Illustration for article titled The Awesome Artificial Face Of Future Crimefighting

The future of law enforcement is going to be much less Judge Dredd and much more Robocop, according to one British professor who claims that we are less than 50 years away from a society policed by robots and controlled by those with their fingers on the robots' on and off switch.Professor Noel Sharkey, Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics at Sheffield University, has been researching robotic trends internationally, and feels that we'll be ready to worship our new robot overlords as early as 2040:

Machines could take over many crime-fighting tasks from the police by 2040, a leading British robotics expert has said. Professor Noel Sharkey believes that by 2084 advanced robots will have human-like features and will be able to detect weapons as well as recognising drunks and aggressive behaviour in large areas... The report also predicts autonomous police cars will appear by 2070 which will be able to recognise speeding cars, identify licence plates and automatically deduct fines from bank accounts at the same time as adding points on driving licences.


Sounds like some kind of robot-driven future dystopia? It should; the report, while genuine, was commissioned to promote the UK release of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on DVD. Crime-fighting robots 'by 2040' [Press Association]


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