Armed police couldn't stop the shooters in Buffalo and in Uvalde. But perhaps a very small drone equipped with a Taser could. Specifically, Axon CEO Rick Smith said in a Thursday announcement, "non-lethal drones capable of incapacitating an active shooter in less than 60 seconds" (or so the press release goes), which would be stationed inside of schools. At the push of a panic button, a trained human pilot at a control center elsewhere in the country would launch a drone. With the help of a network of security cameras, they would try to target the drone's onboard Taser probes into the shooter's flesh, in the hope of keeping them down until police could arrive on the scene.
Axon, which manufactures a variety of Tasers under the general rubric "energy weapons," declined to make any executives available for an interview. Rick Smith, its founder and chief, said in a statement Sunday that the project's response had "provided us with a deeper appreciation of the complex and important considerations" relating to shock drones in schools and added, "I acknowledge that our passion for finding new solutions to stop mass shootings led us to move quickly to share our ideas."
From the company that brought you Taser stun guns, comes an AI weapon so dangerous it was rejected by the company's own Artificial Intelligence ethics advisory board. But that didn't stop the CEO from announcing the weapon as a response to the May 24 Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting, like some misguided white horse hoping to tase our nation to safety. According to the BBC, Axon (formerly known, terrifyingly, as Taser International), has announced plans to produce a lightweight taser that can be deployed on a drone or robot and operated remotely via "targeting algorithms." The operator, a human (for now), will have "agreed to take on legal and moral responsibility for any action that takes place." This is how they hope to help stop school shootings.
This photo provided by Axon Enterprise depicts a conceptual design through a computer-generated rendering of a taser drone. Axon Enterprise, Inc. via AP hide caption This photo provided by Axon Enterprise depicts a conceptual design through a computer-generated rendering of a taser drone. Taser developer Axon said this week it is working to build drones armed with the electric stunning weapons that could fly in schools and "help prevent the next Uvalde, Sandy Hook, or Columbine." But its own technology advisers quickly panned the idea as a dangerous fantasy. The publicly traded company, which sells Tasers and police body cameras, floated the idea of a new police drone product last year to its artificial intelligence ethics board, a group of well-respected experts in technology, policing and privacy. Some of them expressed reservations about weaponizing drones in over-policed communities of color.
The parents of several Oxford High School students, including deceased Tate Myre, have filed a lawsuit against shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, his parents and school staff. The parents of two victims of the Nov. 30, 2021, shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are demanding more transparency from the Oxford Community School District after the board voted against moving forward with an independent investigation into the tragedy last fall. The Oxford Board of Education on Tuesday announced that the district has, for the second time, declined an offer from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to conduct a third-party investigation into the school shooting with the goal of determining how shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, 15, managed to kill four students and injure seven others last fall. "To me, this is an admission of guilt," Buck Myre, father of deceased 16-year-old Tate Myre, said during a Thursday press conference. "They know that things didn't go right that day, and they don't want to stand up and fix it. They're going to hide behind governmental immunity and they're going to hide behind insurance and the lawyers. What's this teach the kids? "We just want accountability," he added later when asked why an independent investigation is important to parents. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed in December 2021 that school officials met with Crumbley and his parents to discuss violent drawings he created just hours before the deadly rampage. The 15-year-old suspect was able to convince them during the meeting that the concerning drawings were for a "video game." His parents "flatly refused" to take their son home. The shooting has also resulted in several lawsuits, including two that seek $100 million in damages each, against the school district and school employees on behalf of the family of two sisters who attend the school. Ethan Robert Crumbley, 15, charged with first-degree murder in a high school shooting, poses in a jail booking photograph taken at the Oakland County Jail in Pontiac, Michigan. Myre and Meghan Gregory, the mother of 15-year-old Keegan Gregory, who survived the shooting but witnessed and was traumatized by Crumbley's rampage, are suing the shooting suspect's parents, James and Jennifer Crumbley, as well as school staff for negligence. JENNIFER CRUMBLEY, ETHAN CRUMBLEY'S MOTHER, SENT OMINOUS TEXTS ON DAY OF SHOOTING: 'HE CAN'T BE LEFT ALONE' "They're the ones that know what happened that day.
Deputy Aaron Garcia, of the U.S. Marshals Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team, details arrests of parents of suspected Michigan school shooter. The accused Michigan high school shooter convinced school officials ahead of the deadly rampage that violent drawings he made were for a "video game," a letter released Saturday by the school shows. "On the morning of Nov. 30, a teacher observed concerning drawings and written statements that have been detailed in media reports, which the teacher reported to school counselors and the Dean of students. The student was immediately removed from the classroom and brought to the guidance counselor's office where he claimed the drawing was part of a video game he was designing and informed counselors that he planned to pursue video game design as a career," a letter sent to the Oxford High School community from Oxford Community Schools superintendent Tim Thorne on Saturday states. Ethan Crumbley, 15, allegedly shot and killed four students and injured seven others at Oxford High School.
With the advancement of technology, AI influencers and virtual human models are becoming the new trend. It has recently emerged as a blue-chip in the advertising industry because there are no privacy scandals and there are no time-space restrictions with these virtual humans. In particular, the use of virtual humans seems to be gaining more momentum in the COVID-19 pandemic, where there are many restrictions on travel and limitations on the number of people gathering. On September 10, Baek Seung Yeop, CEO of Sidus Studio X that created'Rozy,' the newly rising blue-chip in the advertisement industry, explained, "These days, celebrities are sometimes withdrawn from dramas that they have been filming because of school violence scandals or bullying controversies. However, virtual humans have zero scandals to worry about."
In 2019, the Santa Fe Independent School District in Texas ran a weeklong pilot program with the facial recognition firm AnyVision in its school hallways. With more than 5,000 student photos uploaded for the test run, AnyVision called the results "impressive" and expressed excitement at the results to school administrators. "Overall, we had over 164,000 detections the last 7 days running the pilot. We were able to detect students on multiple cameras and even detected one student 1100 times!" Taylor May, then a regional sales manager for AnyVision, said in an email to the school's administrators.
The tragic school shootings of recent years have led to a great deal of discussion around "hardening" K-12 schools to gun violence. And, the concept of "hardening" usually conjures visions of metal detectors, armed guards, active shooter drills and any number of bullet-proof products, from windows to white boards. Truly hardening a K-12 school system from gun violence, however, requires a more nuanced approach. First of all, disrupting the normal flow of education with pat-downs and other intrusive activity can have a detrimental effect on students by instilling the notion that they are constantly in danger, or that the school perceives them as a threat. The tradeoffs between security and the student experience need to be considered, particularly when it involves introducing more stress on kids who already have to spend too much of their childhood participating in active shooter drills.
In the realm of international cybersecurity, "dual use" technologies are capable of both affirming and eroding human rights. Facial recognition may identify a missing child, or make anonymity impossible. Hacking may save lives by revealing key intel on a terrorist attack, or empower dictators to identify and imprison political dissidents. The same is true for gadgets. Your smart speaker makes it easier to order pizza and listen to music, but also helps tech giants track you even more intimately and target you with more ads.