Technology Singapore is testing robots that monitor people’s “unwanted social behavior”

For example, the robot detects smokers and improperly parked bicycles in a restricted area. Surveillance has raised concerns about people’s fundamental rights.

In Singapore attempts have been made to use robots to control humans. The task of the Xavier robots in the experimental use was to detect “unwanted social behavior”.

During the trial period, the robots were used in a shopping mall, according to the news agency AFP.

There has been a desire to build a high-tech center in Singapore. At the same time, public scrutiny has increased, which has raised opposition and fears of a crumbling of fundamental rights.

In Xavier there are seven cameras with which it detects its surroundings. Xavier points out, for example, if it detects someone smoking tobacco in a restricted area, if the bike is improperly parked, or if there are too many people in the group due to corona restrictions.

When Xavier, for example, spotted seniors watching a chess match, it handed the crowd to act within limits.

“Please keep a meter apart, no more than five people in a group,” Xavier herded chess enthusiasts.

“It resembles Robocop and is reminiscent of a dystopian robot world. I am a little skeptical of such a concept, ”commented the 34-year-old research assistant Frannie Teo To AFP.

About robots the authorities defended the devices, inter alia, on the ground that they did not have the technology needed to identify people during the trial and that they could not actually take any action when they detected the defects.

It is hoped that the Xaviers could replace street cops in the future.

“It’s all about the desire to control people in Singapore for what they do and say. Surveillance goes much further than in other countries, ”said a digital rights activist Lee Yi Ting stated to AFP.


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