Robots Are 'Shooing Away' Homeless People in San Francisco
Leave it to people in a tech hub like San Francisco to enlist the help of A.I. in doing what people have been doing for over a century: ‘shooing’ homeless people away from their properties.
"In San Francisco, autonomous crime-fighting robots that are used to patrol parking lots, sports arenas, and tech company campuses are now being deployed to keep away homeless people," Business Insider reports.
As you can imagine, the idea is catching plenty of flack, with critics calling it cruel and inhumane. In addition, the City of San Francisco ordered businesses to stop using the bots last week or face $1,000 per day in fines. The sidewalk dwellers require a permit, the city said.
As one of the most progressive cities in California, San Francisco is generally known for homeless-friendly views and policies. But there’s a sense of exasperation in the air as the crisis deepens and, in some cases, threatens public safety.
The robots were being used by both the San Francisco SPCA and a startup known as Knightscope. Both companies say they saw a decrease in crime in the area after the robots were deployed.
And why use a robot instead of a human? It’s simple. You don’t have to pay them minimum wage.