy instead of people.”