Aug 27, 2016

Ray Kurzweil Explores How Self-Driving Cars Will Choose Between Life or Death

Posted by in categories: computing, information science, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, transportation

Driving a motor vehicle requires making tough choices in the heat of the moment. Whether slamming on the brakes in traffic or speeding up before a light turns red, split-second decisions are often a choice between the lesser of two evils. Sometimes, a choice could lead to bodily injury or even a loss of life.

As more self-driving cars reach the road, life-and-death decisions once made by humans alone will increasingly shift to machines. Yet the idea of giving that responsibility over to a computer may be unsettling to some.

Self-driving cars have the potential to significantly reduce the tens of thousands of auto fatalities occurring yearly—but a reduction isn’t the same as elimination. In fact, some deaths will inevitably happen at the hands of computer algorithms once they make those decisions for us.

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