“ Crush! Kill! Kill! ” — The particular Robot, Dropped in Space
The objective of a good government is to protect the lives and liberties of its people.
Unfortunately, we have long gone so far in the opposite path from the ideals of a good government that it’s hard to see how this trainwreck can be redeemed.
It gets worse by the day.
For instance, despite an outcry by civil protections groups and concerned citizens alike, in an 8-3 vote on November. 29, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to permit police to arm robots with deadly weapons for use in emergency situations.
This is how the particular slippery slope begins.
According to the San Francisco Police Department’s draft policy, “ Robots will only be used as being a deadly force option whenever risk of loss of living to members of the public or officials is imminent and outweighs any other force option accessible to SFPD. ”
Yet as investigative journalist Sam Biddle points out, this is “ what nearly every safety agency says when it requires the public to trust it with an alarming new power: We’ll only use it in emergencies— but all of us get to decide what’s an urgent situation . ”
A last-minute amendment to the SFPD policy limits the decision-making authority for deploying programs as a deadly force choice to high-ranking officers, and only after using alternative force or even de-escalation tactics, or concluding they would not be able to subdue the suspect through those people alternative means.
In other words, police now have the strength to kill with immunity using remote-controlled robots.
These robots, often acquired by local police departments through federal government grants and military excess programs , signal a tipping point in the last shift from a Mayberry type of community policing to a technologically-driven version of law enforcement dominated by artificial intelligence, security, and militarization.
It’s only a matter of time before these killer robots intended for use as a final resort become as common as SWAT teams .
Frequently justified as vital tools necessary to combat terrorism and handle rare but extremely harmful criminal situations, such as these involving hostages, SWAT teams— which first appeared on the picture in California in the 1960s— have now become intrinsic areas of local law enforcement operations, thanks in large part to substantial federal assistance and the Pentagon’s army surplus recycling program, that allows the transfer of army equipment, weapons and instruction to local police free of charge or at sharp discounts.
Consider this: Within 1980, there were roughly a few, 000 SWAT team-style raids in the U. S. Simply by 2014, that number had developed to more than 80, 000 SWAT team raids per year .
Given the widespread use of these SWAT teams as well as the eagerness with which police firms have embraced them, it’s actual likely those raids amount upwards of 120, 000 right now.
There are few communities without a SWAT team today.
No more reserved exclusively for deadly situations, SWAT teams are now increasingly deployed for relatively routine police matters, which includes SWAT teams being delivered as much as five times per day. In the state of Baltimore alone, ninety two percent of 8200 SWAT missions were used to perform search or arrest warrants .
For example , police in both Baltimore plus Dallas have used SWAT teams to bust up poker games . A Connecticut SWAT team swarmed a bar suspected associated with serving alcohol to underage individuals. In Arizona, a SWAT team had been used to break up an claimed cockfighting ring . A good Atlanta SWAT team raided a music studio , allegedly out of a concern that it might have been involved in illegal music piracy.
A Minnesota SWAT group raided the wrong house in the middle of the night, handcuffed the three young children, held the mother on the floor on gunpoint, shot the family dog, and then “ pushed the handcuffed children in order to sit next to the carcass of their dead pet plus bloody pet for more than an hour ” whilst they searched the home.
A California SWAT team drove an armored Lenco Bearcat straight into Roger Serrato’s yard , surrounded his home along with paramilitary troops wearing face masks, threw a fire-starting flashbang grenade into the house, then when Serrato appeared in a window, unarmed and wearing only his shorts, kept him at bay with weapons. Serrato died of asphyxiation from being trapped in the flame-filled house. Incredibly, the father of four had carried out nothing wrong. The SWAT team had misidentified him as someone involved in the shooting.
These types of incidents are just the tip from the iceberg.
Countrywide, SWAT teams have been used to address an astonishingly unimportant array of nonviolent criminal activity or mere community nuisances: angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling.
If these raids are becoming increasingly common and popular, you can chalk it up to the “ make-work” philosophy, through which police justify the purchase of sophisticated military equipment and weapons and then rationalize their frequent use.
Mind you, SWAT teams came from as specialized units that were supposed to be dedicated to defusing extremely sensitive, dangerous situations (that language is almost identical to the language being used to rationalize adding armed robots to local police agencies). These were never meant to be used for regimen police work such as offering a warrant.
As the role of paramilitary forces has expanded, nevertheless , to include involvement in nondescript police work targeting nonviolent potential foods, the mere presence of SWAT units has in fact injected a level of risk and violence into police-citizen interactions that was not existing as long as these interactions were handled by traditional civilian officers.
