[ExI] self driving cars

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sat May 19 19:42:27 UTC 2012

spike (or maybe it was really someone else!) wrote:

> maybe even the computer could be smart enough to say, "These two people
> really should talk, I'll arrange a ride for them, and even propose a
> topic for discussion"... it could be a really good thing.

This remark really made me blink.  And think.  And go pale.

What does "the computer could be smart enough to..." actually mean?

I strongly suspect it means "the company that controls the software running on the computer wants to..."

I can see whole new vistas of abuse opening up here, with software giants able to influence who gets to meet (or not) who, not to mention the irresistible lure of a captive audience for 'targeted advertising' (aka spam), and a superb way of tracking individuals movements for those interested in such things.  If you thought Facebook was bad, just wait until every single trip you make is recorded, analysed and cross-referenced with information about who you associate with, your medical records and your taste in music, sexual preferences, and any number of other things.

Oh, yes, and what self-respecting gubmint will bypass the opportunity to impose Compulsory Automated Security Checks on all travellers?

(I'm also trying to think how the convergence of Augmented Reality and self-driving cars can go horribly wrong..)

Sorry to be so negative, but we must anticipate the negative as well as positive aspects of a development like this.  Given that the advent of automated cars presents a good case for some kind of centralised control, resistant to hacking and probably hostile to the spirit of Open Source (opinions on this, please!) it opens up a can of poisonous worms, of many kinds, as well as the exciting and positive things that have already been mentioned.

Ben Zaiboc

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list