Robocops Are Coming To London

All of Elon Musk’s worst fears are slowly becoming reality.

The Telegraph reports that robocop-type policing techniques are set to replace beat cops within a decade as the use of artificial intelligence becomes more widespread in investigating crimes.

Thames Valley Police said AI computers – which mimic humans by making decisions themselves – could be used to answer 999 calls, detect crimes and identify offenders.

But in one chilling detail that will hopefully be resolved within the next decade or so before robocops become a routine presence in London’s streets, the TVP warned of “bias” in the AI software and a concern that AI computers “might be unable to reason with a human”.

We don’t find further clues about the subject of these biases until much later in the story, when the leader of a civil liberties group – which have been predictably alarmed by plans to automate police forces – pointed to a study showing the machine’s algorithms have shown racial biases, according to the Telegraph.

Civil liberties groups were alarmed by the plans. David Green, the director of the Civitas thinktank, warned that the AI computers could unfairly target ethnic minority groups.


He said: “Robocop policing has now arrived in England. This Orwellian reliance on automated decisions has been found to undermine the most basic precepts of the justice system when it has been tried in America.


“An experiment in Fort Lauderdale, for example, found that the algorithm reflected human prejudices, including racial bias.”

However, the news comes as ministers prepare to publish the first ever review into how AI will change Britain over the coming decades. AI is already used by Scotland Yard to recognise faces at London’s Notting Hill Carnival. Durham Constabulary is also planning to use AI for deciding whether to keep suspects in custody.

In a submission to a Parliamentary inquiry into the Implications of Artificial Intelligence, Thames Valley said there are “even at the lowest level AI could perform many of the process driven tasks that take place in the police”.

AI could be used to assist “investigations by ‘joining the dots’ in police databases, the risk assessment of offenders, forensic analysis of devices, transcribing and analysis of CCTV and surveillance, security checks and the automation of many administrative tasks”, it said.

To be sure, Thames Valley police noted that even once robocops are ready for widespread use, they will still require "a high level of human oversight and clear justification".

Their report showed that “recent tests of AI in policing indicate there is a risk of bias perpetuation in AI outputs, therefore engagement with Privacy and Civil Rights groups will be necessary to persuade the public that everything possible is being done to mitigate this whilst doing our best to keep them safe.

“Of utmost importance is that any AI process that involves an ethical issue, must have a high level of human oversight and clear justification.


The automation of processes also introduces a risk of being unable to reason with a human when events occur outside expected parameters.”

Dubai earlier this year became the first major city to deploy robocops, saying that it expects them to comprise 25% of the United Arab Emirates’ police force by 2030.

Musk has repeatedly warned that humans are underestimating the dangers of AI, claiming that these technologies warrant strict government oversight so that robots don’t transform into a threat to humanity.

…just in case you forgot




Giant Meteor Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:05 Permalink

just hit em with water cannons .. or tip em like cows ..Oh, and ai warrants strict government oversight eh ?Yeah, that's worked out well so far, this "strict government oversight."

Walking Turtle Eyes Opened Sat, 10/14/2017 - 20:08 Permalink

The corollary question, "Why does the Porridge Bird lay its egg in the air?" has long been reputed to be capable of crossing-up even a threat-hardened Cyber-President...  Fun for all and NO FAIR at ALL.  Just stand on the throbbing blue line where Deputy Dan can keep a cyber-eye on you while you wait your turn to ask YOUR (brief) question of the President... WELCOME to the FUTURE!   And that is all.  0{;-\o[

In reply to by Eyes Opened

garypaul Giant Meteor Sat, 10/14/2017 - 16:35 Permalink

Not to belabor a point, but this article is just another ZH bullshit article. All the author is refering to is an automated call-center. As if having computers in a call center is something new. But notice how the pictures show a humanoid "robot" walking around (the pics have nothing to do with what the article talks about).

In reply to by Giant Meteor

LetThemEatRand Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:07 Permalink

In order to replicate their human counterparts, the developer will be giving the robocops a permanent smug, stern look, letting the public know that they know we are all just criminals waiting to be caught.

dchang0 Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:07 Permalink

ALL of Musk's worst fears are coming true? GOOD. Because one of his worst fears must be losing all the taxpayer subsidies he gets via his companies. Can't wait for that one to happen.

hooligan2009 Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:09 Permalink

hmmm..white logic based AI police that works on percentages of crimes committed by profiling "certain people"antifa logic based AI police that works on historic tendencies to decimate "certain people"elitist logic based AI police that works on the assumption that everyone is a criminal unless tax records show full compliance with the support of the elite.what could possibly go wrong.

Redneck Makin-tosh Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:10 Permalink

Artificial or otherwise, according to a parallel article, dude just got rid of the intelligence of"hundreds of workers" this week, including engineers, managers and factory workersLooks like he's going to go down fighting

Freddie Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:14 Permalink

No more pension to blow up like the Dallas PD.PS: F*ck the Dallas Cowboys, Trayvons, white fan boys and Texans who cheer on Cowboy shit bags.  The Cowboys took a knee for the BLM Trayvon who executed 5 white Dallas cops just over a year ago.  It was actually 4 white cops and one white hispanic.F the NFL, NBA, NCAA, high school ball and also AI.

wisebastard Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:15 Permalink

I cant say anything good about the local cops so even if the robot cops are as fucked up as a Garmin GPS its still an improvemnt. at least then problems cant be blamed on will violations of duty

khnum Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:17 Permalink

AI will become self aware,the internet of things and 5g weaponised earth is the big agenda,the beast system is being rolled out just keep enjoying the distractions.

wisebastard Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:19 Permalink

a robot cop wont sexually harass you or treat you differently because of the color of your skin so im guessing it will be one of the biggest wins for humanity in my lifetime....

frontierland wisebastard Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:25 Permalink

"treat you differently because of the color of your skin"  Sounds pretty gay, dude. Unless, like BLM, you protomte the false premise that shooting African Criminals committing a wildly disproportionate amount of the overall crime is somehow unfairly targeting people because of the color of their skin. Cops shoot African criminals based on their Genetic Behavioral Traits, of which their Skin Color is a dead giveaway.

In reply to by wisebastard

SantaClaws Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:26 Permalink

Just imagine the cottage industry these will spawn on how to disable/destroy these new "cops."  Wireless signal jamming, molotov cocktail, small caliber firearm?  You Tube will be flooded with instructional how-to videos.What will be the charge for destroying (murdering) a robo-cop -- vandalism?  Littering?  The bad guys probably can't wait.