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Comment: Re:What?!? (Score 1) 760

No rights were violated unless Southwest Airlines recently became government owned.

Also observe that nobody stopped the man in question from tweeting anything, it's just that the airline after reading the tweet decided it didn't want to transport this person. And that is fully legal.

4?? Insightful?? Who's the mods who are doing stuff like that; stuff that irritates?
Megol could be an employee (of SWA); a lawyer he probably isn't. Don't know about US law, but where I reside, this is not the case. Once the airline takes the booking, it also takes an obligation to transport you. (I really can't believe that the law in the land of the free would be that free!)
Megol has an ID that could be set up for astroturfing. But the 3+ mods who mod this 'Insightful'? Which allowances helped them to cast common sense aside?

Comment: Re:You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47470009) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

I *think* you got the message: I am worried about the future bug-free, perfect, software.
The one that gets via Internet -of-things the number, age, gender, medical record of the passengers in another car/bus, to minimize casualties. What a brave new world, when we start to steer vehicles in problematic situations into a state of minimal loss to society.

Comment: Re:You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47469957) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

I imagine it'd be program to slam on the breaks and stop, minimizing the damage. Don't give me that bullshit about swerving to the side. In that case it's program to kill whoever is in violation of it's right-of-way.

Did you get my argument? Minimizing whose damage??

Really, you think that the car is going to have some sort of morality judgement function. No.

Yes, it will. Not that I would like that, but it will have to be mandated. Imagine a car manufacturer who does not build in such a device! The hell will be sued out of him, for not programming a function minimizing human casualties. Because it becomes possible with this type of technology.

Comment: Re:You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47469895) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

It's a numbers game, and the very rare cases you are excessively concerned about do not even come into consideration.

It's a numbers game, you write, and further up, to consider own safety first. I am not clear which you actually want to reason about. If it is just 'my survival first', a single passenger would be saved to the detriment of a group?
How does this come across? The car you are sitting in deliberately runs down 5 people to save you? So, in that logic, a pedestrian, e.g., is less valued than someone in a car?

Comment: Re:You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47469859) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Humans make worse decisions in those situations. Hell, many of those situation wont occur in the first place.

The issue is you're afraid of not having the illusion of control you now have.
In the situation you describe, humans won't have time to make a decision. If there would be enough time for humans to make a conscious decision, then that's enough time for a computer to have negated the issue.

I do agree that in average, the mortality on the roads will go down. Humans make worse decisions. Though, in most such cases they don't make any decision at all. In the case of the driverless car, the decision is, as I wrote, premeditated. And when it is the choice to either run the car into a group of people or off a cliff? I wouldn't want to kill the people, though I also wouldn't want the breaks of the car I am sitting in, to not be activated based on a quick decision by the algorithm that controls activity in cases of lost causes. And deciding to let us off the cliff instead of endangering a crowd of 15.

Comment: Re:You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47469807) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Humans are sometimes faced with those decisions, too. The reality is that there are some solutions that don't have any good answers -- just a bad answer and a worse one, and we can argue about which is which.

For every one of those kids/octogenarians the computer decides to execute, it could be that there will be 100's of people who get to live because computers took over the driving. So your "look at all the blood" argument is a little misleading.

Exactly. It will be a deliberate, or even conscious, decision to - as you correctly wrote - execute either. Humans make more mistakes than a driverless car; no doubt. Though, the argument who to kill is not left to some panicky reaction of a rudderless driver with not much of cognitive capability at that moment. Instead, it must be programmed ante mortem.

Comment: Re:You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47469751) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Those do sound like problems, but human drivers terrify me for rather similar (and some different) reasons.

Absolutely. But they (human drivers) are not programmed. When they run over the octogenarian as compared to the kid, it is not planned. The latter scares the hell out of me. In a court case, the human driver is normally excused for what she did, and nobody will charge her for deliberately targeting either. Now think of an accident with loss of life, and the software was programmed either way. Then it will be called manslaughter; be the child or the senior person the deliberate choice of the algorithm.

Comment: You read it here ... (Score 1) 435

by udippel (#47468237) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

... despite of me being an engineer, and a computer scientist, I am very much scared of the driverless car.
Oh no, not the scare that you can expect from the layperson; the fear of imperfect driverless cars endangering passers-by or drivers-by. Much worse, the dangers that perfect driverless cars constitute are much worse. And the fear of the FBI - far-fetched or not - is only one of many more to come.

A perfect driverless car will have to be programmed to take a pre-mediated decision in case of some accident, injury or even death becoming unavoidable. If you have plenty of spare time on your mind, start pondering about potential situations occurring outside the control of a driverless car. A driverless car cannot stop within abrupt short time. Just one, one only, example: If presented by either hitting a 4-year-old child or an octogenarian; should it take a random selection, or being programmed? If the latter is the case: who is it programmed to kill? Okay, a second example: You are sitting in a driverless car, with 4 of your family. A bus with 12 passengers comes up frontally (driven by an imperfect human driver, I guess). The whole thing on a narrow bridge, if you hit the bus, probabilities are it will slide to the side and tumble into a canyon. How would you think your perfect driverless car ought to be programmed? For the survival of you and your family, or the survival of the 12 people on the bus? Whichever the decision, the perfect driverless car becomes a pragmatic killing machine.

