The trolley problem of self-driving cars


Cory Doctorow, at The Guardian:

A car is a high-speed, heavy object with the power to kill its users and the people around it. A compromise in the software that allowed an attacker to take over the brakes, accelerator and steering (such as last summer’s exploit against Chrysler’s Jeeps, which triggered a 1.4m vehicle recall) is a nightmare scenario. The only thing worse would be such an exploit against a car designed to have no user-override – designed, in fact, to treat any attempt from the vehicle’s user to redirect its programming as a selfish attempt to avoid the Trolley Problem’s cold equations.
Whatever problems we will have with self-driving cars, they will be worsened by designing them to treat their passengers as adversaries.

The hard part of making a self-driving car is writing the AI. These days, the hard part of writing the AI is making the decisions about what decisions the AI should be biased towards making.

Comments?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.