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Wed Mar 3, 2021, 05:35 AM

Dystopian 'Digidog'- Robo-Dog Now Patrols New York City, The Last Thing We Need

A dystopian robo-dog now patrols NY City. That's the last thing we need.' Akin Olla, The Guardian, March 2, 2021. Drone warfare abroad is bad enough. Let’s not apply the same kinds of technologies to domestic policing. - Ed.

The New York police department has acquired a robotic police dog, known as Digidog, and has deployed it on the streets of Brooklyn, Queens and, most recently, the Bronx. At a time that activists in New York, and beyond, are calling for the defunding of police departments – for the sake of funding more vital services that address the root causes of crime and poverty – the NYPD’s decision to pour money into a robot dog seems tone-deaf if not an outright provocation.

As Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, put it on Twitter: “Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead. Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with underresourced schools.” Law enforcement in the United States is already biased and grounded in a history of systemic racism. Many police departments in the US evolved from slave-catching units or union-busting militias, and their use today to disproportionately capture and imprison Black people drips of those origins.

And it isn’t just the institutions themselves that perpetuate racism; individual police officers are also biased and more likely to view Black people as threats. Even Black police officers share these biases and often replicate the harm of their white counterparts.. Any new technological development will only give police departments new tools to further surveil, and potentially to arrest or kill, Black and Muslim people. While Boston Dynamics, the creators of the robot dog, have insisted that Digidog will never be used as a weapon, it is highly unlikely that that will remain true. MSCHF, a political art collective, has already shown how easy it is to weaponize the dog.

In February they mounted a paintball gun on its back and used it to fire upon a series of art pieces in a gallery. The future of weaponized robot policing has already been paved by the Dallas police department. In 2016, the DPD used a robot armed with a bomb to kill Micah Johnson, an army reservist who served in Afghanistan, after he killed five police officers in what he said was retaliation for the deaths of Black people at the hands of law enforcement...

More, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/02/nypd-police-robodog-patrols

https://news.yahoo.com/digidog-robotic-dog-used-police-153453166.html

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Reply Dystopian 'Digidog'- Robo-Dog Now Patrols New York City, The Last Thing We Need (Original post)
appalachiablue Mar 3 OP
Mister Ed Mar 3 #1
appalachiablue Mar 3 #4
chia Mar 3 #15
soothsayer Mar 3 #16
Aristus Mar 3 #28
chia Mar 3 #33
movingviolation Mar 3 #37
multigraincracker Mar 3 #2
appalachiablue Mar 3 #5
mezame Mar 3 #7
mezame Mar 3 #8
jaxexpat Mar 3 #14
GoneOffShore Mar 3 #3
appalachiablue Mar 3 #6
Loki Liesmith Mar 3 #13
NurseJackie Mar 3 #9
TigressDem Mar 3 #10
eShirl Mar 3 #11
NEOBuckeye Mar 3 #19
Loki Liesmith Mar 3 #12
Woodwizard Mar 3 #17
Duppers Mar 3 #24
George II Mar 3 #18
OldBaldy1701E Mar 3 #20
George II Mar 3 #21
OldBaldy1701E Mar 3 #23
chia Mar 3 #22
George II Mar 3 #25
hatrack Mar 3 #26
George II Mar 3 #27
hatrack Mar 3 #29
George II Mar 3 #30
janterry Mar 3 #31
George II Mar 3 #32
chia Mar 3 #34
George II Mar 3 #36
PETRUS Mar 3 #35
Lord Ludd Mar 3 #38
LessAspin Mar 3 #39
White Fox Mar 4 #40

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 06:34 AM

1. It's the Mechanical Hound from Ray Bradbury's sci-fi novel

"Farenheit 451".

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Response to Mister Ed (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:03 AM

4. Amen; updated German Shepherd police dog, hounds.



Leonardo da Vinci's robot lion for the King of France, 1515.

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Response to Mister Ed (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:00 AM

15. And it's the robot dog hunting humans in Black Mirror's episode called Metalhead:

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Response to chia (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:06 AM

16. Yep that's the one

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Response to chia (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 11:56 AM

28. That was, without a doubt, the most frightening, disconcerting, and depressing episode of

"Black Mirror". And that's saying something.

