Author Topic: Driverless cars and morality  (Read 2066 times)

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2017, 09:33:16 AM »
Quote
The most well-known issues in AV ethics are trolly problems—moral questions dating back to the era of trollies that ask whose lives should be sacrificed in an unavoidable crash. For instance, if a person falls onto the road in front of a fast-moving AV, and the car can either swerve into a traffic barrier, potentially killing the passenger, or go straight, potentially killing the pedestrian, what should it do?

That's a false dichotomy for a start.   The accepted response in that situation would be to perform an emergency stop.

As the pedestrian has suffered an accident and fallen into the road, the car driver (whether AI or human) has been absolved of moral responsibility.   Accidents happen, and in this case the accident is the result of human error.  No reasonable person would blame the driver if a person fell out into the road and the driver took the action expected of him.
Winner of WitchSabrinas Best Advice Award 2012


We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real
tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. -Plato

Offline Cavebear

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2018, 02:54:43 AM »
Already lots of people are complaining about the idea of autonomous vehicles and not for the reasons you might expect. It has little to nothing to do with morality and everything to do with having to give up on old technology. Folks love the idea of being able to punch the accelerator to zoom past the old guy driving ever so slowly. Personally I prefer to drive the posted speed limit, but that never stops most of the traffic from zooming past or driving way to close to the rear bumper of the car in front of them. They're all in a race to get home to guzzle beer and watch meaningless crap on teeeeveeee..

I like driving along safely too.  But I don't trust bot drivers.  Not yet,,,
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Hydra009

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2018, 12:14:50 PM »
I like driving along safely too.  But I don't trust bot drivers.  Not yet,,,
If you're even slightly less likely to get into an accident compared to human driving, it's a worthwhile choice.  Multiply that choice by millions day in and day out, and it's a huge safety improvement.

Online Hydra009

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2018, 12:32:00 PM »
In the wake of the infamous Uber driverless car accident in which a pedestrian died, this thread may have new relevance.

The Daily Mail has a lovely headline: "Inside Uber's driverless death traps".  Quality journalism as always.  There are a number of similar scare articles (fear sells).

I'd just like to say one thing about this: people die all the time from conventional car accidents and no one bats an eye.  You've all heard about the one driverless car fatality that day, but did you hear about the average of 102* fatalities happening every day in the US?

(* 2016 data.  Source: National Safety Council)

Offline AllPurposeAtheist

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2018, 12:40:39 PM »
One question that I haven't seen addressed is at what point do we as a society decide whether we're going to have driverless cars and if so how do we deal with the millions of people who will never want to give up driving themselves?
If, for example it can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt that driverless cars are safer than trusting human judgment just how do you convince the people who still want to drive well over the posted speed limits, take short cuts through the grass and so on that the public safety is more important than their wants and desires? Collectors of vintage automobiles will undoubtedly have a tizzy fit over not being allowed to drive their old heaps not to mention the millions who think of their cars and trucks as sovereign states of their own..
There has to be a tipping point where the old cars that require human interaction get phased out and replaced by autonomous vehicles run and operated by either the state or gawd forbid some corporation with the power to arrest and detain people who still drive.. I can see it becoming another cold dead hands scenario just like the gun issues. 
Enter the new breed of politicians on the side of stupid..as if that's never happened before..
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 12:45:47 PM by AllPurposeAtheist »
All hail my new signature!

Admit it. You're secretly green with envy.

Offline trdsf

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2018, 12:54:03 PM »
I forget which thread it was in, and I'm too lazy to look for it.  Automated, driverless cars make excellent sense when most other cars on the road are *also* driverless and will therefore react in predictable, programmatic ways.  I've worked with computers long enough to know when the machine is at fault, and when the machine has failed due to human error.

