Ross: Artificial intelligence is coming for cars, like it or not
Last week, just outside Houston, a Tesla crashed and burned after hitting a tree. Both of the men in the car were killed.
And it was THIS statement from police investigators that got everybody’s attention: “They are 100% certain that no one was in the driver’s seat driving the vehicle at the time of impact.”
Were they using the auto pilot? Elon Musk says they were not, and that in fact it cannot be engaged unless there’s someone in the front seat with hands on the wheel.
But as the website says: “All new Tesla cars have the hardware needed in the future for full self-driving in almost all circumstances …”
So, the promise – and the temptation – are definitely there.
And artificial intelligence is coming, like it or not. Cornell philosophy professor Shaun Nichols even predicts that you will one day be able to select your driving algorithm, including how the car behaves when facing a potentially fatal accident. And in the name of safety, he predicts there will be algorithms designed to automatically save the most lives – even if it means steering YOUR car into a tree:
“If you think the right thing to do is to divert the car, but you worry about your ability to make that decision in the moment, you might want to pre-commit by buying a car that has an algorithm that would make that decision for you. There won’t be a straightforward answer to how many lives will be saved – it will depend on the kind of situation.”
You could outsource life and death driving decisions! Would YOU buy a car that does that?
Suppose you were told A-I cars could cut overall traffic deaths by 50%? Or 90%? Would you buy it then?
I predict a lot of A-I hesitancy. Because, remember, we stopped the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over six blood clots out of seven million vaccinations.
As for what *I* would do with A-I? My version of A-I would be: When some guy drives past me at 80, MY car reports HIS car, and HIS car drives itself to the State Patrol.
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