As New York City experiences a worrying surge in crime, the NYPD has turned to a dystopian solution to fight crime: instead of implementing effective policies to go after criminals and reducing crime the old fashioned way, they would rather waste massive amounts of tax-payer money the modern way.
In an effort to combat the rise in crime and use resources effectively, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has turned towards science fiction in its latest move towards security. Earlier this week, NYPD officials surprised the public when they announced the use of ‘Digidog,’ a dystopian robotic K-9 unit aimed to reduce crime and enhance public safety.
This announcement marks a worrying shift away from human policing and towards intrusive and authoritarian measures that bear a striking resemblance to the kind of security states documented in dystopian novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four.
By introducing the Digidog, the NYPD department claimed that it would “undoubtedly” save the lives of police officers and the public by assessing high-risk situations. However, the use of robots as an alternative to human policing raises concerns about how much power society is willing to give to machines.
The robot dog is said to be able to de-escalate situations such as counterterrorism incidents and hostage negotiations. But is a machine really capable of assessing, let alone de-escalating, complex human situations?
Disclose.tv was able to give us a glimpse into New York’s new future.
It was reported that the city would have to spend $750,000 on two robot dogs.
The introduction of this technology has received fierce opposition from privacy advocates who have called out the dangers of the NYPD using robot dogs. While the department has assured residents that neither the robotic dog nor the K5 Autonomous Security Robot will use facial recognition technology, critics argue that this will mark the first step towards a pervasive policing that invades citizens’ privacy.
Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, says that “wasting public dollars to invade New Yorkers’ privacy is a dangerous police stunt.”
Fox’s statement highlights how robotic police force may pose a threat to freedom and privacy, especially if the already powerful machines are allowed any more advanced artificial intelligence capabilities in the future.
Legal Aid Society officials criticized the new technology announced by city officials, calling it “new dystopian technologies to surveil New Yorkers.”
Despite all that, here is what New York Mayor Adam sternly had to say about the new move.
According to the NYPD, violent crime declined during the first three months of this year, and now the city has the highest violent crime rate in New York City, with 49,124 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
As NYPD introduces its new dystopian policing methods robo-police, New Yorkers need to ask themselves where this will lead. Will the increased use of technology in law enforcement turn America into an airless and intrusive society with robots running amok? The introduction of automated and autonomous policing should not be treated lightly, as it marks a dangerous shift in American society towards an authoritarian state.
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