NYPD Cancels Robo Dog After Social Justice Uproar
The New York Police Department has canceled a $94,000 contract with an artificial intelligence company that had developed a robotic version of man’s best friend.
The robot "Digidog" was supposed to aid officers in suspect pursuit, surveillance of hazardous areas and crime scenes, hostage situations, and more. But it quickly attracted the ire of social justice groups that have already called for less law enforcement spending and militarization of police.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told ABC7 he’s "glad the Digidog was put down,” adding: It's creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers."
Digidog isn’t being sent to an early grave just yet. Law enforcement experts say the technology enhances officer safety and saves money in the long run. It's also free of many human biases. According to NPR, police departments in Massachusetts and Hawaii are currently testing the device.