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Robots To Patrol South Korean Prisons

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the bribr-the-robot dept.

Crime 113

bukharin writes "As reported by various sites, South Korea is planning a trial of robotic prison guards in Pohang. The idea is that the robots will roll around the prison monitoring conditions inside the cells and communicate back to human guards if they detect a problem such as violence. Apparently the human guards are happy with the idea because they get to do less, especially overnight. And if you were worried about Skynet, you needn't be: according to Prof. Lee Baik-chul of Kyonggi University, who's running the trial, '... the robots are not terminators. Their job is not cracking down on violent prisoners. They are helpers.' Good to know."

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thank god for asian robots (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162134)

thank god for asian robots. they are polite before the kill.

Re:thank god for asian robots (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162646)

I have no opinion about this.

Re:thank god for asian robots (1)

Ch_Omega (532549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163908)

I have no opinion about this.

Thanks for the info.

not terminators...yet (3, Insightful)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162146)

Terminator hardware and designs are evolving in the US and Israel, with handy trial areas in Iraq, Afganistan and Israel's neighborhood.

Re:not terminators...yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162822)

Terminator hardware and designs are evolving in the US and Israel, with handy trial areas in Iraq, Afganistan and Israel's neighborhood.

I've been in those theaters for a long time (actually more than I would have liked to be).
The only robots operating are anti-bomb ones.
Now, if you are using the term "Terminator" to refer to the Sayeret Matkal operatives of Israel then that's another story.
Those operatives could indeed be considered "machines", but for now they are flesh and bone just like you are.

Re:not terminators...yet (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162944)

Sure, it starts with cute & cuddly camera-wielding robots.
But in a couple of years they will announce a brilliant cost-saving measure - use retired military robots from the Demilitarised Zone.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/robotics/military-robots/a-robotic-sentry-for-koreas-demilitarized-zone [ieee.org]

Essentially mobile cameras (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162160)

Why not just put up cameras everywhere?

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162180)

because cameras cannot be converted to terminators

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162766)

because cameras cannot be converted to terminators

Exactly! Did nobody watch the movie? Cameras are inanimate, and don't travel back in time! Moreover, even if they did, do we really want webcams on tripods with mounted loudspeakers prowling the streets asking "are you Sarah Connor?"

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (2)

teslar (706653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164364)


root@skynet:~$tail /var/log/worlddominationprogress.log | grep WW
(WW) Human may have identified true purpose of PrisonBot trial (http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2543364&cid=38162180)
root@skynet:~$terminator --dispatch --to-address `locate "Anonymous Coward" | grep 38162180`

(No points for pointing out abuse of locate or silly use of tail on this one)

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164542)

(No points for pointing out abuse of locate or silly use of tail on this one)

But do I get points for pointing out that you got fooled by a setup where "root" is a normal user, and the superuser (UID 0) has some other name? How I know? Well, the prompt is a dead giveaway: The root prompt would certainly have ended with '#' instead of '$'! Of course the call to terminator will do nothing because the real terminator certainly needs root privileges. Indeed, probably the real terminator isn't even in the $PATH of the fake root account.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162192)

Active monitoring vs. passive?

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162226)

Because cameras aren't usually mobile? And thus people can hide things in dead angles?

Hell, you said it yourself that they're mobile cameras. Why not just make them look humanoid so people feel more antsy about doing things in front of them?

It's probably just me, but if some robot is starting at me, I'm probably LESS likely to do something secretive than if there's just a camera up in the corner.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162292)

PTZ FTW

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164714)

Unless PTZ stands for Perambulate, Trundle and Zip-along, or unless you're setting up a true circular Panopticon, there will still be places it can't see. Which is anywhere that there is a non-transparent solid object between the camera and the outer building wall.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162376)

Because cameras aren't usually mobile? And thus people can hide things in dead angles?

If there are dead zones, the camera system installer did not do their job correctly.

