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Comment Re:Privacy isn't boolean (Score 1) 258

Neither privacy nor public safety should automatically trump the other. Why can't this type of information be gathered, but only queried and accessed based on something like a warrant or court order. I don't want cops checking up on their girl friends whereabouts, but I would not mind being contacted when my car was parked at the time and place a major crime was committed.

Comment Beggars in Spain (Score 4, Interesting) 159

Good science fiction story form 1993 by Nancy Kress about finding the genetic basis of the need for sleep. Among the ideas in the story is that sleep is only needed to dial back metabolism at night, thus conserving energy. Evolutionarily useful when calories are scarce -- not so much now. When the genetic need for sleep is removed, a group of super-productive people is created. Food for thought...

Comment Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

We can keep the argument going indefinitely using anecdotes and preconceptions. Or we can gather and increase the reliability of the data.

In this case, I heard some official state that there was no reason to question the cops version until the video came forward. It would be interesting to gather the other cases of officer involved shootings where the justification on the report was similar and dig a little deeper.

More cameras on the streets might also be useful (ducking and running...)

Comment Driver vs. Robot Ethics (Score 1) 177

"For example when faced with the decision to crash into a pedestrian or another vehicle carrying a family."

Ethical human traveling 60kph when pedestrian and family in car simultaneously appear as obstacles 30 meters ahead..."OMG, OMG, I'm gonna hit one or the other! The car is better protected, but there are more people in the car. What did Spock say about the needs of the one? OMG " BANG!

Robot driver in same situation... "Obstacles detected, apply maximum ABS braking". Car stops 8 meters short of collision.

For every "ethical" dilemma a human decides correctly, I would guess there are 1000 fatalities caused by humans just being lousy at driving.

Oh, and what is the right ethical decision to make when deciding whether to hit a single pedestrian or a family in a car?

Comment Re:Big deal ... not! (Score 1) 113

This is why we need to get some version of a judicial warrant justification as a prerequisite for the use of these datasets. If the police can convince a judge that a person is probably involved in a serious plot or conspiracy, it would be very useful to find out where he/she has been hanging out and with whom. If the cop wants to check up on his ex-wife ... then maybe not. The existence of the datasets and how their use is justified needs to be a matter of public record.

Comment Run over dog or child ? Really (Score 1) 451

This argument reminds me of the arguments I heard about seat belts (e.g. I want to be thrown clear in a crash, Don't want to drown trying to unbuckle, etc.) Children are run down pretty regularly, so are dogs. In many, if not most, of those cases the car could have been stopped safely if 1) the human driver reacted faster / wasn't distracted and 2) the driver was traveling at a speed safe for context and conditions.

I assume the statistic that 90% of automobile accidents are caused by human error is correct. The automated cars of the near future won't be perfect -- but they will outperform humans as drivers by a large margin.

The sensors and programming used in the self driving cars will continue to improve (at a much faster rate than human drivers improve -- if they do at all). Black ice is "invisible" to most drivers. Is it invisible in the infrared? Could wheel sensors detect minute slippage and compensate faster than a human? Could networked self driving cars warn each other of such conditions as they are encountered?

It is true that specially designed roads would also improve self driving cars, but even on today's roads they will be superior to human drivers.

Comment Asimov agrees.... (Score 1) 681

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov

Comment Re:Measuring Competence (Score 1) 255

Agree. The bar a autonomous car should have to meet is to drive at least 1 order of magnitude better than the average human driver (based on metrics like safety and efficiency). Looking at the human drivers currently on the roads, a robot driver doesn't need to approach perfection to achieve this. Simply adding logic that makes a car stop when it doesn't have sufficient information to proceed safely would make it a superior driver to most of us.

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