Singapore fears ‘dystopia’ with patrol robots | Abroad
Robots are in an arsenal of surveillance technologies that raise significant privacy concerns, the Guardian wrote. The small country has seen an “explosion” in government surveillance of citizens.
During an experiment in September, two robots scoured some streets and a shopping mall for “socially undesirable behaviour”, such as smoking and incorrectly parking – and breaking distance rules.
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The government is a super-efficient, high-tech version of the “smart nation,” as it is called, but lately resistance is growing. Activists are angry at the lack of privacy or anonymity.
The new patrol robots have seven cameras. During the test, the robot “Xavier” approached a group of older men. Watch a chess match. The command from the robot sounded “please stay one meter away and limit the group to five people”.
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Franny Teo, a 34-year-old researcher, also saw the robot while shopping. “It’s like a Robocop,” he says. Teo predicts “a dystopian world full of robots… I’d be a bit wary about such a future.”
wrong! These caregivers do not keep their distance.
Ⓒ France Press agency
The government defends its policy because there are very few potential Boas available to do this work. “The workforce is really shrinking,” said civil servant Aung Ka Hing. Privacy activist Li Yiting sees it differently. “All of this contributes to the feeling… that you have to be careful what you say and do in Singapore.”
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