“The goal for any kind of technology should be harm reduction and de-escalation,” says Peter Asaro, a roboticist and professor at the School of Media Studies at the New School.
“It's almost always the police officer arguing that they're defending themselves by using lethal force,” he says. “But a robot has no right to self-defense. So why would it be justified in using lethal force?”
Asaro notes that SWAT teams were created to handle bank robberies and armed riots. Now, they’re overwhelmingly used to serve narcotics warrants, as many as 60,000 times a year nationwide. The rare hostage situation solved by robot intervention, he worries, could justify increasing their use.