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Batteries Not Included

Batteries Not Included

When you clicked on this blog today you probably thought I was going to talk about data breaches or cyberattacks, but the joke's on you. That’s right, I refuse to beat that dead horse another week, the cyber-meltdown is taking time off. I’m talking about robots.

Well artificial intelligence, drones, and robots to be precise! The next big thing in the security industry, allegedly. It’s hard not to see it everywhere with A.I. and machine learning algorithms built into data protection programs and visual analytics monitoring software. Most security drones are pre-programmed to follow routes and canvas areas with the kind of ease that humans can’t match. You’d also be hard pressed not to have heard about ADT’s development of security robots. It’s the future, kind of.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all those things, and for the clients looking to make use of them they point to a more efficient and less dangerous future in the security space. They also probably raise the anxiety levels of a lot of human beings who work in security that worry about their jobs being taken by robots. They probably shouldn’t be though, at least in the long term.

Automation is a boogie man for workers, the pandemic only exacerbated some companies move towards robots replacing workers in several low skill fields. In spite of that that you only have to look at the constant worker shortages to see that the robot revolution is a bit oversold. Labor statistics in September show that employment in the manufacturing industry was particularly fruitful in fact (+22000 jobs in August).

Don’t get me wrong, some of those companies would love to replace their workers with robots and some like Amazon are working very hard to make that a reality. The fact that they haven’t already is indicative of the truth. It’s because those technologies are still so nascent that finding how to properly utilize them will take time, and moreover, the users are going to discover very quickly that its still almost impossible to replace a human operator. Whether they be a security guard or an information security officer, some work is simply too delicate for robot hands.

Also, the first-time hackers gain remote control of security robots through a data breach is going to make one heck of a headline. Sorry, couldn’t help it.

At best I’d say that drones and robots will make security workers and property safer in the long run, and that’s what security is all about. Guard dogs, high walls, and better locks. All those things have failed to replace the human security element. Instead they have become another tool in their arsenal.

 As for the worst-case scenario, well, I for one welcome our robot overlords.


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