The robot cannot enter a prisoner's cell when the door is closed. At night all doors are closed and locked. So, at night, the robot will have large dead zones; fixed cameras (which could be IR sensitive) would have no such problems.

Robots need to move around for full coverage. Prisoners will act completely normal when the robot is near, and go back to doing whatever once it has gone. Robots are louder and more easily avoided than a good guard in tennis shoes.

And, for the price of one robot, you can buy a lot of fixed cameras, which require a lot less maintenance. The cameras work 24/7/365, but the robots will have down time for charging.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162510)

Robots need to move around for full coverage. Prisoners will act completely normal when the robot is near, and go back to doing whatever once it has gone. Robots are louder and more easily avoided than a good guard in tennis shoes.

That probably depends on how many robots are patrolling though. If there are a fairly large number on patrol and if they patrol at somewhat random intervals, that could set prisoners on edge that they will be caught, and it might actually work in a thoughtcrime sense that maybe prisoners won't engage in activities that have high risk and low reward for fear of being caught.

It all depends on how they're implemented. It's most likely to not go so well in this sense.

But, it does mean that a guard doesn't have to patrol to be ambushed by prisoners, and if a robot is ambushed and transmitting video then theoretically it should be obvious to the controller that it's been messed with. If the operator is paying attention. Unfortunately I predict a lot more late-night card games by the guards instead of attentive watching.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162598)

If there are dead zones, the camera system installer did not do their job correctly.

You are a camera installer. You have a rectangular room 8 feet wide, 8 feet high, and 12 feet deep, containing three 3-foot by 3-foot cubes in arbitrary positions and angles. (There is gravity in the room; the cubes are resting flat on the floor so this problem isn't going all Ender's Game on you.) How many cameras are required to guarantee that there are no dead zones?

You do get to deduct points from your current buffoonery rating, which is currently at maximum, by even attempting to solve this problem.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162612)

Ever hear of wide angle, or 360 degree lenses ?

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163002)

I would say four: one in each upper corner, with the centre zone aimed at the opposite lower corner so their fields meet in the exact centre of the room. Each fitted with 18mm EFL lens to guarantee at the minimum, wall-to-wall coverage since this is the longest focal length which will guarantee each camera has 90 degree horizontal angle of view.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163802)

Infinite; You can always position the three cubes together to make an infinitesimal triangular column which goes straight towards the ceiling. The only position that you can see into that column is from directly above it. Thus there needs to be a camera on every point in the ceiling.

The cute thing about AC's puzzle is that it basically explains that the prisoners will be able to make temporary visual barriers, even just using their own bodies, which will cover all fixed camera angles. It also explains why the furniture in a supermax isn't movable.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164330)

It also explains why the furniture in a supermax isn't movable.

Because prisoners beat each other with it?

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164526)

Supermax prisoners are kept in strict solitary confinement. They have nobody to beat.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38165358)

I don't know about you, but when I'm in strict solitary confinement, I do an awful lot of beating!

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164828)

Yes, robots would cost more than simply installing more cameras. But for shits and giggles, lets say the prison now breaks out in a massive riot. how hard would it be to simply strap a few cans of tear gas, pepper spray, whatever non-leathal means of stopping the riot, to the robot, roll it on in the room(s) and deploy the gas.

Now after the first use like this, now I v2.0 of the robot with an internal cylinder of said gas, with a nozel that leads out the front of the robot, and a guard sitting behind a monitoring station with his finger over the spray button.

This is just a stepping stone to having robots fully capable of stopping potential violence without putting human guards in harms way.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38165088)

Who actually cares if the prison breaks out in a riot? Pull the guards back to the perimeter, and wait them out. With no food/supplies going in, the riot will come to an end eventually. If the rioters can cause damage to anything you didn't build your prison very well.

Or, just plumb in some gas pipe alongside the sprinkler system, and send sleeping gas through the entire facility.