The victim in the pedestrian accident also appears to have been jaywalking, crossing in the middle of the street.  I haven't seen any information on how much time the car had to process and react to a person where a person should not have been -- but *if* she just popped out into the street, especially *if* she'd been previously hidden by an SUV or other large vehicle... she could have as easily been struck by a human driver.  I wouldn't hold the human driver morally culpable under those circumstances.  Of course, there are several ifs there, and await further information, but I wouldn't be surprised if what I described is what happened.

It's my understanding that Uber vehicles are programmed to "know" where crosswalks are.  Had she crossed where she was supposed to, all other things being equal, she'd very probably be alive right now.

As a daily bicyclist, I *welcome* drivers on the road who aren't texting or talking on their phones or speeding or just not paying any fucking attention to the several tons of metal they're manipulating.  Automated vehicles would make my daily commute much safer, since the humans around here think a red light means "Oh, what the hell, two or three more", that a stop sign means to pull a third of the way out into the cross street before stopping (if at all) and that speed limits are *lower* limits.  I swear sometimes, there's a little flag over my head that says '50 POINTS!'  It's the only explanation I have for the monumentally shitty way drivers are around here.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Online Hydra009

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2018, 12:59:26 PM »
One question that I haven't seen addressed is at what point do we as a society decide whether we're going to have driverless cars and if so how do we deal with the millions of people who will never want to give up driving themselves?
Currently (and probably for years to come), both systems will exist together on the same streets.

Eventually though, human-driven cars will be phased out.  My educated guess is that price differences (especially insurance rates) will incentivize autonomous cars to the point that human-driven cars will scarcely exist, except perhaps as a luxury item on private roads.

Most people will voluntarily adjust to the change, but there will undoubtedly be diehards who refuse to change.  I dunno if there's much that can be done to avoid that, though I think the transition should be made as painless as possible.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 01:03:35 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline trdsf

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2018, 01:05:19 PM »
One question that I haven't seen addressed is at what point do we as a society decide whether we're going to have driverless cars and if so how do we deal with the millions of people who will never want to give up driving themselves?
If, for example it can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt that driverless cars are safer than trusting human judgment just how do you convince the people who still want to drive well over the posted speed limits, take short cuts through the grass and so on that the public safety is more important than their wants and desires? Collectors of vintage automobiles will undoubtedly have a tizzy fit over not being allowed to drive their old heaps not to mention the millions who think of their cars and trucks as sovereign states of their own..
There has to be a tipping point where the old cars that require human interaction get phased out and replaced by autonomous vehicles run and operated by either the state or gawd forbid some corporation with the power to arrest and detain people who still drive.. I can see it becoming another cold dead hands scenario just like the gun issues. 
Enter the new breed of politicians on the side of stupid..as if that's never happened before..
I'd say it'll take a combination of the following:
  • Insurance rates for non-autonomous cars goign *way* up;
  • Tax breaks for going autonomous and a sort of 'luxury tax'  for not;
  • Seriously boosting penalties for infractions incurred while driving non-autonomously, essentially forcing people to drive like autonomous cars rather than like idiots; and
  • Finding a way to retrofit non-autonomous cars to autonomous with a subsidy along the lines of what they did for digital converter boxes when TV switched from analog to digital.
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Offline Baruch

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2018, 01:06:32 PM »
In the wake of the infamous Uber driverless car accident in which a pedestrian died, this thread may have new relevance.

The Daily Mail has a lovely headline: "Inside Uber's driverless death traps".  Quality journalism as always.  There are a number of similar scare articles (fear sells).

I'd just like to say one thing about this: people die all the time from conventional car accidents and no one bats an eye.  You've all heard about the one driverless car fatality that day, but did you hear about the average of 102* fatalities happening every day in the US?

(* 2016 data.  Source: National Safety Council)

How about the Tesla autopilot accidents?

https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2016/1014/How-safe-is-Tesla-Autopilot-A-look-at-the-statistics

Talks about the dark art of statistics, to show that their autopilot is safer than a human driver.  Which driver are they comparing to?

« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 01:08:30 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2018, 01:07:14 PM »
One question that I haven't seen addressed is at what point do we as a society decide whether we're going to have driverless cars and if so how do we deal with the millions of people who will never want to give up driving themselves?
If, for example it can be proven beyond any reasonable doubt that driverless cars are safer than trusting human judgment just how do you convince the people who still want to drive well over the posted speed limits, take short cuts through the grass and so on that the public safety is more important than their wants and desires? Collectors of vintage automobiles will undoubtedly have a tizzy fit over not being allowed to drive their old heaps not to mention the millions who think of their cars and trucks as sovereign states of their own..
There has to be a tipping point where the old cars that require human interaction get phased out and replaced by autonomous vehicles run and operated by either the state or gawd forbid some corporation with the power to arrest and detain people who still drive.. I can see it becoming another cold dead hands scenario just like the gun issues. 
Enter the new breed of politicians on the side of stupid..as if that's never happened before..

Police State plus SJW ... a marriage made in Heaven.  Or let only Bernie voters drive ;-)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 01:08:52 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2018, 02:13:41 AM »
I have concerns about driverless cars.  I haven't been in an accident in my life but one dead car at a green light in the dark 40 years ago and it was minor.  I am am a dedicated careful driver.  I watch all around me.  I drive the speed limit and less in the rain.  I am annoyingly legal and "defensive".  I don't yet trust AIs,  but am willing to see them develop.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2018, 06:04:56 AM »
I have concerns about driverless cars.  I haven't been in an accident in my life but one dead car at a green light in the dark 40 years ago and it was minor.  I am am a dedicated careful driver.  I watch all around me.  I drive the speed limit and less in the rain.  I am annoyingly legal and "defensive".  I don't yet trust AIs,  but am willing to see them develop.

Very reasonable.  I gave a "like" to trdsf recent post ... but not because I like the advocacy.  It is precisely the utopian market intervention I deplore.  Might as well have Castro in charge.  The open admission of "social engineering" intention is what I "liked".  People who want to "save all people from illness" or "save all people from vehicular mayhem" is the kind of megalomania I don't want in politics.  You can talk like that to the television news cast, but I will think you are crazy.  I admit I don't know how to "save all people from vehicular mayhem" ... maybe it is simply nature's way of getting rid of Darwinian losers.
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Offline aitm

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2018, 06:24:46 PM »
Get me one with a switch to "on". Then when and if I leave the pub a little "later" than normal, I just turn on the auto and voila! I wonder if DUI charge works if the car is in auto?
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline trdsf

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2018, 07:39:50 PM »
Get me one with a switch to "on". Then when and if I leave the pub a little "later" than normal, I just turn on the auto and voila! I wonder if DUI charge works if the car is in auto?
I would say that if you're in a vehicle running on autopilot while you're incapacitated, that can't be a DUI because you're not actually driving.  I mean, you're essentially a passenger, and letting the computer run the car is vastly more responsible than trying to pilot it yourself while three sheets to the wind, yes?
"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning." -- Calvin and Hobbes
"I thought I committed regicide today, but I committed deicide!" -- Sadie Doyle, Beyond Belief

Online Hydra009

Re: Driverless cars and morality
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2018, 08:14:04 PM »
I have concerns about driverless cars.  I haven't been in an accident in my life but one dead car at a green light in the dark 40 years ago and it was minor.  I am am a dedicated careful driver.  I watch all around me.  I drive the speed limit and less in the rain.  I am annoyingly legal and "defensive".  I don't yet trust AIs,  but am willing to see them develop.
Ah, but why do you have to drive defensively?  Mass adoption of autonomous cars not only protects others from you, it protects you from others.

Ever see the cops in a high-speed chase through multiple intersections?  Decades from now, that's going to look insanely dangerous and more than a little silly.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 08:19:20 PM by Hydra009 »

 

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