[ProgSoc] Programming ethics in Autonomous Vehicles

Roland Turner roland at rolandturner.com
Sat Oct 31 16:22:47 AEDT 2015


On 10/31/2015 09:36 AM, Liam E-P wrote:

> Jacob linked this to me the other day, thought might post here. It's 
> an article posing an interesting problem for the future - how do we 
> program ethics into self-driving cars and the like? And which ethical 
> disposition (utilitarian, etc.)?
>
> http://www.iflscience.com/technology/should-self-driving-car-be-programmed-kill-its-passengers-greater-good-scenario
>
> Would be interesting when they embed this in law.

I'd suggest that this is less future/hypothetical than ethics professors 
like to pretend:

  * collision-avoidant vehicles have been on the road (in real use, not
    merely R&D prototypes) for almost 30 years,
  * those which recognise and deal separately with soft obstacles
    (humans or animals) for almost 10,
  * those which recognise and deal separately with human beings
    specifically for at least 2 years.

The real-world priority is simple, as for a car driven by a human: 
protect the vehicle's occupants first, avoid collision wherever possible 
second.

- Roland

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