The idea of an autonomous robot with cameras and potentially pepper spray would be fine in an outdoor, public situation - but is not needed in a purpose-built building.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (1)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162404)

Umm, a moving camera just has changing dead angles over a span of time. If that was the concern then using more cameras would be a better and cheaper solution.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38163696)

Fortress (1992) included mobile cameras. Of course, those cameras scanned the inmates dreams for the purpose of zapping them if they conjured up something too sexy. Of course, that prison was run entirely by one man and his sentry guns. And that man was some sort of clone or cyborg or something with an AI side-kick.

Re:Essentially mobile cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164612)

Have never been to the United Kingdom?

Why are we so far behind? (2)

majesticmerc (1353125) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162186)

Why is it that the east just seems to be so far ahead of the west with this sort of stuff? I mean, we just seem so reluctant to adopt cool new tech. This stuff is the future, but (in the UK at least) we just seem to be getting left behind!

Re:Why are we so far behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162328)

It might be because our xenophobia is well founded when the first sign of trouble with new technology creates a huge shitfit, lawsuits, aversion to the new technology, etc. People here don't think "cool, something new!" nearly as strongly as they think "OH MY GOD THIS COULD BE BAD FOR MY FAMILY LET'S HAVE IT BOYCOTTED"

Re:Why are we so far behind? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162364)

Oh.

I thought when you mentioned xenophobia you were talking about how Asian countries are largely xenophobic, so they're not major fans of importing labor and would rather use robots.

Korea and Japan has robots. The US of A has Mexicans.

Re:Why are we so far behind? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162538)

My mexican works for less than your mexican!

Re:Why are we so far behind? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162348)

Different priorities and needs. In Asia, there's a significantly larger need for things like in home care than in the US. In the US we're graying, but the bulge is pretty minor compared with the drop off you see in China or even Japan.

Also, they were more optimistic about figuring out how to prevent robots from eating old people's medicines.

Not good for society (4, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162230)

If robots are able to make it way cheaper to house a prisoner then politicians will have little to restrain them from passing more laws that can send you to prison. It is very hard for a politician to make much headway reducing penalties but it is a no-brainer for them to be "tough on crime".

TOS violation 10 years.
Download music 10 years
Take a picture of a cop 10 years
Insult a politician 10 years
Parking violation not paid on time 90 days.
Kid misses a day in school 90 days
Insult your neigbour 10 years
Not feed your cat on time 10 years

You think that some special interest group wouldn't push for the above stupid penalties?

Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162322)

What is penalty if slashdot troll links to goatse?

Re:Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162704)

90 days in a cell with a giant goatse poster on each wall?

Re:Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162928)

He's proved he can survive it by linking. He needs the guard to be the goatse guy for it to be a proper punishment.

still have the trail part to deal with and jurys (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162336)

not only that prisons don't have the room to house that many in mates anyways and guards are only part of the costs and the robots have a lot they can't do.

Re:Not good for society (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162542)

Oh come on. You really think a politician could pass any of those laws without getting voted out? That goes beyond mere exaggeration to outright paranoia. If you believe what you wrote, you should seek counseling.

Re:Not good for society (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162630)

Oh come on. You really think a politician could pass any of those laws without getting voted out? That goes beyond mere exaggeration to outright paranoia. If you believe what you wrote, you should seek counseling.

They passed the 3-strikes law and no one was voted out of office.

What isn't obvious to most, your 3 strikes can happen with one charge, it doesn't have to be repeat charges at all.

The list of "serious" crimes originally stated to get it passed has been extended to any criminal offense.

Recall the catch-all charge of "resisting arrest"? And how it has been repeatedly applied to people clearly not resisting anything nor under arrest.
Even people having seizures have been charged with resisting arrest and had it upheld until the appeals court a year later.

If three police officers are present when one of them decides to fuck you, you just committed 3 resisting arrest offenses in one charge, which has a mandatory required life-time prison sentence.

People just like you stated that law would never be abused as it's only for serious crimes!
If you can't see past those lies, it is not anyone else who needs counseling... Especially with so many cases that prove it has happened every time such a law comes up.

Mandatory life time prison sentence for pissing off one cop while two others are present. No one got voted out of office for it.