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 2) 325

by udippel (#47185621) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.

On what basis do you claim these things? Objectively speaking the world has been improving over the last 50 years along almost every dimension you could look at, in some cases dramatically: Air quality, water quality, length of workweek, access to information, health care and lifespan, crime rates of all kinds (murder, theft, sexual assault), standard of living.

Yep. For *some* of us, this is true. It is not true for the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, almost all of the Maghreb. Anyplace tropical Africa and below, including South Africa. It is not true for the poor in the developed world, with the gap of the 'Haves' and the 'Havenots' increasing continuously. Read the article in The Baffler (referenced above) on the decline of North American Universities; at least their continued conversions into industries; and you'll find that the misery has increased, not decreased, since the 1970's for the underprivileged in the USA. Europe? Several countries hoovering around bankruptcy for some years now. Close to one billion people undernourished is not compensated by the epidemic level of obesity in the developed world. Languages are getting extinct; and so do species of flora and fauna in South-East-Asia; simple from greedily uprooting primary jungle. I don't remember how many acres are lost daily in Brasil, for the same reason.
Access to healthcare? I for one see an increasing number of people who drop out of healthcare for purely monetary reasons: they cannot afford it any longer. Oh yes, I am talking about the developed world. Access to information; that's true, because it brings a good ROI. Don't try to tell me any carrier increases coverage in Africa for humanitarian reasons. Are the Putins of this world what a statesman ought to be? Are the fundamentalist Muslims on the rise, and spread, or on the decline? Is democracy on the rise or on the decline? Standard of living? Cheapo tablets and great iPhones have advanced the standard of living - not so much for the exploited factory workers in PRC, who work non-regular hours under inhuman conditions ("length of workweek") to assemble all those machines; including being slowly poisoned. And the trash industry; I had the dubious honour to observe human beings crawling through dirt and trash to extract material for recycling; including wading in lakes of chemicals and pulling out things with their bare hands in Asia. For the advances that you describe above. Advances, true, but for a minority of the humans on this planet.

I stop here. I have nothing against bean counters, engineers, linguists, natural scientists, etc. I agree that everyone has the potential to improve this world of ours. Including writers, philosophers, you name them. But, and that's a big 'but', as we can see, including from the discussion in here, is that materialism and monetary / economic aspects have unabatedly taken the lead over anything else. Whatever someone does, is not based on a vocation, rather on economic considerations. And the results, samples given further up, are often based on economics having taken the primary lead in decision making. What a bleak future, when we decide to submit ourselves, our environment, our planet, to the dictate of maximizing returns.

(And only for completeness, no, I do not think the 'creation' of more and 'simpler' PhDs in the humanities would solve anything.)

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 2) 325

by udippel (#47182717) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

Yes and no. While I shudder at the thought that a PhD in humanities should pay a 6-digit figure almost automatically, I also shudder at the thought, shudder even worse, that humanities are on the decline while actually seriously needed for the progress, if not survival of mankind. Look around, and the misery increases, globally. Tensions, stupidity, misguided masculinity, religious stupidity; all those are coming closer by the day; encircle us.
It looks like as if we had already passed the baton from the humanities to the bean-counters. That would've been an awful decision for the future of us and our children.

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 1) 325

by udippel (#47182629) Attached to: Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

Perhaps the lesson here is that PhDs in Humanities are incapable of understanding their place in the world?

Wow, that last sentence of yours scares me! There is a lot to argue about the notion in the MLA report that sees almost everyone tenured - that also scares me! - ; but I am confident that we as human race are running into quick stagnation, if not decline, without humanities. Without arts. We are, and that's only my conviction, running aground once everyone starts to chose apprenticeship, undergrad or doctoral study based on future income.
I miss the old days, when many had the opportunity, and desire, and courage, to follow a vocation instead of a job.

Comment: From the summary, the approach is wrong (Score 1) 165

by udippel (#47027011) Attached to: US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

[And who would ever read TFA; we are in /. !]
Reading the summary, I gather the usual driss that AI has been offering over the last 2 generations: A pre-programmed decision tree instead of an instance of real ethics, morality, or thought. The whole scenario does not sound like the US Navy would get anything close to an autonomous apparatus to be send out into the field, gather information, learn and improve from it, and take reasonable decisions based on a full analysis of the underlying facts. It rather reads like a dictionary of possible, pre-defined situations were stored, with some values of 'niceness', priorities, conveniences and disposables attached to them, and then the machines will follow their - kind of - hardcoded inherent rules.

If this was the case, there's nothing to be seen here, and everyone may well move along.

3500 Calories = 1 Food Pound