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Nothing about Robotics and Self Driving Car? #14
I think you should add a section about dangerous robotics, such as self driving vehicles.
The death of Elaine Herzberg caused by an Uber car that was configured to not break in such situation to avoid car-sickness to Uber's customers comes to mind.
Also the crash of Flight 447, where the pilots faced the paradox of automation killing themselves, 228 passengers and the crew should be mentioned to clarify the UI/UX problems that need to be solved before widespread deploy of AI systems.
These are two amazing pointers! I really enjoyed reading through it, especially because I worked myself in autonomous driving for a while and was faced with the moral implications of the trolley problem.
However, I'm trying to grasp how we could (or even should) include it to the list? Automation and robotics itself are not awful at all (at least in aviation they generally greatly enhance security).
This is going to be an interesting discussion. :-)
The problem is deep.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
So what a system is designed to do is irrelevant.
What we have to consider here is
Because, we should never forget that we build machines to serve us.
Several self driving cars caused human deaths.
Now I agree that robotics in itself is not awful at all! Aviation is actually a good example.
Indeed, the complexity that an airplane have to face is a tiny fraction of the complexity that a car have to face on a common road. And the airplane is a level 2 vehicle, with pilots on boards and tower of controls that continuously monitor their movements globally.
Thus to develop a simulator able to drive a car with a similar cost of the simulator that drive an airplane, you need to similarly reduce the complexity: you need totally isolated roads and tower of controls. And still you cannot move beyond level 2 vehicles, with such costs.
This in turn makes the paradox of automation both a user interface issue and a security one: the user need to maintain constant attention despite not being engadged in the process. This in turn can become a legal problem: who is responsible of a death caused by vehicle driven by a human fooled by a broken user interface?
So, to recap, with autonomous robotics, we have:
All of these problems are being simply ignored by the AI band wagon.
But because these are pretty obvious issues, we cannot disregards them as "ruthless decisions made by the engineering and management team". They are inherent to the matter, and they make autonomous vehicles inheritely dangerous until they are ALL tackled and solved.
The whole "experiment" assumes that you can assign a relative scalar value to the various lifes proposed so that you can chose who to kill. Such assumption is forced to the participants through the test that have to accept such assumption to answer the test.
This is perfect with the Ethics of Capitalism, where everything can be reduced to money, including human lifes.
Fortunately, more advanced ethical systems are multidimensional and do not map at all to scalars.
Now, we don't have to agree on an single Ethics to live together.
Thus we cannot use robots or artificial intelligences to impose a specific Ethics to everyone.
The whole idea of MIT's moral machine and of AI Ethics in inheritely flawn and awful.
Teaching Ethics to Machines is really like teaching sex to condoms.
@Shamar Fascinating, I learned a lot from your post! Maybe we could add a category called "Robotic Systems & Weapons" for autonomous robotics, especially use cases that harm a human? However I would like to somehow make clear that we are not condemning the whole field for autonomous robotics
Of course there is. A self-driving car must put the highest priority on surviving of anything related to its owner (the owner has to explicitly program that, and the car must follow the rules programmed by the owner, no backdoor rules like "survival of the persons from the whitelist programmed by the manufacturer or government is top priority") and IMHO the car should be programmed by the owner the following way):
I other words the cars should mimic behavior of its owner as if he was driving the car.
The most danger here is in the laws depriving car owner from the control and prescribing to save persons from the government registry. Or, in the case of China (and the rest of other world in near future, China is just a pioneer of the trend) the law may prescribe to save the maximum amount of the so called "social credit score" (I really don't understand why people call it this way, since people having it have not borrowed anything from the government). And this stuff is really scary, fascist and unhuman.
And another threat is backdoors not prescribed legally, but installed by car manufacturer, or components manufacturers.
And one more threat is hacking using the same means used in electronic warfare in order to trick the car to kill its owner or bystanders. You know, AI is very dumb now and cwnnot detect tampering to its sensors.
So may be it is too early for self-driving cars for now.
Surely we are not, @daviddao.
We are just moving a bit off from the Pensée unique that characterize current AI.
Robotics IS cool! Just like the wide set of software simulators we put under the AI umbrella.
The point with robotics is that we cannot look at the robot in isolation.
So you have to design and develop the robotic system as a whole.
Now, at each possible logical branch you double the complexity of the system.
In the case of self driving car, the robotic system includes the roads they travel.
This is what I call "The Curse of Frankenstein": this graph (courtesy of WolframAlfa) shows the probability of working correctly for a dynamic system composed of n indipendent components each granting to work correctly 99% of time.
Such probability is roughly p(n) = (0.99)ⁿ and it goes down very quickly.
Basically, what happened a century ago with the widespread adoption of cars.
Except that what you describe is (what you think it would be) @KOLANICH's behaviour.
Just like I cannot impose my moral values to you and you cannot impose your moral values to me, no robot can impose any set of moral values to all of us, not even the average of the moral values collected world wide.
We must require for level 2 self driving cars the same guarantees that we have for airplanes.
This means that it wouldn't be what is currently meant under self-driving cars - cars capable to drive themselves in the environment only a human being currently can relatively reliable drive a car. It would be like an automated subway train, but a personal one and without AI for driving.
This would faciltate surveillance (the system will have to know all the cars positions in every moment of time), deprive people of freedom of movement (since one cannot drive a car where he wants without system permission for exactly his car), and allows abuse (the system can be programmed to crash the cars into each other). Relying on the signals transmitted by other cars is also cybersecurity nightmare.
So I'm strictly aganist building this road infrastructure and mandating everybody to rely on it.
What should be done is some safeguards against appearing pedestrians on the road and elimination of same-level crossings.
You raise valid and interesting concerns. They remind me of Cory Doctorow's Car Wars.
Yet, there's nothing preventing AI driven cars to raise the same concerns (as Doctorow magistraly depicts) in mixed traffic roads. It would just be more dangerous for everybody. And with an additional issue: some AI system are, at the time of writing, impossible to debug / explain / inspect precisely.
Who said it would be personal? ;-)
It could have an AI driving, however: airplanes already have one, despite the pilots and tower of controls.
It's not robot who imposes own immoral values on all of us. It is politicians who want regulate everything for own benefit. And for me it looks very probable that "moral machine" is just a psyop to persuade people that they want themselves and their friends and relatives to be killed by own car in order to save some politician's dumb child who have jumped into a road.
I really doubt that someone gonna buy a car that has a sign "it kills its passengers in order to save pedestrians" on a free market where other kinds of cars exist.
First of all, let me remind you that the same companies and organizations that pretend to be libertarian and promote weak regulations and government control world wide hand waving for freedom, are prone to a very strict control at home. Thinking that the free market is actually free is... a bit naive.
But what I meant is that, if we accept that robots can take moral decision for us (whatever decision), we let those who program such robots impose a specific ethic of their choice to the whole society, even beyond the national boundaries they work within. Thus robots would become trojan horses for the other countries, leveling their culture.
This because humans inheritely adapt to the environment faster than robots.
This is a problem for the marketing office.
Free market is not about companies, it's about your rights. You have a right to buy a car on a free market which will obey only your orders. If someone prohibits this kind of cars, he violates your rights.
I don't, that's why it is written
owner here is the one who have bought the car, not manufacturer, not government, not a cybercriminal who got unauthorized access. And in this case owner will respond behind the court if his car killed someone because he have programmed it to save the people he values more, as if he was driving the car himself.
Machine cannot hold liability, so it cannot be moral. There is always a human behind any machine.