Law has been this way for hundreds of years. Why do you think this one single case would be any different? Extraordinary claims you are making and all that...

Re:Not good for society (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162816)

What's the penalty for trolling /.?

Re:Not good for society (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162890)

mandatory Facebook account.

Re:Not good for society (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163010)

If it's cheaper to the government, then it's also less profitable for the prison. I think that roboguards would lead to a reversal of that trend, and therefore not catch on in the US.

Also, you can still shank a robot, you just need a sharper toothbrush. Maybe something made out of robot parts.

Re:Not good for society (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164732)

Especially with so many politicians owning private prisons these days...they could build robot-managed "megaprisons" and have us all manning the call centers there.

The cake (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162236)

Is a lie

Violence against robots (1)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162240)

Then use them for parts to escape after hatching a plan based on their incredibly predictable location.

precaution (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162278)

Actual note in robot developers notebook: Must remember to cover the switches on their backs with tape so that no one can accidently flick it to "EVIL" setting.

human guards are happy w/ the idea because they... (4, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162318)

How happy will they be when someone realizes they aren't needed anymore?

Haven't read much of this book yet, but it appears to be relevant. And it is a free download.
http://www.thelightsinthetunnel.com/ [thelightsinthetunnel.com]

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162360)

We're not likely to ever get there. Mostly because that would have other problems that are much more serious to worry about. As long as robots have to be told what to do and how to react things are fine. The problem is that in order to replace the guards they would have to make the things autonomous and that's potentially very worrying. You'd have to be really certain that the AI had been program correctly otherwise there's all sorts of hell to break loose.

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162378)

I'm not seeing why you would need the same number of guards you had patrolling the halls when robots are patrolling the halls instead. Some of the guards will still be needed, but not nearly as many as were needed before.

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163366)

Because you don't staff guards like that. Keep in mind that this is a prison which means that you have to have sufficient guards to deal with whatever happens. Waiting for outside help is generally not reasonable except under extraordinary circumstances. You might be able to get by with fewer guards on rove, but you're not going to be able to cut any as you still have to have them there for when the robots break or when something starts.

In the US where we have more concern for money than human life it might work out like that, but anybody with knowledge of staffing in the industry isn't going to fall for that.

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164382)

anybody with knowledge of staffing in the industry isn't going to fall for that.

If it's a political decision the only thing that may prevent reducing staff is lost votes, if it is a business decision it is made by a person that may not be in that position when hell break loose and in the mean time have left for another job with a ton of money in is pocket for reducing costs.

Real decisions are not done by someone with knowledge and in this times when there is money involved...

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162970)

you're an idiot. Note how I did not even bother to capitalise "you're", because you're a subhuman.

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163404)

lol, worst troll ever.

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162456)

The guards that aren't single-minded sociopaths looking for power will likely get out while they can. Most thugs aren't smart enough to think that far into the future, or will stick with it so that they can kick back and still beat the shit out of people when they feel like it.

Re:human guards are happy w/ the idea because they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164034)

That's why we keep labor unions around long after they defeated all genuine abuse.

This is a good thing (5, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162342)

Spent two years working with prisons of every kind early in my tech career, I've probably worked with a third of the prisons federal and state for both the US and Canada. These are not environments where privacy is a good thing.

This is a very good thing for prisoners because a robot can't be bribed, threatened or tricked the same way a human can. Prison is a very ugly thing, violence, extortion and rape are very real threats that can happen daily. It also reduces the risk for the officers that are greatly outnumbered. Frankly it would be best for these robots to do well and become another export, we could certainly use them over here.

less guards = easyer to riot and can they look for (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162386)

less guards = easyer to riot and can they look for hidden weapons prisoners are very good at makeing them out of just about any thing and they hide them in hard to find spots.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162494)

Can the robots smell the inmates toking up after lights out and report it? ... to the guards who are toking up because now they don't have to make rounds as often?

