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And NYC names Rat Czar!
A few weeks ago Mayor Adams unveiled two new robots which will join the NYPD in its quest to fight crime and keep the city safe.
The first robot was a robot dog, nicknamed “Digidog,” which will be used to access areas and situations deemed too hazardous for a human officer. Originally unveiled by Adams’ predecessor, Bill de Blasio, it faced public backlash which prompted the de Blasio administration to backtrack and discontinue its use.
“It’s creepy, alienating and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers,” said de Blasio’s spokesman.
Adams, ever the technophile, was thrilled to announce the robot’s return to the force.
“Digidog is out of the pound!” Adams gleefully told reporters.
The second robot is much less exciting, and looks like a giant cone that rolls around on flat surfaces.
It’s not exactly clear how this robot will fight crime, but the New York Times reports that the same robot has been used in the past to patrol a Lowe’s parking lot like a mechanized Paul Blart, so you know it’s a real winner. Now that it’s ready for the big leagues the NYPD will test it out patrolling the Times Square subway station. Mayor Adams compared it to a Roomba, and said that for the first few months a human officer would accompany the robot as it makes its subterranean rounds.
If you’re worried that AI will take your job, remember that there are worse fates, like being forced to supervise the AI as it rolls around a subway station sucking up garbage and diarrhea.
At a price of $12,250 for a 7 month contract, this is cheaper and likely just as effective as an MTA employee, even if it runs out of batteries and stops functioning.
The robotic dog put on an impressive show during the press conference, and robot enthusiasts like myself were eager to see it in action.
That moment came all too soon, when on April 18th a parking garage in the Financial District collapsed. Digidog sprung into action to enter the wreckage and search for survivors, only to take a tumble after stepping on uneven rubble.
At the time of this writing it is unclear whether Digidog toppled over by accident or just wanted belly scratches.
NYC Names Rat Czar
Equally exciting was the announcement that, after months of searching, NYC has named its Rat Czar. Mayor Adams held another press briefing during which he announced that Kathleen Corradi would be leading the charge against the city’s rats.
Pronounced like “karate,” her name is perhaps foreshadowing her plan to kick some rat ass.
“I have a long history with rats,” she told reporters, which raised more questions for me than it answered.
“I’m honored to lead this work, grateful to Mayor Adams for this opportunity, and look forward to sending the rats packing,” she said, referencing the flier circulated by the city depicting a rat with a cute lil suitcase.
“Rats are smart, they are resilient,” said Adams. “Many of us live in communities where rats think they run the city.”
Reader Harrison S. in the Lower East Side sent in this image, captioned “Rat ambassadors squeak up amid bad press after New York’s ‘Rat Czar’.”
It seems that other groups are as eager to support the rats as we are. Here at Rat Report we support our four-legged friends and advocate for rodent rights as they square off against their new antagonist, Ms. Corradi.
Other rat ambassadors from around the world are speaking out about all the good things rats can do. According to US News, rats can be trained to perform a variety of useful tasks, and “expand the use of their keen sense of smell to finding people trapped in collapsed buildings, detecting diseases in laboratory samples and alerting officials to illegal goods at ports and airports.”
Here at Rat Report we imagine a promising future coexisting with the rats. Perhaps the city’s rats could have banded together to find people trapped in the collapsed parking structure last month. It’s certainly hard to imagine them doing a worse job than Digidog.
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