Self-driving Cars Must be Programmed to Kill, Study Says


google-self-driving-car-killShort Bytes: As we advance more and more in artificial intelligence and related technologies, we must solve some complex ethical problems. A similar dilemma is faced in the case of self-driving cars and how they should act in case of unavoidable accidents. Should they kill more people on the road to save the car occupants? Or, should they protect others on the road by sacrificing the life of occupants? 

Every big automobile company is preparing its artillery with the technology that will help them to produce autonomous vehicles. Even the companies like Google and Apple are hiring engineers and designers to make their ‘next big product’.

In the future, self-driving cars will soon dominate roads and as the tests suggest, the autonomous vehicles take extra security precautions. According to the reports, very few minor accidents that took place on the road during tests, were caused due to the mistake of other vehicles or people on the road. This brings us to a very interesting scenario that deals with an event of unavoidable accidents.

How should a car act in such scenario? Should it minimize the loss of life on the road at the cost of occupants’ life, or should it protect the car occupants at all costs?

These ethical questions need to be answered when we talk about a future with self-driving cars.

Also read: First Apple Car Coming in 2019, According to Report

“Our results provide but a first foray into the thorny issues raised by moral algorithms for autonomous vehicles,” says said UAVB and Oxford University scholar and bioethics expert Ameen Bargh who advised to change the course of the car to reduce the loss of life.

However, deontologists argue that “some values are simply categorically always true”.

“For example, murder is always wrong, and we should never do it, even if shifting the trolley will save five lives, we shouldn’t do it because we would be actively killing one,” Bargh said.

The members of UAB’s Ethics and Bioethics teams are doing a lot of work to deal with such type of questions. One way to tackle this problem is to act in such a way that it reduces the loss of life. The results of the tests are interesting and people are comfortable with the idea that self-driving cars should be programmed in such a manner that they reduce the death toll.

As we advance more and more in AI and technology, we must find answers to these ethical and philosophical questions and find the ways to arrive at a worthy solution.

Source: MIT Technology Review

What do you think? Should self-driving cars must be programmed to kill? Tell us in the comments below.

Also read: Tesla on Autopilot, Challenges Google Self-Driving Car Concept

Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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