The robot is a Knightscope K5 security unit, which businesses can rent out for around $US6 ($7.65) an hour to patrol businesses, shopping centres and airports, reports New York Magazine. The technology, made by high-profile artificial intelligence startup Knightscope, has previously been in the news after a drunk man was reportedly arrested for attacking one of the units in a car park, and another incident, in which a robot reportedly collided with a toddler last year.
Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself.— Bilal Farooqui (@bilalfarooqui) July 17, 2017
We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. pic.twitter.com/rGLTAWZMjn
monitoring business Calamity, Daniel Lewkovitz. “We should stop thinking about these as robots and start thinking about them as moving cameras. At the end of the day, they’re really a moving camera, and that means they’re not at this stage replacing humans, but aiming to be a force multiplier for an existing human security force.” This means any investments of this kind do need a human element to protect and monitor them, but for many small business owners, simply revisiting your security priorities might reveal you don’t actually need cutting edge robot technology to protect your business, Lewkovitz says. “If you get very excited about new technology, just pause and ask yourself, ‘have we looked at our security plans in the last two years?'” “If the answer is no, you’re probably getting distracted by shiny things.” However, co-founder of virtual reality storytelling company S1T2, Tash Tan, says businesses are actually already highly dependent on artificial intelligence technologies through systems they use each day, and while incidents like this robot downfall might be amusing, it shouldn’t put SMEs off the idea of investing in new ideas altogether. “It is only when technology doesn’t work the way we expect that we spend a moment to consider the implications such a transformation is having. In this ubiquitous smart landscape we have to remember that issues such as safety, wellbeing and privacy are paramount, but this should not discourage us from embracing new technology,” he says. While there might be a place for artificial intelligence in your business, the starting point should always be asking what you have to protect, Lewkovitz says. “At the end of the day, all these devices are is really weapons in an ongoing battle. The underlying security principles have not changed in hundreds of years. So ask: ‘What do we have to protect?’ You might need a robot, or you might just need a fire extinguisher.” Originally Reported in Smart Company, 18 July 2017.