[ExI] [Bulk] Self-Driving Cars Must Make Ethical Decisions

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Jul 29 16:55:31 UTC 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of BillK

>...Walker-Smith adds that, given the number of fatal traffic accidents that involve human error today, it could be considered unethical to introduce self-driving technology too slowly. “The biggest ethical question is how quickly we move. We have a technology that potentially could save a lot of people, but is going to be imperfect and is going to kill.”
End quotes   -------------

>>... There is also a chance that hackers will be able to change the ethics section of the car computer. All the way from 'Protect me at all costs' to weaponize it into 'Kill as many as possible'.  BillK


Ja to all.  Regarding the swerve question, I can imagine a solution where the self-drivers just drive slower and react more quickly.  Then rather than swerve, they swerve only over to the centerline, and brake hard.  I can imagine if the self-drivers stay under the posted speed limits, they would be way safer than any human-operated vehicle, which routinely drives faster than that, particularly in residential areas.  Riding in one will require patience.

Related to BillK's weaponized car scenario, a yahoo could rig one filled with fertilizer and Diesel oil, set it to drive over to the ex's house, blast him and his girlfriend into the next county.  If done with sufficient stealthiness, there would be no way to know who dunnit, or no way to prove it even if everyone suspected the ex.

Agree with the article, introducing the technology too slowly poses ethical problems of its own for we know there are people with drivers licenses who shouldn't have them.  If you talk to any grave-shift cop, they will tell you a big part of their job is sweeping up body parts of yahoos who stayed at the bar until it closed at 0200, then attempted to drive home.  In some areas, the 0200 cleanup is worse than rush hour for accident rates.  Ethical dilemmas posed by children darting out doesn't apply at 0200.  But current technology is a waaaay better driver than some stupid drunk, and is better than plenty of elderly license holders. 


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list