Incident 261: Robot Deployed by Animal Shelter to Patrol Sidewalks outside Its Office, Warding off Homeless People in San Francisco

Description: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) deployed a Knightscope robot to autonomously patrol the area outside its office and ward off homeless people, which was criticized by residents as a tool of intimidation and ordered by the city of San Francisco to stop its use on a public right-of-way.


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Khoa Lam


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.