Saturday, January 19, 2008

Autonomous Tasers Are Here

Check out this video I just saw via a Wired story (the sound's not great. I'll post another if I can download and fix it). There's a bit of creepy background on Taser International before the automated taser system is discussed. The video:
video
Did you catch that bit of audio at the end? The video says:"In stand alone mode ... using the video sensor to acquire targets and determine firing sequence autonomously." Computers tasing people. Going by the video, that would be computers tasing brown people.

Apparently, the computerized decision to taser isn't just the stuff of promotional videos, it's backed up at Taser International site, where they have this to say about their new Taser Remote Area Denial (TRAD) system:
A simple user interface allows the operator to see, track, and identify targets with specific target designators indicating whether each target is a “friend” or “foe.” The TASERNET application displays visual information from TRAD imagers as well as oversight cameras integrated with a graphic representation of targets positions and designations. Once an engagement decision is made (either by the operator or the system depending on user selected settings), the TASERNET program selects the specific TRAD units best suited for engagement and transmits fire authorization. The TRAD unit will then arrest the targeted individuals by providing complete incapacitation.
In other words, the device can be set in a mode such that a computer algorithm decides if a human gets tasered.

A still of the TRAD:
(The TRAD via Wired)

(PostBlog: I had to change my original post somewhat. The video at Wired doesn't concern to the TRAD device)