Re:This is a good thing (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162684)

Can the robots smell the inmates toking up after lights out and report it? ... to the guards who are toking up because now they don't have to make rounds as often?

A mobile sensor would be more effective than a fixed one in policing "The Joint."

Re:This is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38163322)

Sad, but I don't think robots would fare well in US prisons. The corruption, bribes, and violence have become a part of our prison system.

Re:This is a good thing (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164000)

Sad, but I don't think robots would fare well in US prisons. The corruption, bribes, and violence have become a part of our prison system.

Robots can compete with that : food, booze, weed, meth, and a ride to freedom are all possible.

WWBD (What Would Bender Do)

Fair Wage (4, Funny)

McDrewbie (530348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162382)

Will the robots be paid a fair wage? Robots are not our slaves.

Re:Fair Wage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162410)

um, actually, if you look at the translation of "robot", they are our slaves.

Re:Fair Wage (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162670)

I'll agree with you when the robot will argue the question.

Re:Fair Wage (1)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163206)

Robots actually are our slaves. They are neither self aware, or human. It is only illegal to own human slaves.

Your point is moot.

Re:Fair Wage (1)

Lockyy (2486084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164720)

And what happens when they are self-aware? I wonder how long it will be after that happens before they get proper 'human rights' Would it become illegal to shut them down? Would it become a legal requirement to look after and repair any robot you own? Or would they be expected to pay for their own repairs if abandoned? I'm really rambling at this point...

prisons will find a way to slow down or gum up the (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162398)

prisons will find a way to slow down or gum up the works on the robots and likely it will be some low tech way of doing it.

Re:prisons will find a way to slow down or gum up (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163106)

How about leaving gum on the floor to get caught in the robot's wheels/treads while they're doing their rounds?

Got it all wrong (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38162422)

Make the prisoners robotic instead, and employ people to watch them. This will not only be good for the economy, it will get all the innocent people out of jail.

increased response time (2)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162710)

ok, I understand that the police officers are lazy, and that the robots will alert the officers if there is a problem but think of the effects of this. If a inmate gets stabbed by another inmate and is bleeding profusely the robot has to alert the police officer and the officer needs to put down his donut and come down to that location ASAP. In a critical situation such as this time is of the essence and a few seconds, never-mind minutes, can be the difference between life and death. Using robot patrols allows the inmates to do more damage before the officer arrives and they are restrained

Re:increased response time (-1, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162776)

Yes, I "get" all the naive Slashdotian idealism, but to many people (self included) dead convicts are literally "enemy casualties" and no loss at all.

Re:increased response time (2, Insightful)

SocratesJedi (986460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163440)

Are you kidding me? All human lives are valuable, without exception. Any other belief is, frankly, uncivilized and reeks of a primitive us-versus-them mentality. What's worse is that prisoners are explicitly under the protection of the state. If an unarmed prisoner is injured in an act of violence, it ought to be interpreted as a total fuck-up and a warden had better lose his job.

Re:increased response time (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163842)

yes johnny gang banger whom sold your sister 3 lbs of meth while raping your grandmother and slitting your kid brother's throat is a life to save

Re:increased response time (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164460)

i'd like to meeet this johnny guy, he sounds like a real character

Re:increased response time (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38165026)

johnny gang banger whom sold your sister 3 lbs of meth while raping your grandmother and slitting your kid brother's throat

All at the same time? Damn, that's what I call multitasking!

Re:increased response time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164222)

Any other belief is

This sort of thinking is usually cured at the moment the pipe connects with the occipital bone while having your laptop/wallet/cellphone/car stolen.

primitive

Some men are feral. Whether by choice (misanthropes) or training (via our welfare state) they are indeed primitive and irredeemable. Some of us don't need to personally encounter them to understand this. Others indulge profound naivety until they do.

Re:increased response time (5, Insightful)

olau (314197) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164640)

This sort of thinking is usually cured at the moment the pipe connects with the occipital bone while having your laptop/wallet/cellphone/car stolen.

