San Francisco reverses decision to use ‘killer robots’


San Francisco authorities have reversed a decision that allowed local police to use robots that can kill people.

The decision followed sharp criticism from civil groups who objected to the use of the robots, which in extreme scenarios have the ability to kill suspects.

With Tuesday’s vote, it was decided to “pause” the decision and conduct additional analyses.

The vote came after a new law was introduced in California that allows city police to carry military equipment, but must seek permission to use it.

Dr. Catherine Connolly, from the group Stop Killer Robots, told the BBC that licensing robots was a “slippery terrain”.

Demonstrators and officials who opposed the decision, gathered on the steps of the town hall and demanded the withdrawal of the decision. During the second vote, the controversial decision was withdrawn.

The original bill will now be amended or rejected entirely.

On the other hand, the police claimed that the robots would only be used in extreme circumstances. They could be equipped with explosives to “breach fortified structures harboring violent, armed or dangerous subjects”.

Also, the robots would be used to “disable violent, armed and dangerous suspects who pose a threat to life.”

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