5. RoboCop (1987)

ED-209 in RoboCop

Perhaps the single most persuasive argument against the use of artificial intelligence in policing comes in the scene when the ED-209, the “enforcement droid” designed for “urban pacification,” gives a little demonstration of its supposed policing skills… and utterly annihilates a corporate suit volunteering to play an “arrest subject.”

The subject, Mr. Kinney, is given a gun to point at ED-209, which then politely orders him to drop the weapon — and gives him 20 seconds to comply. He does! He really does. But a growling ED-209 doesn’t see Mr. Kinney drop the gun, and goes way overboard in its handling of the situation.

Though RoboCop is first-rate satire, it also includes a little hope: RoboCop himself (Peter Weller) is a hero who uses technology, but is human at his core.

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