Robocop lives

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Researchers in Thailand evidently need to do some remedial viewing of the movie “Robocop. ” Heedless of that cultural milestone’s warning about the danger of using robots to do the job of law enforcement, Bangkok technicians have developed an automated security guard — complete with a handgun, NEW SCIENTIST reports.

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The uninventively named “Roboguard” is designed to be a cheap alternative to human guards, who, unlike “Roboguard,” typically come equipped with brains and a conscience. It can be ordered to fire at will or at the command of a human via the Internet. (Which could give new meaning to the computer term “fatal error.”)

“I find this quite horrific,” said one researcher. “You could end up shooting anything.”

The current Roboguard model is a prototype and has not yet been used by any private businesses. While its inventors would like to market it for commercial use, they say the military is likely to show the most interest.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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