Which is why civilized countries have a system of courts for determining punishment. Because somebody was clever enough to realize that feelings of revenge should not cloud a decision of imprisonment.

Some men are feral. Whether by choice (misanthropes) or training (via our welfare state) they are indeed primitive and irredeemable.

Actually, I think you're right. In Denmark where the maximum penalty is 14 years in prison (I believe), there is a special provision for lifetime prison for people who are judged to be too dangerous to let out. Even here, the case must reevaluated.

However, this is an extremely small minority. For the rest, this kind of thinking just makes it harder to turn the criminals into productive members of society.

Re:increased response time (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163528)

Yes, I "get" all the naive Slashdotian idealism, but to many people (self included) dead convicts are literally "enemy casualties" and no loss at all.

So do you think we should impose the death penalty for every single crime?

Re:increased response time (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164758)

Keep that in mind when you're getting shanked in prison after being thrown in for being caught with weed/downloading an MP3/taking a picture of a cop.

Re:increased response time (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164360)

Or the robots may locate an inmate bleeding on the floor before a foot patrol passes. This could also shorten the response time.

Re:increased response time (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164778)

according to the article they are meant to replace the officers, not act as additional staff. unless there are more robots then staff, this is not faster then if an officer walked by and responded immediately

Re:increased response time (1)

Lockyy (2486084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164730)

A couple canisters in every cell/room that releases a gas to knock people out. Robot detects violence? canisters are released, where is the amount of people in the room.

Re:increased response time (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164762)

yea, right, those would never be abused by the inmates.

Ob. Robocop (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38162876)

Out comes the shiv... ED 209 springs into action:

"Please put down your weapon! You have twenty seconds to comply!"

Re:Ob. Robocop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38163144)

Just give it the ability to make disorienting amounts of sound and light for short periods of time and you can confuse the inmates enough to stop the fight.

Re:Ob. Robocop (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163450)

or surgically implanted behavioural modification devices, a la "Intestinator [imdb.com] ".

I am such a geek.

Re:Ob. Robocop (1)

gajop (1285284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164942)

If anything, these robots will be used to make shivs. Well, at least it's not a bipod.

Now all we need... (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163114)

... are EMP grenades

Robot prison guards? (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163126)

Oh, like THX1138?

Easier solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38163582)

Wouldn't it be easier to just have individual cells, so the only violence possible at night is self inflicted? Give them smaller, individual cells. Boom.

Roomba (1)

Boawk (525582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163794)

with gun and camera options. Oh, and it's large--the dustbin hold is spacious enough to hold a corpse.

yea I can bullshit my computer into many situation (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163820)

if only it had wheels and oversees many gang members I would be one step closer

Panopticon (1)

Zandamesh (1689334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38163940)

For those who are interested, there is a kind of prison architecture that allows the prisoners to think that they are being watched all the time:
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon [wikipedia.org]

Ahem ... (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164196)

If the robots behave badly, do they make robot prisoners too? :0)

I, for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164618)

welcome our new robotic prison guards.

These robots can't possibly work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164674)

The first law of robotics will prevent the robots from reporting the attacker, because the punishment will be getting tossed into solitary; solitary will bring harm (psychological at the least) upon him. Therefore, when a robot sees a conflict, the paradox of having to harm one human or not acting and having another human be harmed as a result of its inaction will make it explode. They should have consulted a qualified robopsychologist before undertaking this project.

Re:These robots can't possibly work (1)

Lockyy (2486084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38164740)

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. I assume it prioritizes immediate physical harm over putting someone in solitary. Otherwise it would violate the other half of the law via inaction. A black and white morality in the three laws just wouldn't suit any robot in any situation. Harm is far too broad a term to be useful anyway. Does my robot constantly jump to my aid before I stub my toe? Because god damnit I'd throw it out of a window after a few days.

We are doomed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38164986)

"Their job is not cracking down on violent prisoners. They are helpers." Until they become self-aware and start plotting against the incompetent guards, the whole prison system, the governor, the president... mankind!!!!

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