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Inside The International Robot Exhibition

Source: Bloomberg / Getty

We’ve all seen the photos and laughed at the jokes about Sophia The Robot and other machines like her replacing humans in the workplace.

But earlier this week, it was made clear that robots aren’t only coming for our jobs, but soon they may be policing us too. An animal shelter in San Francisco is being criticized for using a robot security guard to scare off homeless people.

The San Fran branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals hired a K5 robot built by Knightscope to patrol the sidewalks outside its facilities as a way to “try dealing with the growing number of needles, car break-ins and crime that seemed to emanate from nearby tent encampments of homeless people.”

To no one’s surprise, most of the responses to the unorthodox tactic were overwhelmingly negative.

But the “bullying” robot may not be ouchea for long. The city of San Francisco recently passed new legislation limiting the use of robots in city streets. Let’s just hope they honor their own rules.

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