I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when robots would be shooting other robots out of the fucking sky. That, once SciFi scenario, is now very much a reality. And while there is still quite a bit of protest and resistance for mainstream use, these “eyes in the sky” are slowly starting to populate US airspace.
A federal law enacted last year paved the way for drones to be used commercially and made it easier for government agencies to obtain them. The Department of Homeland Services offered grants to help local law enforcement buy them. Drone manufacturers began to market small, lightweight devices specifically for policing. Drones are already used to monitor movement on the United States’ borders and by a handful of police departments, and emergency services agencies around the country are just beginning to explore their uses.
A lot of people are fairly up in arms about the whole “privacy” thing, but honestly that doesn’t bother me. Why? Because finding lost children in the woods, tracking thieves, and following criminals when there isn’t time to get a helicopter in the sky, far outweighs a few government agents watching me beat off in my backyard. I guess I’m weird like that. I’ve never really understood the whole anti-drone movement. Personally I feel safer with drones. A person who may have mugged me at the 711 will now think twice because the chances of him getting away without being caught have just been cut in half.
The part that scares me is that these things are for sale for civilian use as well. And we’re always going to have douchebags trying to use technology for the wrong reasons. The government drones will also have to scan the skies for spiteful drones that may have been armed by assholes. It’s very possible we’ll start to see unmanned aerial battles over the skies some time soon. The other thing we should keep an eye on is the AI behind these devices. But artificial intelligence is a completely different can of worms.