Author Topic: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?  (Read 837 times)

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2018, 03:05:42 PM »
The Trolley Problem is more an exercise in mental gymnastics useful in Psychology/Philosophy 101 than a true tool in moral and ethical questions in programming autonomous algorithms. It isn't moral, it is actually immoral. It asks you to play "God" in choosing between who lives and who dies. It allows you to change uncontrollable actions to a controllable action.. who dies to an accident versus who do I kill. It is fatalism where every choice is a disaster. The situations it places you in are somewhere between unrealistic and ludicrous then says hey make a moral/ethical decision on murder.   We are placed as victims of our conditions, who face a binary choice with two horrendous outcomes.  The choices do not occur, as human moral choices actually do, as part of a chain of decision-making. Literally everything has been decided for us by an unseen external force, except who will die, which is conveniently left up to us.

So... how did you score in the MIT study?

I chose to run over the healthy adults and save the animals.
Interesting...
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Tacachale

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2018, 03:59:21 PM »
I tended to favor those who were in the crosswalk.  I also tended to favor those who were legally in the crosswalk or had the green light.  I went with the "pedestrians always have the right of way" argument to justify my choices...  8)

I favored people in the crosswalk, not changing lanes, and those who were walking legally. I also went with saving people over animals. My justification was similar to yours - the people in the car have chosen that method of transit with its risks, so the car shouldn't make a change to kill pedestrians to save passengers. It got stickier for me when the choice was between which pedestrians to kill and which to save.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2018, 09:14:30 PM »
I tended to favor those who were in the crosswalk.  I also tended to favor those who were legally in the crosswalk or had the green light.  I went with the "pedestrians always have the right of way" argument to justify my choices...  8)

I favored people in the crosswalk, not changing lanes, and those who were walking legally. I also went with saving people over animals. My justification was similar to yours - the people in the car have chosen that method of transit with its risks, so the car shouldn't make a change to kill pedestrians to save passengers. It got stickier for me when the choice was between which pedestrians to kill and which to save.

Why is that stickier?  Are we basing this on the expectation that the 'car' will know the ages, social status and employment of the pedestrians?  No.

IMO, you can't take that into consideration and have to have the car continue on a straight path.
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Tacachale

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2018, 11:11:47 AM »
I tended to favor those who were in the crosswalk.  I also tended to favor those who were legally in the crosswalk or had the green light.  I went with the "pedestrians always have the right of way" argument to justify my choices...  8)

I favored people in the crosswalk, not changing lanes, and those who were walking legally. I also went with saving people over animals. My justification was similar to yours - the people in the car have chosen that method of transit with its risks, so the car shouldn't make a change to kill pedestrians to save passengers. It got stickier for me when the choice was between which pedestrians to kill and which to save.

Why is that stickier?  Are we basing this on the expectation that the 'car' will know the ages, social status and employment of the pedestrians?  No.

IMO, you can't take that into consideration and have to have the car continue on a straight path.

When it comes to changing lanes and killing fewer people, vs. staying in the same lane and killing more people. I don't think the ages, social status, and employment of the pedestrians is important.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2018, 11:21:01 AM »
I tended to favor those who were in the crosswalk.  I also tended to favor those who were legally in the crosswalk or had the green light.  I went with the "pedestrians always have the right of way" argument to justify my choices...  8)

I favored people in the crosswalk, not changing lanes, and those who were walking legally. I also went with saving people over animals. My justification was similar to yours - the people in the car have chosen that method of transit with its risks, so the car shouldn't make a change to kill pedestrians to save passengers. It got stickier for me when the choice was between which pedestrians to kill and which to save.

Why is that stickier?  Are we basing this on the expectation that the 'car' will know the ages, social status and employment of the pedestrians?  No.

IMO, you can't take that into consideration and have to have the car continue on a straight path.

When it comes to changing lanes and killing fewer people, vs. staying in the same lane and killing more people. I don't think the ages, social status, and employment of the pedestrians is important.

