The police force in Dubai are joining the ranks of the future. By 2030, they promise that 25% of the police force of the United Arab Emirates will be automated. Their first real, live, metal-and-silicon robocop just hit the streets (or the floors) of a Dubai mall last month.
The Robocop is humanoid, meaning it’s built based on human features. It’s built by Pal Robotics which prides itself as “leading humanoid robotics research for the real world.” This mechanized protector of the peace is called REEM. “She” is marketed as an assistant that can be a “receptionist, entertain and compliment your guests, provide dynamic information and even make presentations and speeches in many languages.”
Ok, sounds useful but weird. For one thing, I’m not exactly sure if I’m looking forward to the day I walk into a party and get complimented by a robot. Also, being a police person isn’t exactly in the job description posted on the website, but we’re thinking they’ve reprogrammed this robot to serve their own purposes. And now that I’m staring at this photo of its mask-like, expressionless face, I’m beginning to feel like those purposes might be a little dystopian.
The Dubai police force has a huge DNA databank planned as well. Brigadier Abdullah Bin Sultan, Director of the Future Shaping Centre of Dubai Police, said to Gulf News, “By 2030, there will be no mysterious or unknown crimes in Dubai and the police will have the biggest DNA data bank in the country.” Did I hear that right, is he saying an army of robots will be tracking every human by reading their DNA? Sounds like nothing could go wrong!