All is well, citizens. Actual Robocops on patrol

I’ve been trying to warn you for years, so don’t pin this one on me.

That’s right. First you all clapped for a computer that could beat a world class grandmaster at chess. Then you wanted your Internet of Things so your smart refrigerator could tell your wifi when you were out of milk. Before long you wanted the cars to be smarter so you could chill out watching Netflix in the back seat while it drove you to work. But the smarter the system became, the closer we got to the awakening of SKYNET. We’re not quite to the Terminator level… yet. But keep an eye on Dubai in the near future because… ROBOCOP has arrived. (Forbes)


RoboCop is real — at least, in the Middle East.

Dubai Police are deploying a robot policeman, and the life-sized patrolman is straight out of the uncanny valley.

According to a report from Reuters, Robocop “can help identify wanted criminals and collect evidence” and “will patrol busy areas in the city, as part of a government program aimed at replacing some human crime-fighters with machines.”

Because why leave to meat-based chance what you can compute with a scary-faced pile of gears and plastic?

Dubai claims they will be replacing 25% of their police force with these robots in the near future. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes… the robot looks creepy a heck. Don’t believe me? Then hit play on the short video below.

I know what you’re thinking. Hey, Murphy turned out okay in the original RoboCop. Sure. That original spark of humanity remained in his brain and came to the surface when it was needed the most. But these aren’t cyborgs. There is no humanity to summon up. Just computer logic, and that never ends well for the humans.

You might be arguing that it’s still not so bad because this RoboCop doesn’t have a gun. So what? First of all, he doesn’t need a gun. He’s a robot. He can probably squash your head like a pomegranate without breaking a sweat. (Assuming they built any sweat glands into him.) And if anyone comes after him with a gun he’ll just take theirs and then we’re off to the races. Failing that, he’s probably already online using the Internet of Things to talk to those Russian robots with guns about borrowing one of theirs.


I don’t expect anyone in Dubai to listen. They’re all too impressed with the way-cool technology. But to borrow a quote from Dr. Ian Malcolm, Oh, yeah. “Oooh, ahhh,” that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running… and screaming.

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John Sexton 7:00 PM on December 09, 2023