Giving Computers Ethics

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719752

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Giving Computers Ethics

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 17181

    To be clear here we're seeing the possibility of 2 distinct ways of operating for autonomous vehicles:
    a) a globally preferred / agreed set of responses that are tweaked to improve over time 
    b) a set of responses that can be tuned to local custom and respond accordingly
    It seems like b) is the option preferred in the article but there are problems with potential abuse from those with dodgy agendas.

    I await with interest the ethical conundrums that come up from this a la pushing the fat guy off the railway bridge etc 😀

  • skeleton567

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5047

    "This is an area where I feel AI and ML systems are moving faster than our ability to comprehend the implications."

    I can just imagine that thousands of attorneys are drooling over this one.   Here is where they make their billions in legal settlements.  Talk about comprehending the implications. 

    So you are involved in designing and writing these systems.  Ever heard of 'software malpractice'? 

    I'm watching a medical malpractice case that will go to federal court in two weeks  It is now in the fourth year of preparation.  Prosecution costs are right at 1/4 million before even going in.  I'm sure defense costs are at least that if not more.  If there is a favorable outcome, then insurance companies can sue to recover their expenses out of any damage awards.  And if an unfavorable outcome, the defense can counter-sue for their costs.

    Do you want to attempt to 'prove' software doesn't have bugs?  "Raise your right hand and..."

    Rick

    The only thing worse than being an influencer
    is believing one.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125089

    If we're in a hurry, can we tell the car that it's OK to make a U-turn (if there is no oncoming traffic) or merge into the HOV lane?

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719752

    Eric M Russell - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 9:09 AM

    If we're in a hurry, can we tell the car that it's OK to make a U-turn (if there is no oncoming traffic) or merge into the HOV lane?

    I'd hope not, but that's an interesting set of cases that I doubt people have considered.

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 17181

    Steve Jones - SSC Editor - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 11:53 AM

    Eric M Russell - Wednesday, March 27, 2019 9:09 AM

    If we're in a hurry, can we tell the car that it's OK to make a U-turn (if there is no oncoming traffic) or merge into the HOV lane?

    I'd hope not, but that's an interesting set of cases that I doubt people have considered.

    I kind of always assumed you had to let the car do it's own thing in it's own time TBH. 

    Would it be considered DUI if you were half cut and said to the car 'Swing a right here?' or something else dangerous to override it?

  • Frank W Fulton Jr

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1599

    I would hate to have to reboot my car while driving 80 mph on a highway.
    So let make sure it is not Windows - don't get me wrong windows is fine for my desktop and laptop but not anything that is life dependent.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125089

    Frank W Fulton Jr - Thursday, March 28, 2019 7:43 PM

    I would hate to have to reboot my car while driving 80 mph on a highway.
    So let make sure it is not Windows - don't get me wrong windows is fine for my desktop and laptop but not anything that is life dependent.

    I'm just speaking off the top of my head, but for electric cars, perhaps software updates and diagnostics can be conveniently and safely installed while the car is hooked up the charging stations. That would be safer and more reliable than random WIFI updates. Also, there could be a system in place, similar to the yearly emissions test, where drivers are required to have a technician verify the version of software AutoPilot installed and also run a diagnostic before they can renew their tag. That way folks are not riding around in critically un-patched cars.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • skeleton567

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5047

    Eric M Russell - Friday, March 29, 2019 7:06 AM

    Frank W Fulton Jr - Thursday, March 28, 2019 7:43 PM

    I would hate to have to reboot my car while driving 80 mph on a highway.
    So let make sure it is not Windows - don't get me wrong windows is fine for my desktop and laptop but not anything that is life dependent.

    I'm just speaking off the top of my head, but for electric cars, perhaps software updates and diagnostics can be conveniently and safely installed while the car is hooked up the charging stations. That would be safer and more reliable than random WIFI updates. Also, there could be a system in place, similar to the yearly emissions test, where drivers are required to have a technician verify the version of software AutoPilot installed and also run a diagnostic before they can renew their tag. That way folks are not riding around in critically un-patched cars.

    All of this illustrates exactly why AI ML is not always a good solution for all problems.  Just more chance for 'big brother' tactics.  The real solution is chlorinating the gene pool.  😀

    The Boeing fiasco currently shows the issues with software making decisions.  It's one thing for my computer to tell me the balance of my bank account.  It's entirely another thing for it to spend the money for me.    Or what if I want to stop and eat lunch and my car tells me I weigh too much and won't let me stop?  I was in technology for decades and think I recognize when we've started to go too far.