Indeed, a study by Princeton University concludes that militarizing police and SWAT groups “ provide no detectable benefits in terms of officer safety or violent crime reduction . ” The research, the first systematic analysis within the use and consequences associated with militarized force, reveals that “ police militarization neither reduces rates of violent crime nor modifications the number of officers assaulted or even killed . ”
In other words, warrior cops aren’t producing us or themselves any safer .
Americans are now eight times very likely to die in a police confrontation than these are to be killed by a terrorist.
The problem, as you reporter rightly concluded, will be “ not that life has gotten that much more dangerous, it’s that authorities have chosen to respond to even innocent situations as if they were in a warzone . ”
Right now add killer robots in to that scenario.
How long before these armed, militarized robots, authorized to make use of lethal force against Americans, become as commonplace because SWAT teams and just because deadly?
Furthermore, how long before mistakes are created, technology gets hacked or even goes haywire, robots are usually deployed based on false or even erroneous information, and innocent individuals get killed within the line of fire?
And who will shoulder the particular blame and the liability designed for rogue killer robots? Given the government’s track record when it comes to sidestepping accountability for official misconduct through the use of qualified defenses, it’s completely feasible that will they’d get a free move here, too.
In the lack of any federal regulations or even guidelines to guard Americans against what could eventually become autonomous robotic SWAT teams equipped with artificial intelligence, surveillance and lethal weaponry, “ we the people” are left defenseless.
We’re gaining surface fast on the kind of autonomous, robotic assassins that Terminator imagined would be deployed by 2029.
If these killer robots follow the same trajectory because militarized weapons , which, having been deployed to local police agencies as part of the Pentagon’s 1033 recycling plan , are turning The united states into a battlefield, it’s just a matter of time before they become the first line of defense in interactions between police and members of the public.
Some within the robotics sector have warned against weaponizing general-purpose robots, which could be used “ to invade municipal rights or to threaten, damage, or intimidate others . ”
Yet it may already be too late for that.
Because Sam Biddle writes for The Intercept , “ As with any high-tech plaything, the enticement to use advanced technology may surpass whatever institutional guardrails the police have in place. ”
You can find thousands of police robots across the nation, and those numbers are growing exponentially. It won’t take much in the way of weaponry and programming to convert these automated programs to killer robots, and it’s coming .
The first time law enforcement used a robot as being a lethal weapon was in 2016, when it was used with an explosive device to kill a sniper who had photo and killed five police officers.
This scenario continues to be repeatedly trotted out by police forces eager to add killer robots to their arsenal of deadly weapons. Yet as Paul Scharre, author of Army Associated with None: Autonomous Weapons As well as the Future Of War , recognizes, presenting a situation in which the only two choices are to use a robot for deadly force or place law enforcement officers at risk creates a false selection that rules out any consideration associated with non-lethal options.
As Biddle concludes :
“ Once a technology is usually feasible and permitted, it tends to linger. Just as drones, mine-proof trucks, and Stingray devices drifted from Center Eastern battlefields to American towns, critics of … police’s claims that deadly robots would only be used in one-in-a-million public events isn’t borne out by history. The recent past is littered with instances of technologies originally intended for warfare mustered instead against, say, constitutionally protected speech, as occurred frequently during the George Floyd protests. ”
This gradual dismantling of cultural, legal plus political resistance to what was considered once unthinkable is what Liz O’Sullivan, a member of the International Panel for Robot Arms Manage, refers to as “ the well-executed playbook to normalize militarization . ”
It’s the boiling frog analogy all over again, and yet discover more at play than simply militarization or suppressing dissent.
There’s a philosophical underpinning to this debate over killer robots that we aren’t afford to overlook, which is the government’s expansion of its power to kill the citizenry.
Although the authorities was established to protect the inalienable rights to life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness of the American people, the Deep State has been working hard to strip us of any claims to life and freedom, while trying to persuade all of us that happiness can be found in vapid pursuits, entertainment spectacles and political circuses.
Having claimed the power to kill through the use of militarized police who shoot first and ask questions later, SWAT team raids, no-knock raids, capital punishment, targeted drone assaults, grisly secret experiments upon prisoners and unsuspecting organizations, weapons of mass destruction, endless wars, etc ., the government has come to view “ we all the people” as collateral damage in its pursuit of absolute power.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The particular War on the American Individuals and its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries , we have been at a dangerous crossroads.
Not only are our lives in danger. Our very humanity is at stake.