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This Chinese machine-gun robot dog that opens fire is not reassuring

© YouTube (CCTV+)

Reserved for very limited uses until a few years ago, robotics is making increasingly rapid progress. With, in short, two types of particularly interesting robots – since they are capable in the rather short term of surpassing science fiction to gradually intrude into our daily lives.

The first category, the most ambitious, is that of android robots. It is only just beginning to wait for sufficient integration to finally make an arrival on the market credible, at least among a handful of manufacturers like Boston Dynamics. Tesla and others are developing ambitious models, but demos so far suggest much less advanced development.

There will be a before after robot dogs killers

The other category, clearly more advanced on this point, is now quite widespread. Robot dogs, strange quadrupeds made of plastic and metal, are at the origin of the innovations of the American firm Boston Dynamics. Agile, they are perfect for all-terrain transport, interventions in danger zones and reconnaissance.

The American Department of Defense, but also other civilian agencies and numerous companies have equipped themselves with them largely for research purposes… or to solve problems that are more costly to solve otherwise. For example, reviewing the mechanical gauges of an industrial site. Or searching for a leak in a gas site, among others.

They are now manufactured by many companies, a significant number of which are based in China . Country which therefore de facto has a technological capacity similar in this segment to that of the United States. Recently we saw an American startup financed by the army equip one of these robots with AI and a machine gun, capable of precisely locking onto a target.

While a human operator could give the order to shoot. China seemingly shows in a CCTV report that it now has a similar capacity. With one notable difference: while the USA is currently refusing to equip certain police forces with these devices, China does not seem to have the same fears.

Since the voice-over speaks without blinking “of’interventions in an urban environment”. The model chosen by the authorities seems to be the Go2 from Unitree. A model which is available according to sources between the equivalent of $1,600 and $4,000. That's a fraction of the $74,000 requested by Boston Dynamics for the Spot, for example.

In all cases, we can quite easily imagine quite surreal scenes – particularly in theaters of operations. There also remains the risk that one day not so far away, an AI in these robots could make the decision to shoot on its own. Isaac Asimov must be turning in his grave.

  • Official Chinese TV demonstrates a worrying killer robot equipped with a machine gun.
  • Which demonstrates in passing that China's capabilities in this area are at the level of equivalent American demonstrations.
  • All with a little less reservations about the possibility of inserting them into urban interventions.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116