Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 26th Aug 2017 19:08 UTC
In the News

Some light weekend reading: ethical guidelines for self-driving cars, as proposed by an ethics commission of the German government.

The technological developments are forcing government and society to reflect on the emerging changes. The decision that has to be taken is whether the licensing of automated driving systems is ethically justifiable or possibly even imperative. If these systems are licensed - and it is already apparent that this is happening at international level - everything hinges on the conditions in which they are used and the way in which they are designed. At the fundamental level, it all comes down to the following question. How much dependence on technologically complex systems - which in the future will be based on artificial intelligence, possibly with machine learning capabilities - are we willing to accept in order to achieve, in return, more safety, mobility and convenience? What precautions need to be taken to ensure controllability, transparency and data autonomy? What technological development guidelines are required to ensure that we do not blur the contours of a human society that places individuals, their freedom of development, their physical and intellectual integrity and their entitlement to social respect at the heart of its legal regime?

Cars are legalised murder weapons, and the car is probably one of the deadliest inventions of mankind. Self-driving cars, therefore, open up a whole Pandora's box oef ethical dilemmas, and it only makes sense for governments and lawmakers to start addressing these.

Beyond the ethics related to life and death, though, there are also simpler, more banal ethical considerations. What if, in the hunger for more profits, a car maker makes a deal with McDonalds, and tweaks its self-driving car software just a tad bit so that it drives customers past McDonalds more often, even if it increases total travel time? What if a car maker makes similar deals with major chains like Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods, so that smaller chains or independent stores don't even show up when you say "take me to the nearest place that sells X"? Is that something we should allow?

Should we even allow self-driving car software to be closed-source to begin with? Again - cars are legal murder weapons, and do we really trust car manufacturers enough not to cut corners when developing self-driving car software to meet deadlines or due to bad management or underpaid developers? Shouldn't all this development and all this code be out there for the world to see?

Interesting times ahead.

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Like Donald Trump Lecturing Us On Humility
by fmaxwell on Sat 26th Aug 2017 19:55 UTC
fmaxwell
Member since:
2005-11-13

The same country that brought us Volkswagen's Dieselgate is now the self-appointed arbiter of ethics in the automotive industry. That's rich.

Reply Score: 0

guzzard Member since:
2013-09-04

Germany != Volkswagen

Edited 2017-08-26 20:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

Germany != Volkswagen


Who are you arguing with? What I wrote was that Germany was "same country that brought us Volkswagen's Dieselgate."

"Sarah Palin != Bristol Palin," but it's completely fair to bring up Bristol Palin when Sarah Palin starts lecturing others on how to raise their children with an abstinence-based education.

Reply Score: 1

123soleil Member since:
2009-11-15

firstly multinational companies are not the children of countries. Secondly, what do guidelines on self driving cars have to do with diesel emissions??

That's like saying america shouldn't provide guidelines on artificial intelligence because Microsoft and google are abusing their monopolistic advantage. Two completely different topics.

Reply Score: 1

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

German Ethics among the most evolved, West sphere. Not being followed another issue.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You know the company is different from the country, right?

Reply Score: 2

Out-think the computer.
by amrothery on Sat 26th Aug 2017 22:15 UTC
amrothery
Member since:
2011-08-26

So don't say "take me to the nearest store that sells X". Instead tell the car "take me to X store at the following address". If it doesn't follow those specific instructions, return it as defective.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Out-think the computer.
by loic on Sun 27th Aug 2017 17:51 UTC in reply to "Out-think the computer."
loic Member since:
2012-09-23

Now let's rethink this with a more realistic scenario. You use an automatic car, car are not goods anymore, these are services. You say "Bring me to the XX Bogus street" (a restaurant), then on the first time, you get there in a record time.
Then the second time, the car software was updated to 1.2.0, you still want to go to the same place, then the car suggest service tells you it will pass in front of a Mc Donald and that you got a reduction coupon, then it will slow down to a crawl when near from the Mc Donald, but bring you to the destination.
Finally, updated to 2.0.0, the car says that that restaurant had an issue with dangerous arabic food, and it will forbid you from going there.

Lovely!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Out-think the computer.
by woegjiub on Tue 29th Aug 2017 13:40 UTC in reply to "Out-think the computer."
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

That presumes you already know that shop sells that item. If there's a local small business that sells what you want, but you either haven't been there before or just don't know they stock it, you won't notice they've lost a sale when you asked for "nearest shop that sells X".

Reply Score: 2

Comment Title
by Dr.Cyber on Sat 26th Aug 2017 22:29 UTC
Dr.Cyber
Member since:
2017-06-17

Cars are legalised murder weapons, and the car is probably one of the deadliest inventions of mankind. Self-driving cars, therefore, open up a whole Pandora's box oef ethical dilemmas, and it only makes sense for governments and lawmakers to start addressing these.

I do not think that it makes sense for us to let satanic psychopaths like governments address our moral issues. They have done quite a shitty job so far at addressing our moral issues.

