November 3, 2015 - Comments Off on Autonomous Cars

Autonomous Cars

Yesterday, I fell into a conversation about autonomous cars in response to this blog post by Zack Kanter -- How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025.

It's a thought provoking post, with lots of links to sink you deeper into the wormhole of autonomous car dystopia (or utopia... depending on how full your glass is this morning). Not to argue with any of his stats or the conclusion he draws from them; the post did kindle some thoughts on the ethics around autonomous cars, and the risks we assume by stepping into a vehicle with no driver.

These are a few of the questions spurred by this conversation, as it opens pandoras box regarding AI and altruism. Can the sometimes selfless and irrational acts of man to save countless lives be programed into a machine?

No doubt we have time to answer this question, but my fear is it will be an afterthought, only studied once we have a handful of deaths attributed to autonomous driven cars. The inventors role is not necessarily to write ethic statements that influence law, but it should be on their minds as they write algorithms and code that will direct a 40-ton machine careening down the interstate at 70mph. There is a lot to unpack here, and if you are in law school, it might be something to focus on for your term paper... wait, do law students even have term papers?

Either way... that's my two cents.

Published by: samuel in digital, philosophy

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