I was unable to binge-watch "Black Mirror". After each soul-crushing episode, I needed a day or two to recover.

And 'Metalhead' just about put me off the series for good...

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Response to Aristus (Reply #28)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 03:12 PM

33. Same here. It's the one that's stuck with me all this time, for the sheer probability it foretells.

I think it's the near future too, not the far future.

Anyway, I share your psychic discomfort. :/

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Response to Mister Ed (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 03:45 PM

37. exact thought here.

How long before it has it's own "cops" like tv show?

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 06:52 AM

2. Can we base funding on quality of service

to the community? The better they SERVE the more money they earn. As complaints go up, funding should go down. This might encourage departments to hire more people from the community it SERVES and spend more on training.

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Response to multigraincracker (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:04 AM

5. That sounds good, smart

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Response to multigraincracker (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:19 AM

7. Probably the most sensible idea I've heard yet...

...we really should stop saying defund the police, but absolutely we should not be spending tax dollars funding yet another militarized option for police departments. Oh sure, it's only 'art', but you can be certain whomever designed the DigiDog has those contingencies already mapped out. It's only a matter of time before these abominations are at the sides of officers responding to protest demonstrations.

This 'profit sharing' idea, based on Merit and Service, could really have some traction. I'd rather incentivize good behavior instead of more toys for the police. Robots for life-critical situations (hostages, etc.) are one thing, and can be useful. But DigiDogs have no place policing streets. At that point, they do become ground drones, whether they're armed or not.

As I said in another related post, if I saw one of these things in my neighborhood, I'd take a sledgehammer to it consequences be damned. I'm white and could probably get away with it. But in non-white neighborhoods, police officers who are human beings demonstrate time and again their militarized 'training' with their over-abundant use of lethal force as a first response. I don't understand why a DigiDog (again, armed or not) would perform any better.

Now if they could make these dogs actually look like dogs (how 'bout a Border Collie model?), then they might have something.

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Response to mezame (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:22 AM

8. R2D2 Would Be Even Better

put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

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Response to mezame (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:58 AM

14. Collie? OK. But never a Min-Pin. Min-Pins know no law.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:02 AM

3. Remember when almost everyone here on DU was waxing ecstatic over those fucking dancing robots?

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:05 AM

6. I'm grateful, somehow I missed that but EVs have

been hot for a while.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:47 AM

13. I'm waxing ecstatic over this robot

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:24 AM

9. Cool!

They've come a long way from this!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:38 AM

10. The ONLY positive I can see is if the ROBO DOG HAS to RECORD ALL ACTIONS....

Could actually be used like the cop cameras to verify which actions were legal and which were not.


AND IF they stick to PAINT BALL, could mark someone actually fleeing from a crime, which would prevent the nearest black person in the vicinity of a crime as being guilty. UNLESS the program is to FIND the nearest black person in the vicinity of a crime and splat them with paint.


SIGH.


Tech is only as good as the idiots driving it.



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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:40 AM

11. How long before they arm them

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Response to eShirl (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 09:29 AM

19. They likely already have

This is America. It’s what we do.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 07:47 AM

12. Lots of Luddism in this article

This is cool.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 08:40 AM

17. For one it is a robot not a dog.

It is as bad or good as the people operating it. Going into hazardous areas like burning buildings or chemical spills many scenarios that responders get injured or die from are jobs it will be suited for.

I worry much more about the existing armed to the teeth mentally damaged officers currently in operation.

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Response to Woodwizard (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 11:14 AM

24. Indeed!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 09:21 AM

18. They NYPD had has "robot dogs" (i.e. robots) for DECADES, this is nothing new. Back in the 1970s....

....when I was between career jobs, I worked in the Data Center (now called IT) for a large bank on Wall Street. There was a suspicious package left in the lobby of the building next to where I worked. The police sent in a robot with a mechanical arm and camera to examine it, pick it up, and carry it to the bomb squad truck.

That was more than FORTY years ago, and the Financial District of Manhattan is FAR from a "low-income community of color".

This "robot dog" is just a higher tech version of what has been used by the NYPD for decades to protect lives - lives of ALL people.

Aren't there more important things for our legislators to worry about than creating undue controversy, hysteria, and might I say, exaggeration?

