[ExI] Self-Driving Cars Must Make Ethical Decisions

Chris Hibbert hibbert at mydruthers.com
Wed Jul 29 15:12:43 UTC 2015

> Researchers are trying to program self-driving cars to make
> split-second decisions that raise real ethical questions.

This seems like a red herring to me. The ethical questions that 
philosophers (and members of this list) like to debate are all 
borderline questions, with strong proponents on many sides. If there 
isn't a single obvious answer to educated discussants sitting quietly in 
their armchairs, then why is it crucial that automated driving software 
be able to make split-second distinctions without warning or any 
background on the potential gains and losses?

The real issue that needs to be resolved before deciding that it's okay 
to put AIs in charge of high-speed vehicles is whether they're better at 
humans at preventing accidents in the incidents that happen every day in 
every city. And if they're just barely better at that, then any 
difference of opinion on the subtle ethical trade-offs where just 
avoiding the accident isn't an option will be very much in the noise.

Rationality is about drawing correct inferences from limited,
      confusing, contradictory, or maliciously doctored facts.
   -- Scott Alexander

Chris Hibbert
hibbert at mydruthers.com

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