    Rick

    The only thing worse than being an influencer
    is believing one.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125089

    I get why regular folks in the early 20th century were eager to leap from "horse and buggy" to "horseless buggy". That was an easy sell to the general public in terms of economics and convenience. However, driver-less car technology seems to be of more interest to the trucking and public transportation industry. Sadly, all these under-payed Uber drivers work for an employer who I suspect wants to rub them out of the picture entirely.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • skeleton567

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5047

    Eric M Russell - Friday, March 29, 2019 10:36 AM

    I get why regular folks in the early 20th century were eager to leap from "horse and buggy" to "horseless buggy". That was an easy sell to the general public in terms of economics and convenience. However, driver-less car technology seems to be of more interest to the trucking and public transportation industry. Sadly, all these under-payed Uber drivers work for an employer who I suspect wants to rub them out of the picture entirely.

    Eric, here are some figures, granted probably biased.

    "So who exactly are these Uber drivers? They are primarily male, though less exclusively so than in the traditional taxi industry, and the majority (7 out of 10) are working to support either a child or a parent living at home. In other words, Uber has become a much needed source of income for a lot of Americans. Those who have never worked as a professional driver before make $19 an hour on average, while drivers who used to drive black cars professional are taking home $27 per hour on average.  

    Also, Uber drivers are surprisingly skewed older. If your image of an Uber driver is a kid out of college unable to get a “real job,†consider that more Uber drivers are over 50 than are under 30, according to the data".

    This study didn't indicate, and I don't know, if they have to pay vehicle costs, get tips, etc.  And are they paying taxes, or is this a cash thing?

    But for a guy like me who grew up out in the fields on hot days doing heavy manual labor for seventy-five cents an hour, then tending livestock for another couple hours in the evening before a late dinner and doing homework,  this doesn't sound like such a bad gig.  

    Now, at least I do give them credit for working instead of going on the dole, but this doesn't sound all that bad to me.

    Now, as regards AI and ML as it relates to farming, at the same time all of this is happening, we must remember that except for large corporate farms, smaller farmers are not going to be able to afford the investments and the investment risk of this very expensive technology, so more and more independent farmers are going to disappear, and the whole food-production industry gets very expensive.  More and more federal programs are going to be required to pay for all this automation, with less and less responsible control on the money we all have to spend.  You just pay for it at the grocery, clothing store, and your tax returns.

    Rick

    The only thing worse than being an influencer
    is believing one.

  • DinoRS

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2675

    Ah the good ol' "hopefully it doesn't run on Windows" rant. Well TensorFlow does run on either Windows or Linux and how well Linux and respective Software does in the IoT Space right now I'll give you one example: Particle and it's IoT Cloud are essentially yesterdays news, I use these boards for a prototype IoT application and well support is gone by beginning of 2021, not in Hardware (as that's covered by Nordic Semiconductor) but in Software. Don't get me wrong: I don't need LoRaWan so their argument that everyone wants LoRa instead is their perception only. I however do want high precision tracking with up to cm accuracy.

    We've spent the last 3 months trying to get rid of the Particle "Device OS" and have a suitable replacement running on that hardware instead (which will be most likely Zephyr OS or FreeRTOS). Let me not rant about the Developer Experience in trying to do that but here is a small list of issues to get started with:

    • Documentation is incomplete, some things are not mentioned about anywhere like some files need special filesystem permissions prior to the upgrade, good luck finding that.
    • Try creating a 802.15.4 Gateway on one of the particle devices, with their EoL Software you can rather easily, we still haven't figured out how to make it work with Zephyr OS

    so please for the love of god: don't assume that Linux + IoT (and yes in a car ML / AI is part of IoT) is any better than Windows + IoT. It seems currently even easier to use that Raspberry Pi with Windows 10 IoT and a compatible USB Stick as a Gateway than doing it with Debian / Zepyhr / FreeRTOS but ofcourse, how could some rantsomeware know that, right?

    You would make the Pi fault tolerant in Hardware (Zener Diode and some other bits) anyway, not within any OS.

  • MVDBA (Mike Vessey)

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 21757

    Dino - all good points.....but

    DinoRS wrote:

    You would make the Pi fault tolerant in Hardware (Zener Diode and some other bits) anyway, not within any OS.

    i can't see how you can use a zener (even if it is reverse biased) to protect the hardware - the vulnerable bits are either in CMOS or TTL form (i once busted a 555  timer chip using just a magnet) especially given that i'm guessing that car companies are relying on EEPROMs (erasable electronic promgramable read only memory) so that they can reprogram  rather than replace a chip….. . Still, Software is still the most vulnerable attack vector

    MVDBA

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125089

    Hopefully the same executives and software engineers responsible for hacking emissions tests won't be relied upon to program ethics for self driving cars.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • MVDBA (Mike Vessey)

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 21757

    Eric M Russell wrote:

    Hopefully the same executives and software engineers responsible for hacking emissions tests won't be relied upon to program ethics for self driving cars.

    would that be a company that labels themselves as "the wagon for the people"?

    It's self driving Uber that scares me. and Dubai have  self driving one man helicopter taxis …. I have an Npplm pilot license (microlites) and used to jump out of helicopters for a living, but there is no way I would trust anything traffic related that has no pilot.  - unless it's like the foam protected car in "demolition man"

    MVDBA

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