Dubai, an Emirate within the UAE, is slated to introduce its first robot officer to the region’s police force next week.
Dubai to Introduce First RoboCop
The robot in question was designed by PAL Robotics, a company located in Barcelona, Spain.
It is a specialized REEM robot, which according to the company’s website, is a full-size humanoid service robot. Additionally, these robots weigh-in at 100 kg (220 lbs) and are as tall as a person — about 1.7 meters tall (5.5 ft).
A prototype of the specialized build was demonstrated last year at a Dubai-based electronics show, called GITEX. At the time, the prototype’s functionality seemed very limited and far away from what most would expect out of an average police officer.
At the time it was presented, it allowed people to interact with it through an integrated tablet touchscreen on the robot’s midsection. Through this interface, people can report crimes, submit paperwork, and pay fines for traffic violations.
Furthermore, the Dubai police department wants to eventually expand their use of robot police officers. By 2030 the police department wants 25 percent of their police force to consist of robo-officers.
Brigadier Khalid Nasserl Al Razouqi, general director of Dubai Police’s Smart Services Department added that they also want to create a humanless police station by 2030 as well.
“We are looking to make everything smart in Dubai Police. By 2030, we will have the first smart police station which won’t require human employees.”
Challenges and Benefits of Robot Police
With Dubai attempting to roll out its first ever robotic police officer and preparing for a significantly lessened human presence in its police force, it’s worthwhile considering the implications of such an endeavor and whether or not it’s even feasible.
As it stands, there are limitations preventing the idea from coming to fruition. The most obvious of these limitations are those related to current technological capabilities.
Artificial intelligence limitations, of course, currently prevent robotic officers from being able to sufficiently replace humans when dealing with complex situations that require snap decision making in real time.
While AI has recently made significant progress in a number of ways, it seems doubtful that it would be ready to take on the role of a police officer by the year 2030.
However, technological limitations aside, one important benefit that could come from automating police is limiting or preventing the biased decision-making of humans. Theoretically, this could lead to more impartial outcomes and carry out justice in a more ideal manner.
Furthermore, it could also make the job itself safer for their human counterparts as they could take on the more dangerous jobs, which could lead to a decrease in the loss of life.
What do you think of Dubai trying to automate its police force? Will it cause more bad than good? Let’s hear your thoughts below.
Images via PAL Robotics