Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York ripped NYPD's Boston Dynamics robot dog for ground surveillance of low-income neighborhoods.
AOC quoted an NYPost article titled "Video shows NYPD's new robotic dog in action in the Bronx," where she was not fond of the "robotic surveillance ground drones that are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools."
Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 25, 2021
Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools 👍🏽 https://t.co/ZqKtnexctb
AOC, a Bronx Democrat, later tweeted that the money used for the robot's purchase could have been allocated "for education, healthcare, housing" purposes.
Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 25, 2021
For a couple of decades, police forces across the country have been militarized. Stepping into a new decade, police forces, like NYPD, are seeking to deploy automation and artificial intelligence systems to combat crime.
NYPD first received the robot dog, called "Digidog," a couple of months ago. At the time, NYPD Technical Assistance Response Unit Inspector (TARU) Frank Digiacomo told ABC7 that the four-legged robotic dog "will save lives, protect people, and protect officers and that's our goal."
Digidog is like any Boston Dynamics Spot robot - though this one is equipped with lights, two-way communication, and video cameras.
The latest video shows the 70-pound robot being tested in the Bronx. The department also deployed the robotic dog back in October to a Brooklyn shooting.
Social media was not enthused with NYPD's actions to purchase a Boston Dynamics Spot.
One person tweeted: "destroy it at all costs. destroy every boston dynamics robot you see in the wild."
Another said, "I'm sorry, but @BostonDynamics needs to ban these types of uses. Their tech should be used to enrich people's lives and to help society, not oppress it. I absolutely love their work, but I will not shed a tear if every single one of these gets destroyed by citizens."
We showed last week just how easy a weapon (though a paintball gun) could be mounted on one of these robots.
It's only a matter of time before these robotic surveillance dogs are deployed to low-income neighborhoods across the US.