Beyond the ethics related to life and death, though, there are also simpler, more banal ethical considerations. What if, in the hunger for more profits, a car maker makes a deal with McDonalds, and tweaks its self-driving car software just a tad bit so that it drives customers past McDonalds more often, even if it increases total travel time? What if a car maker makes similar deals with major chains like Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods, so that smaller chains or independent stores don't even show up when you say "take me to the nearest place that sells X"? Is that something we should allow?

Yes we should. Government regulations generally lead to more suffering for the people and more power for the ones doing the regulating (although this probably has something to do with the fact that the ones doing the regulating are generally satan worshipping psychopaths).
The government should stop controlling the market so that the people can be free again. And then the people should vote with their wallet.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment Title
by fmaxwell on Sat 26th Aug 2017 23:05 UTC in reply to "Comment Title"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

I do not think that it makes sense for us to let satanic psychopaths like governments address our moral issues. They have done quite a shitty job so far at addressing our moral issues.


So we should just get rid of all of those "satanic" government-imposed laws against child molestation, murder, rape, theft, fraud, torture, etc.? You're comments about satanic beliefs are disturbing. You might want to talk to someone because your beliefs are so far out of the mainstream that it's cause for concern.

The government should stop controlling the market so that the people can be free again. And then the people should vote with their wallet.


Given the choice of polluting their neighbor's well or spending an extra $100, far too many would choose to let the neighbor drink poison.

If you think that things are so much better without government regulating things, then Somalia should be a paradise for someone like you. The government is so small and powerless as to be all but non-existent in most people's lives. And you know what? The country is a hell-hole. Serious, brutal, and often fatal crimes are common.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment Title
by Dr.Cyber on Sun 27th Aug 2017 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment Title"
Dr.Cyber Member since:
2017-06-17

So we should just get rid of all of those "satanic" government-imposed laws against child molestation, murder, rape, theft, fraud, torture, etc.?

This is a strawman. I think that such laws are pretty good. I am merely against all the crimes that the government commits (which happen to include the things that you mentioned) and against having them be controlled by a satanic group of private bankers.

You're comments about satanic beliefs are disturbing. You might want to talk to someone because your beliefs are so far out of the mainstream that it's cause for concern.

Having mainstream beliefs is not a good thing when you live in 1984.

Given the choice of polluting their neighbor's well or spending an extra $100, far too many would choose to let the neighbor drink poison.

Funny that you mention this because the government in America actually does happen to support poisoning the drinking water with fluoride. So it seems that you seek shelter against people who would poison you by the people who support poisoning you.

If you think that things are so much better without government regulating things, then Somalia should be a paradise for someone like you. The government is so small and powerless as to be all but non-existent in most people's lives. And you know what? The country is a hell-hole. Serious, brutal, and often fatal crimes are common.

I do not agree with Somalia's laws so I would probably not want to live there for it's laws or government.
I agree more with the laws of America's founders, was America also a hell-hole back when it's people were still free?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment Title
by Soulbender on Wed 30th Aug 2017 08:40 UTC in reply to "Comment Title"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Because the unregulated free market has proven so awesomely non-evil in the past....

Reply Score: 2

Murder weapon?
by Megol on Mon 28th Aug 2017 12:11 UTC
Megol
Member since:
2011-04-11

I think the "owner" of this blog is slowly loosing his mind.

People have been murdered with chairs, ropes, items of clothes, doors (yes ordinary doors) with human hands etc.

Are those then legalized murder weapons? Only in a deranged mind. There's not even a hint of logic behind such an idiotic statement (that even was repeated like it was insightful). Cars are tools used for transportation, not murder weapons.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Murder weapon?
by jaylaa on Mon 28th Aug 2017 20:43 UTC in reply to "Murder weapon?"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

The use of the word "murder" may be hyperbole, since death by car usually isn't on purpose.

But his point is that I can get in a car, accidentally mow down several pedestrians, and get a sentence of reckless driving, possibly less. Several people dead, but I get to walk free.

No other tool, including the ones you mention, lets people cause the death of other humans so easily with so little punishment.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Murder weapon?
by grat on Tue 29th Aug 2017 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Murder weapon?"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

The use of the word "murder" may be hyperbole, since death by car usually isn't on purpose.


MAY be hyperbole? It is absolutely, one hundred percent, hyperbole.

Anything capable of transferring kinetic energy is capable of being used as a weapon... but apparently, the philosophy here is "don't blame the people who make poor choices while operating the vehicle, blame the vehicle".

By extension, Thom just called about a billion people attempted murderers-- apparently nuclear weapons, gunpowder, alcohol and tobacco aren't that dangerous compared with motorized transportation in the hands of an idiot.

Reminds me of a Frank Lloyd Wright quote on dangerous weapons. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Murder weapon?
by jaylaa on Tue 29th Aug 2017 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Murder weapon?"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

You're really missing the point. No one is trying to take away the blame from the person behind the wheel. Or demonize cars.

The point is a criticism of society. Which is that a person can kill another human being with a car and, even if they are found to be at fault, they receive a very light punishment in comparison to how they would be treated if they killed someone in just about any other manner.