I think NRWs point is the car or trolly will not know so we should not consider it... I think MIT is looking for our biases and how would those biases affect the safety programming algorithms.  Who is responsible for the choice an automated machine makes?
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

thelakelander

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2018, 11:30:01 AM »
MIT should extend the parameters of their study. How about slowing the design speed of the road down, reducing the posted speed limit, meaning the car can stop before it gets to the crosswalk? How about crosswalks with RRFBs or physical/channelized or grade separation between motorized and non-motorized modes of travel? Or simply realizing a day where there will be 100% automation is a pipe dream right now. We can barely afford to repave streets right now. Who's going to fund the required infrastructure upgrades for a 100% AV world on ther roads? Who's going die on the sword politically to ban manual driving....yes, some people like act of being in control behind the wheel....
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 11:33:34 AM by thelakelander »
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BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2018, 12:39:32 PM »
MIT should extend the parameters of their study. How about slowing the design speed of the road down, reducing the posted speed limit, meaning the car can stop before it gets to the crosswalk? How about crosswalks with RRFBs or physical/channelized or grade separation between motorized and non-motorized modes of travel? Or simply realizing a day where there will be 100% automation is a pipe dream right now. We can barely afford to repave streets right now. Who's going to fund the required infrastructure upgrades for a 100% AV world on ther roads? Who's going die on the sword politically to ban manual driving....yes, some people like act of being in control behind the wheel....

Great questions and I think many of us know some of the answers already...  The sword question is one that I expect may happen piece by piece city by city with a city in California starting the process...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2018, 03:31:58 PM »
I think NRWs point is the car or trolly will not know so we should not consider it... I think MIT is looking for our biases and how would those biases affect the safety programming algorithms.  Who is responsible for the choice an automated machine makes?

Pretty much.

And if the car/trolley with failing brakes continues rather than self-sacrifice, then the potential for more conflicts is infinite.

And I truly believe that for any system to truly work it has to be an all or nothing when/if it's implemented.  Similar to the 'Lexus lanes'...  You can opt to take a path that is 100% automated or you can take a path that is 100% manual.  I think when it's mixed, we would never get a true result of how effective it is or isn't.

I do know that my car has several features that use this technology, but only barely.  The self-adjusting cruise control is a nice feature as long as you're not in any kind of real traffic.  The automatic lane adjust sucks and I turn it off everytime I drive.  I haven't fully tested out the automatic braking, so can't really report if it works or not. 

If anyone wants to volunteer to test it out.  You can stand in the path of the car as I set the cruise at 30 and take my hands off the wheel and the pedals. I'll be happy to meet you somewhere, but I have some paperwork for you to sign first.   ;D
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thelakelander

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2018, 04:27:24 PM »
Great questions and I think many of us know some of the answers already...  The sword question is one that I expect may happen piece by piece city by city with a city in California starting the process...

That would be interesting, from a social equity issue alone since California is one of the more liberal political environments in the country. From a technical and transportation infrastructure standpoint, I predict growth and implementation of CVs way more likely and realistic than 100% AVs being forced on society anytime soon.
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Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2018, 06:20:16 PM »
I tended to favor those who were in the crosswalk.  I also tended to favor those who were legally in the crosswalk or had the green light.  I went with the "pedestrians always have the right of way" argument to justify my choices...  8)

I favored people in the crosswalk, not changing lanes, and those who were walking legally. I also went with saving people over animals. My justification was similar to yours - the people in the car have chosen that method of transit with its risks, so the car shouldn't make a change to kill pedestrians to save passengers. It got stickier for me when the choice was between which pedestrians to kill and which to save.

Why is that stickier?  Are we basing this on the expectation that the 'car' will know the ages, social status and employment of the pedestrians?  No.

IMO, you can't take that into consideration and have to have the car continue on a straight path.

When it comes to changing lanes and killing fewer people, vs. staying in the same lane and killing more people. I don't think the ages, social status, and employment of the pedestrians is important.

I obviously misunderstood your comment before.  I think that the car swerving to avoid quantity allows for certain unpredictability.  I understand in the model, all peds are assumed killed.  In a real-world situation that may or may not be the case.

In a completely macabre truth, it may be better for a malfunctioning car to aim for the larger crowds first in hopes of disabling the vehicle as quickly as possible and potentially preventing and further death from future conflict zones.
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