Law enforcement officials in Dubai are preparing to launch a range of artificial intelligence and robotics projects to improve city policing by 2020.
The UAE is no stranger to the latest trends in technology. You only need to see Dubai’s fleet of increasingly outrageous police cars to appreciate that fact. But now, local publication Emirates 24/7 has revealed the news that robot cops are expected to be reporting for duty by 2020.
“Robots could do the work of a police officer on the ground in certain situations. We are working on a similar project and it will be ready by Expo 2020. The project we are working on will involve robots interacting with people and performing some of the responsibilities of a police officer” said Col. Khalid Razooqi, general director of smart department, Dubai Police.
Dubai’s police department is also developing AI technology in coordination with IBM’s Watson and Google. Dubai Police’s Technical Innovations department head Major Adnan Ali, was recently quoted stating that robot officers could be up and running by 2017. The robots will apparently be able to answer questions and connect people to the local call centre through its interface.
“We’re trying to improve the artificial intelligence, its camera, and other equipment so that it can spot people from 10 metres or 20m away, approach them and greet them,” Ali said. “We’re expecting for it to be in tourist areas at first in 2017, near Burj Khalifa, GPR, City Walk and by 2020 we want to have a more thorough area covered.”
Dubai leading the way for smart cities
The recently launched Dubai Plan 2021 has put forward a smart city strategy that includes over 100 initiatives and a plan to transform 1,000 government services. Along with neighboring city Abu Dhabi, Dubai will be setting up more than 5,000 WiFi hotspots to offer free internet. As part of the city’s preparations for hosting the World Expo in 2020 through to 2021, Dubai is also investing heavily in smart transport, deploying traffic sensors, launching mobile traffic apps, while also looking to the introduction of driverless vehicles to the city’s roads.
In further steps toward integration of the Internet of Things (IoT), the local government is introducing Google’s Glass technology, with the aim of creating the world’s smartest police stations by 2018.
Artificial intelligence and robotics are beginning to infiltrate a number of industries, not only law enforcement. From robot hotel assistants in travel to dexterous surgical machines in hospital theatres, more and more connected devices are being embraced by business leaders and service providers.