You name me one single method of killing multiple people where the punishment can be as light as probation, fines and loss of drivers' license.

Edited 2017-08-29 12:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Murder weapon?
by dionicio on Tue 29th Aug 2017 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Murder weapon?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

The evil index of the tool... A great amount of resources go to UN-demonizing what essentially is evil.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Murder weapon?
by dionicio on Tue 29th Aug 2017 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Murder weapon?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

"Levels of ultrafine particulate matter in the atmosphere are neither monitored nor regulated by environmental agencies anywhere in the world, Artaxo says."

Nanoparticle emissions rise 30 percent when flex-fuel cars switch from bio to fossil

https://phys.org/news/2017-08-nanoparticle-emissions-percent-flex-fu...

Edited 2017-08-29 18:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Murder weapon?
by dionicio on Tue 29th Aug 2017 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Murder weapon?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Lorries are quickly falling in the evil index. Bikes have an extremely low evil index.

Edited 2017-08-29 14:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Murder weapon?
by dionicio on Tue 29th Aug 2017 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Murder weapon?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Economically speaking, We live a Shakespearian Reality. Certainly NOT our scripting.

Edited 2017-08-29 18:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Murder weapon?
by grat on Tue 29th Aug 2017 17:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Murder weapon?"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

You name me one single method of killing multiple people where the punishment can be as light as probation, fines and loss of drivers' license.


That's a problem with the legal system, not the car, called in the OP "one of the deadliest inventions of mankind."

But if you really want to talk death-by-stupidity, try most "modern" healthcare systems.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Murder weapon?
by dionicio on Thu 31st Aug 2017 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Murder weapon?"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

“I don’t want to ruin someone else’s life either. So what do you do with that? There again if you let it go, you’ve demonstrated that someone can kill someone else with a car and you can get away with it, which is historically, statistically, what seems to be happening.”

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/31/chris-boardman-...

Not the same: Stealing twenty bucks with a Bank, than with a knife. You'll get a small close call at the wrist, with the former.

Edited 2017-08-31 20:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Will Drive By Myself.
by dionicio on Mon 28th Aug 2017 13:50 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Paraphrasing Del Spooner at "I, Robot". Will be always an option?

Reply Score: 2

Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Self driving cars should NOT be held to higher standards than human drives.

It is very easy to calculate how the average human reacts in emergency situations. Auto-pilot systems should be programmed to be held to the same standard for DERTEMINING which path to take. With auto-pilot cars never being distracted, that would instantly create a lot safe environment for everyone to exist in.

Accidents would be reduced just because auto-pilot cars can react faster as well not never being distracted.

As more and more vehicles become self driving, the chance for accidents will be reduced year over year. Eventually there will be a tipping point to where accidents are AUTOMATICALLY dropped due to the reasons above.

Again. To hold auto-pilot cars to a higher standard than humans as far as what path they would take is just people trying to slow down the auto-pilot industry. In the meantime, the tipping point will be delayed and thousands, if not tens of thousands of lives will be lost due to the foot dragging of neandrathals of humans including government officials to slow progress down will actually cause a lot of people to needlessly die to delays.

Reply Score: 1

dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Quite Intelligent log, Sabon: At many situations those neuron units will be able to take better and faster decisions, NOT meaning those should...

Those neuron units will have to be able to catch mean, furious, evil, drugged, criminal, etc. driving behaviors.

Those neuron units will have to ponder on asking for human help: on decisions, procedures, updated data; on driving itself at times.

This is, gosh! too much premature. Money hubris, maybe?

Reply Score: 2

Don't touch my car!!
by lighans on Tue 29th Aug 2017 13:00 UTC
lighans
Member since:
2006-01-14

The car is so personal. When you call it a murder weapon people want to kill you at once. Be carefull Thom. ;)

Off course a car is not the killer. It is just metal and oil. But the driver... It's good to realize that driving in a car is dangerous to other people. The car has become so safe (we think) for the passengers, but still very dangerous. Therefore I think drivers are a bit egoistic. I can say cause sometimes I drive one myself.

Reply Score: 1

comment by ezraz
by ezraz on Tue 29th Aug 2017 13:59 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

sorry folks i'm going the other direction.

my next car will have no touch screen multifunction technology at all. give me dials switches and gauges, and a line in on the stereo, i'm good.

being an old person will soon = "I can drive myself, thank you"

Reply Score: 2

single purpose devices
by ezraz on Wed 30th Aug 2017 14:04 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

I've really come to appreciate them in the last 10 years.

Most devices used to do 1 thing, or focus on 1 thing and all the parts of it.

Multi-function devices are always harder to use.

Their end quality is almost always worse than the single purpose device, given similar generations.

All of the functions in a multifunction device can require updating and each function matures and is adopted independently.

Give me properly made, full quality, single-purpose devices and I'm a happy man.

There are exceptions - I use my pocket phone camera and streaming music player b/c it's already in my pocket.

But given a new purchase of an important device - I want it to be as focused on it's primary task as possible.

The primary task is why it exists. Everything else is fluff to complicate and cheapen it.

Edited 2017-08-30 14:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2