A few month ago, I flew to London Stansted and queued up for the custom control. There was a large group of people ahead of me and took about 20 min to reach to the customs officer, who was, to my surprise, a machine. A few humans helped to properly fill the waiting lines. Only a small minority with an old, machine unreadable passport or technical problems could talk to a person. This seems to be a common practice in the UK, but for me it was spooky, that machines took over such an important security field.
Currently this border robots are able to scan my passport and compare my face with the saved electronic photo. I assume they are checking, if my name is listed at the National Crime Agency.
I was wondering, what might happen, if I was an illegal immigrant or a criminal. Will these machines arrest me? What measures are the machines able to take? Lock me up until the police arrive?
Since these machines are getting more and more intelligent and powerful, how might a future of automated security look like?
After being arrested, they might bring me to an police station run by machines. They could have lie detectors and body scanner. The police questioning is probably much easier and more efficient with a computer. A protocol is stored in the cloud and before I realize what is going on, a silicon judge will send me to prison, where I am watched by robots, which take care of my physical well-being.
After years in prison, when I served my sentence, they might release me at the border, in order to let me leave the country.
Who has to take the responsibility for software bugs or other possible errors in my scenario? Is the British police and politicians willing and able to extend the duties of border control robots? What are the technical limitations?
In science fiction the idea of machines supporting police work is already more than 30 years old: RoboCop was good enough for a successful movie, but does not meet the reality well. I like more the depressing atmosphere in the Matrix, when fighting against superior, violent, flying robots.
Since 2012 a South Korean prison has already some robotic help. The British police uses drones to observe its inhabitants, while the US kills thousands with drones. Even the NATO takes this issue serious and mentions ethical doubts.
A free society does not need machines for security. I vote for disarmament.