Karl`s PC Help Forums

The Ethics/Morality Of The Programs Used By Diverless Cars: NY Times Article-06/24/16
JackInCT - 24-6-2016 at 15:43

The Ethics/Morality Of The Programs Used By Diverless Cars: NY Times Article-06/24/16

Note: I c & p'ed (verbatim) ONLY the FIRST several paragraphs. I do not know if the entire article is available to those without a subscription to the Times.

People say that one day, perhaps in the not-so-distant future, they’d like to be passengers in self-driving cars that are mindful machines doing their best for the common good. Merge politely. Watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Keep a safe space.

A new research study, however, indicates that what people really want to ride in is an autonomous vehicle that puts its passengers first. If its machine brain has to choose between slamming into a wall or running someone over, well, sorry, pedestrian.

In this week’s Science magazine [URL for this article is: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6293/1514.full], a group of computer scientists and psychologists explain how they conducted six online surveys of United States residents last year between June and November that asked people how they believed autonomous vehicles should behave. The researchers found that respondents generally thought self-driving cars should be programmed to make decisions for the greatest good.

Sort of. Through a series of quizzes that present unpalatable options that amount to saving or sacrificing yourself — and the lives of fellow passengers who may be family members — to spare others, the researchers, not surprisingly, found that people would rather stay alive.

A pedestrian crosses in front of a vehicle as part of a demonstration last July at Mcity, a test site for driverless and connected vehicles, on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mich. Credit Paul Sancya/Associated Press

This particular dilemma of robotic morality has long been chewed on in science fiction books and movies. But in recent years it has become a serious question for researchers working on autonomous vehicles who must, in essence, program moral decisions into a machine.

As autonomous vehicles edge closer to reality, it has also become a philosophical question with business implications. Should manufacturers create vehicles with various degrees of morality programmed into them, depending on what a consumer wants? Should the government mandate that all self-driving cars share the same value of protecting the greatest good, even if that’s not so good for a car’s passengers?

And what exactly is the greatest good?

“Is it acceptable for an A.V. (autonomous vehicle) to avoid a motorcycle by swerving into a wall, considering that the probability of survival is greater for the passenger of the A.V., than for the rider of the motorcycle? Should A.V.s take the ages of the passengers and pedestrians into account?” wrote Jean-François Bonnefon, of the Toulouse School of Economics in France; Azim Shariff, of the University of Oregon; and Iyad Rahwan, of the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


marymary100 - 24-6-2016 at 19:31

It depends who the passenger is and who the pedestrian. Maybe former BMW owners + right wing fascists etc. could start with zero points as passengers/pedestrians and we could allocate points for everyone in a similar fashion... [/s]


JackInCT - 24-6-2016 at 20:22

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
It depends who the passenger is and who the pedestrian. Maybe former BMW owners + right wing fascists etc. could start with zero points as passengers/pedestrians and we could allocate points for everyone in a similar fashion... [/s]


Taking your idea to the next level, if you're feeling entrepreneurial you/whoever could come up with a driverless car video game based on your criteria as to who's worth the most/least points re running over versus self-preservation. I would suspect that doing in a politician (who is right of center) would get the most points!!!! Such a game would really go over if the politician had a façade [that would appear out of the blue] to hide behind before they were run into--just like real life.


marymary100 - 24-6-2016 at 20:30

We used to play this game when we were callow youths where we would award imaginary points for running over certain types. Maximum points were awarded if you could knock away a walking stick without knocking down the person themselves. I stress this was an imaginary game and "hilarious" when we were teens.


LSemmens - 25-6-2016 at 02:44

Death Race was almost on the money! shocked_yellow.

I would suggest that the coding would be designed such that it would give the greatest chance of survival to all parties.