PIQUA, OH – Much-needed changes are coming to Piqua to help with the abundance of trash within city limits. Amy Welker, director of the Health and Sanitation Department, gave a presentation to the Piqua City Commission on Tuesday on the upcoming changes to the city’s trash collection.
In her presentation, Welker highlighted the contract the city signed with Roblotnix, a startup based out of Union Township, in collaboration with Spritegoose. The contract allows the Piqua Health and Sanitation Department to purchase their AI-powered TrashBots at a cost of $500,000 per device in a pilot program with the two companies.
“While we look forward to the coming changes to our refuse collection procedures, we need the citizens of Piqua to understand what these changes will mean for them,” Welker said. Welker explained that while the robots will have enough strength to lift up to 5 tons, and carry an on-board incinerator for increased capacity, the robots don’t pose a serious threat to the community.
“It will be important moving forward that those utilizing trash collection from the city place their garbage cans precisely in the yellow square being painted on every driveway in Piqua. While the robots have not been programmed to use the onboard incinerators as flame throwers, with any new technology, there may be hiccups. So, keep the can in the square, and we likely won’t have any issues with them”
During public comment, local business magnate Stanley Stoobenstensman expressed outrage at the proposed change. “While we certainly want Piqua to embrace innovation, we don’t want to be a testing ground for artificial intelligence, especially if they don’t have realistic genitals” Stoobenstensman said. Public comment was closed after 5 more citizens complained that they would be unable to engage in any sexual activity with the garbage collection devices.
Gary Schnedecker, a Piqua citizen and founder of Ohioans for Responsible AI, noted that while the robots could mean a more efficient trash collection service, powering them by AI is an inherent risk.
“With AI, it’s impossible to know what they’ll learn from the data presented to them. AI is like a black box, with no way to course correct once the model has learned from the data. That being said, I’ve had sex with a number of human-like items, and I’m certain I’ll find a way to go to bonetown with one of the TrashBots,” Schnedecker said.
The fleet of TrashBots will hit the streets of Piqua in January of 2022, with an overall budget of $5,000,000. There could be as many as 20 robots roaming the city by the end of 2022, pending positive performance of the pilot.
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