Author Topic: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?  (Read 2256 times)

BridgeTroll

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The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« on: October 26, 2018, 10:40:45 AM »
The "Trolley Problem" is a famous ethical dilemma about killing one person to save others. A group of MIT researchers recently applied it to the world of self-driving cars, posing a series of questions to more than 2 million online participants from more than 200 countries. The results reveal some regional preferences, but the overall consensus was clear: In the right situations, animals, the elderly, and small groups of people are in a lot of trouble.

Invented by British philosopher Phillippa Foot in 1967, the Trolley Problem uses hypothetical scenarios within extreme environments to test utilitarian and Aristotlean ethics. The most common version is of a driver of a trolley, forced to decide between staying on his track and killing five people, or switching tracks and killing only one. For this study, researchers at MIT's Moral Machine created 13 scenarios involving self-driving cars in an urban setting. Although the self driving-industry has debated the issue for years, some say too many years, the new study advances the debate by offering up something that computers can easily understand: big data.

Edmond Awad, a postdoc at MIT Media Lab and lead author of the paper, says that the researchers "found that there are three elements that people seem to approve of the most:"

sparing the lives of humans over the lives of animals;
sparing the lives of many people rather than a few; and
sparing the lives of young people rather than old.

To researchers, the popularity of the Moral Machine shows that people across the globe are eager to participate in the debate around self-driving cars and want to see algorithms that reflect their personal beliefs.

"On the one hand, we wanted to provide a simple way for the public to engage in an important societal discussion," says Iyad Rahwan, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at the Media Lab who worked on the study. "On the other hand, we wanted to collect data to identify which factors people think are important for autonomous cars to use in resolving ethical tradeoffs."

It's a discussion that Awad hopes continues. "What we have tried to do in this project," he says, "and what I would hope becomes more common, is to create public engagement in these sorts of decisions."

How would you program the vehicle?  Give it a try...  8)

http://moralmachine.mit.edu/
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."

Ocklawaha

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2018, 03:38:39 PM »
As the trolley enters such a 'facing point switch' as soon as the front trucks have cleared the switch, they points are thrown to the other track. The result is called 'splitting the switch' ½ a trolley on track one, and ½ on track two. Derailed and STOPPED!

Then of course there are magnetic brakes which can clamp the rail so tight you can hold a cable car on a steep incline.

Okay, yes a wise A-- but really Jacksonville this is more a bus problem then a Trolley or Skyway MONORAIL...

bl8jaxnative

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 02:56:13 PM »
The problem with the trolley problem is that it presumes a level of knowledge of a situation that, while commonly exists in Hollywood action movies, never exists in real life.   

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 06:15:20 PM »
The question is how do you program self driving vehicles of any type for public safety?
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."

Adam White

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 04:46:47 AM »
The problem with the trolley problem is that it presumes a level of knowledge of a situation that, while commonly exists in Hollywood action movies, never exists in real life.

That's not a problem, as the "trolley problem" isn't really about transit.
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JeffreyS

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 06:40:37 AM »
Kobioshi moru.
Lenny Smash

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 09:53:58 AM »
The problem with the trolley problem is that it presumes a level of knowledge of a situation that, while commonly exists in Hollywood action movies, never exists in real life.

That's not a problem, as the "trolley problem" isn't really about transit.
It is about choices and attitudes of those programming the machines.  Just what are the rules?  Are there standards?  Who makes them and who is liable?  If you don't care now... you will in the near future...
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."

Adam White

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 09:58:07 AM »
The problem with the trolley problem is that it presumes a level of knowledge of a situation that, while commonly exists in Hollywood action movies, never exists in real life.

That's not a problem, as the "trolley problem" isn't really about transit.
It is about choices and attitudes of those programming the machines.  Just what are the rules?  Are there standards?  Who makes them and who is liable?  If you don't care now... you will in the near future...

I understand the trolley problem. It's about ethics and decision-making. And I understand why this is relevant when discussing autonomous cars.

But it's silly to claim it's flawed because the specific scenario posited in the problem never (or rarely) exists in real life. That's not the point.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 10:04:38 AM by Adam White »
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Tacachale

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 12:05:52 PM »
The problem with the trolley problem is that it presumes a level of knowledge of a situation that, while commonly exists in Hollywood action movies, never exists in real life.

That's not a problem, as the "trolley problem" isn't really about transit.
It is about choices and attitudes of those programming the machines.  Just what are the rules?  Are there standards?  Who makes them and who is liable?  If you don't care now... you will in the near future...

I understand the trolley problem. It's about ethics and decision-making. And I understand why this is relevant when discussing autonomous cars.

But it's silly to claim it's flawed because the specific scenario posited in the problem never (or rarely) exists in real life. That's not the point.

The problem of the Monty Hall problem is that it presumes a goat-based game show prize structure which, while common in brain teasers, never existed on the actual Monty Hall show.

The problem with Plato's Allegory of the Cave because it presumes a situation where people are raised in a cave, which, while common in classical philosophical allegories, never exists in real life.
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 #9 on: November 05, 2018, 12:15:53 PM »
Hmmm... lets see what MIT says about the purpose of their study...

Quote
http://moralmachine.mit.edu/
About Moral Machine

From self-driving cars on public roads to self-piloting reusable rockets landing on self-sailing ships, machine intelligence is supporting or entirely taking over ever more complex human activities at an ever increasing pace. The greater autonomy given machine intelligence in these roles can result in situations where they have to make autonomous choices involving human life and limb. This calls for not just a clearer understanding of how humans make such choices, but also a clearer understanding of how humans perceive machine intelligence making such choices.

Recent scientific studies on machine ethics have raised awareness about the topic in the media and public discourse. This website aims to take the discussion further, by providing a platform for 1) building a crowd-sourced picture of human opinion on how machines should make decisions when faced with moral dilemmas, and 2) crowd-sourcing assembly and discussion of potential scenarios of moral consequence.

Didya take the test?  How about a discussion about why you chose as you did...  ::)
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."

Snufflee

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2018, 01:33:07 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.
And so it goes

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2018, 01:57:53 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?
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."

BridgeTroll

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2018, 02:05:22 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)
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."

Adam White

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2018, 02:10:23 PM »
The problem with the trolley problem is that it presumes a level of knowledge of a situation that, while commonly exists in Hollywood action movies, never exists in real life.

That's not a problem, as the "trolley problem" isn't really about transit.
It is about choices and attitudes of those programming the machines.  Just what are the rules?  Are there standards?  Who makes them and who is liable?  If you don't care now... you will in the near future...

I understand the trolley problem. It's about ethics and decision-making. And I understand why this is relevant when discussing autonomous cars.

But it's silly to claim it's flawed because the specific scenario posited in the problem never (or rarely) exists in real life. That's not the point.

The problem of the Monty Hall problem is that it presumes a goat-based game show prize structure which, while common in brain teasers, never existed on the actual Monty Hall show.

The problem with Plato's Allegory of the Cave because it presumes a situation where people are raised in a cave, which, while common in classical philosophical allegories, never exists in real life.

LOL!
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Snufflee

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Re: The Morality of Self Driving Cars?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2018, 02:37:32 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.
And so it goes