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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 183938 4-Nov-2015 08:21
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Found this article very interesting. What are your thoughts? Should self driving cars be programmed to kill?

Self-driving cars are already cruising the streets. But before they can become widespread, carmakers must solve an impossible ethical dilemma of algorithmic morality.


How should the car be programmed to act in the event of an unavoidable accident? Should it minimize the loss of life, even if it means sacrificing the occupants, or should it protect the occupants at all costs? Should it choose between these extremes at random? (See also “How to Help Self-Driving Cars Make Ethical Decisions.”)

The answers to these ethical questions are important because they could have a big impact on the way self-driving cars are accepted in society. Who would buy a car programmed to sacrifice the owner?


These problems cannot be ignored, say the team: “As we are about to endow millions of vehicles with autonomy, taking algorithmic morality seriously has never been more urgent.”



http://www.technologyreview.com/view/542626/why-self-driving-cars-must-be-programmed-to-kill/

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  Reply # 1420380 4-Nov-2015 08:32
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Personally kill who is in the wrong... if a person is on the road jaywalking (or a group of people), kill them.  Don't drive onto the footpath killing someone who isn't doing anything wrong.  Don't kill the people in the car (unless they are in the wrong, which would be hard, unless there were a s/w issue then in that case the car wouldnt think it was in the wrong anyway).

However, if the people its killing is kids (assuming it can detect kids, i'm sure google could), never kill the kids (unless you have kids in your car).

ok, yeah thats a tough one.....

we need to hurry up and get transporters, to avoid this (of course every time you step in one of those, you would die and a clone would take your place...)



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Reply # 1420383 4-Nov-2015 08:34
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My personal preference, and if I was a programmer who programmed these cars, would be to take out the cyclist first. ;-p

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  Reply # 1420390 4-Nov-2015 08:43
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This is a fascinating and serious subject and I was going to contribute, until I saw the stupid remark about cyclists. Grow up, people.
 




I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 




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  Reply # 1420398 4-Nov-2015 08:52
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reven: Personally kill who is in the wrong... if a person is on the road jaywalking (or a group of people), kill them.  Don't drive onto the footpath killing someone who isn't doing anything wrong.  Don't kill the people in the car (unless they are in the wrong, which would be hard, unless there were a s/w issue then in that case the car wouldnt think it was in the wrong anyway).

However, if the people its killing is kids (assuming it can detect kids, i'm sure google could), never kill the kids (unless you have kids in your car).



Many other variables too.

- What if the car is stolen, does it still protect its occupant?
- What if you being followed by a serial killer? 
- What if driving through a riot? People stoning/petrol bombing the car? Does it stop, or move on regardless?

So many variables at play.

Who does the code reviews on the software? Will the car owners be rooting their cars like their phones? How will this be controlled? After the VW emissions episode, I guess proprietary software is a No No. Will car owners have access to source code?



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  Reply # 1420418 4-Nov-2015 09:07
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Rikkitic: This is a fascinating and serious subject and I was going to contribute, until I saw the stupid remark about cyclists. Grow up, people.
 


What if the cyclist is:

- pointing a gun at the car.
- a wanted criminal
- its the cyclist on the pavement, or 10kids standing in the road. 

Would that make it OK?

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  Reply # 1420420 4-Nov-2015 09:09
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....

BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 1420432 4-Nov-2015 09:28
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DizzyD:
Rikkitic: This is a fascinating and serious subject and I was going to contribute, until I saw the stupid remark about cyclists. Grow up, people.
 


What if the cyclist is:

- pointing a gun at the car.
- a wanted criminal
- its the cyclist on the pavement, or 10kids standing in the road. 

Would that make it OK?


You made a generalised comment before. This comment doesn't add to it.

Please stop trolling.






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  Reply # 1420464 4-Nov-2015 09:58
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But surely these "ethical" decisions are contrary to the first two laws of robotics and a self-driving car having to make a choice between harming its occupants or harming other road users would irreparably damage its positronic brain?

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  Reply # 1420471 4-Nov-2015 10:09
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IMO the algorithm should try to cause the *least* harm overall.  There's very few scenarios in reality where, when a car is being driven safely, avoiding eg. a pedestrian would cause more harm to the vehicle occupants than the potential harm to the pedestrian.  I think people are introducing a false dichotomy into the equation.

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  Reply # 1420475 4-Nov-2015 10:12
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Of course the cop-out option is that in this hypothetical extreme situation, the vehicle hands control to the human driver.



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  Reply # 1420476 4-Nov-2015 10:13
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andrew027: But surely these "ethical" decisions are contrary to the first two laws of robotics and a self-driving car having to make a choice between harming its occupants or harming other road users would irreparably damage its positronic brain?


The problem here is you can't (or should not) program a robot to be "ethical". Doing so just increases the problem. 

I guess the real question here is, should these cars to be programmed to obey the rules of the road above anything else? Ie, not be programmed to jump pavements to avoid an accident. 



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  Reply # 1420495 4-Nov-2015 10:14
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ubergeeknz: Of course the cop-out option is that in this hypothetical extreme situation, the vehicle hands control to the human driver.


The assumption there is that the occupant can drive a car. 

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  Reply # 1420498 4-Nov-2015 10:16
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andrew027: But surely these "ethical" decisions are contrary to the first two laws of robotics and a self-driving car having to make a choice between harming its occupants or harming other road users would irreparably damage its positronic brain?


Tsk. You never read the later books, then? The Zeroth Law?




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  Reply # 1420499 4-Nov-2015 10:17
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DizzyD:
ubergeeknz: Of course the cop-out option is that in this hypothetical extreme situation, the vehicle hands control to the human driver.


The assumption there is that the occupant can drive a car. 


And that there are manual controls to take over with.




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  Reply # 1420501 4-Nov-2015 10:17
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This is why I believe autonomous vehicles have limited applications, e.g Military, Agricultural, specific transport like at an Airport. But not even close to being ready for general usage in urban or metro situations.




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