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Response to George II (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:22 AM

20. So

Did you guys send your robots down streets of neighborhoods that were not middle-class and/or predominately white all day and night? I think that is one of the main differences between your 70s robot and these somewhat autonomous, smaller ED209s prowling the streets. Yes, there are more important things to be concerned about, but isn't it also true that there are more important things for government to be doing that spending money on cute toys and releasing them into the specific parts of the city that have less than majority 'white' populations? I mean... maybe not...

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Response to OldBaldy1701E (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:29 AM

21. The NYPD isn't sending robots "down the streets of neighborhoods" even today. They are NOT....

....being used to "patrol" and are not "prowling the streets" and they're not "released into specific parts of the city".

They've only been used in three isolated incidents to investigate dangerous situations instead of sending humans into the middle of those situations. Would you prefer a police officer be put in a dangerous situation instead?

This whole issue is a gross exaggeration.

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Response to George II (Reply #21)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 11:05 AM

23. It always is

a 'gross exaggeration' until it isn't. I also wonder just how many horrifying things started with the words 'only' and/or 'just'. (Am I being paranoid? Sure, but that mindset did not just randomly pop into my head one day out of the blue... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States - WARNING-not family friendly!).

As to your question, I would say that if we spent more money and time on education and cultural options other than 'play the greed game or die', those officers would not have anywhere near as many 'dangerous situations' to be in. But until I see some serious advancement in A.I., I am not keen on this.

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Response to George II (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 10:38 AM

22. Not the same as the old bomb disposal robots. This new generation of robots has dog characteristics,

and can move much faster and more nimbly than a bomb disposal robot, and in these ways they have the capacity to inspire terror in humans who would feel like they were being hunted by animals. And because dogs have been used throughout history to hunt and attack humans, such terror is not misplaced. Some day, maybe not in our lifetimes, there will be warfare waged by robots, they're already well into development.

This isn't a false dilemma, having to choose "important things for our legislators" vs. no one can talk about the potential harm of robot dogs. Painting it as hysteria and exaggeration isn't necessary, this is simply being proactive about the potential for future harm and injustice.

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Response to chia (Reply #22)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 11:25 AM

25. This robot isn't "patrolling NYC" either. It has been used three times in the last six months, and..

....will only be used in situations where sending a human would be dangerous.

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Response to George II (Reply #25)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 11:30 AM

26. Until they cut the budget for more real estate development tax credits, or a heliport, or whatever

Then it will only be used in situations where sending in a human might cost more money.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #26)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 11:33 AM

27. It's not a financial thing, it's a safety thing.

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Response to George II (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 12:00 PM

29. For now . . ..

30 years ago we flew combat missions in places like Iraq and Bosnia.

Now we have drones run by people in control rooms halfway around the world. That's also a safety thing, to say nothing of the cost savings.

I don't think it's going to take police too long to make the same move, once the technology is fully fledged.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #29)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 02:14 PM

30. So safety today be damned because something "may" happen 30 years from now?

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Response to George II (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 02:32 PM

31. it's the future

we can either work to see it used safely, effectively and fairly.

or - idk. it's coming.

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Response to janterry (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 02:43 PM

32. I has been used safely, effectively, and fairly. The article misrepresents what it is....

...how many there are and how it's been used.

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Response to George II (Reply #32)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 03:14 PM

34. Would you see things differently if a year, five years from now, the robot dogs are weaponized?

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Response to chia (Reply #34)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 03:39 PM

36. I'll wait until that happens. But for now, contrary to the claims in the article.....

It does NOT "patrol NY City"
It is NOT intended to be used solely in "low-income communities of color"
It has NOTHING to do with "slave-catching or union-busting militias" (this is the most ridiculous claim)
It is NOT being used "to capture and imprison Black people"
It is NOT being used "to arrest or kill, Black and Muslim people"

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 03:36 PM

35. This is one of those threads that sorta seems to function like a rorschach test.

Interesting! And thanks for posting, appalachiablue - I always appreciate your contributions to DU.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 09:37 PM

38. We've just seen the future

Start @1:20 (WARNING! GRAPHIC VIOLENCE)

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 01:37 PM

40. Hackers here's your new

 

target

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