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Robot Dogs Are on Patrol, But Who's Holding the Leash?

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The robot itself can't be racist, but it will be programmed by humans who have their own biases.

Undark Magazine's Rod McCullom discusses his article, "Robot Police Dogs Are on Patrol, But Who’s Holding the Leash?: Numerous cities have acquired dog-like robots for policing. Researchers say the lack of transparency is worrying.

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Rod McCullum

ROD MCCULLOM is a Chicago-based science and technology writer, journalist, and columnist.

Rod specializes in reporting on the intersections of science and technology and society, His focus areas include artificial intelligence, biometrics, brain and cognitive sciences, epidemiology, infectious disease, and the science of crime, justice, and violence. He has reported from across Sub-Saharan Africa and been awarded reporting fellowships to Australia, Austria, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, and Zambia.

Rod is a contributor to The Atlantic, Scientific American, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Public Health and Nature, among other outlets. He is a long form features contributor -- and formerly a columnist – to UNDARK, the award-winning digital magazine on science and society. Rod was a finalist for the National Association of Science Writers’ 2018 “Science in Society” Award for his UNDARK column on the lack of research around racial bias in facial recognition.
Rod authored the chapter on reporting on science and justice in A Tactical Guide to Science Journalism (2022),, the textbook published by Oxford University Press
and developed by MIT Knight Science Journalism. His reporting and essays have been included in the syllabi at Columbia University Law School, Harvard School
of Public Health, the University of Chicago, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Rod has written and produced for ABC News, ABC New York City, NBC Chicago, FOX Chicago, and The Los Angeles Times.

Rod attended the University of Chicago. He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rod has guest
lectured at MIT and the MIT Museum, and occasionally moderates webcasts and virtual panels for the MIT Alumni Association.

Rod McCullum


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