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Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 117

It doesn't matter how low the accident rate for SDC's go if they do not go to absolute zero.

If you, the customer, want to allow the manufacturer to dodge the liability in their product, then fine - go ahead and do it. However, if that product then harms me on a public road, the manufacturer doesn't get to claim "Well, our customer agreed to the EULA".

The "low accident rate makes it moot" only makes it moot for those who accept it - i.e. the SDC customer. Unfortunately for the manufacturer, any defect in their product that harms a third party means that the manufacturer is still liable.

That's the current law. I do not foresee any changes to it to accomodate self-driving cars. In fact, I would vigourously oppose any law that prevents me from taking a manufacturer to task for an error made in the decision-making in its product.

Comment Re:Beyond stupid (Score 1) 117

Seriously, did you even RTFA

Did you even read my post? It was not about the article. The headline is beyond stupid. If you wish to reply to something other than what I wrote then feel free, but don't be critical of me for it.

You make judgements about all articles based on clickbait headlines?

No, I wrote a judgement about the headline based upon the headline and very clearly wrote that I was doing so.

This does not look like a critique of the headline:

Beyond stupid - the people in charge of children and livestock are found culpable so why let people in charge of something with less brains than either off? When we've got an A.I. like the fictional ones of HAL or Colossus it's time to revise the rules, but finding a lookup table culpable? Beyond stupid.

That's word for word what you wrote - here's the link.

Comment Re:Beyond stupid (Score 1) 117

In what way is that making the self driving car liable?

It's making the manufacturer liable. Seriously, did you even RTFA?

Where the manufacturer is found to be liable, the insurer will be able to pursue a subrogated claim against the manufacturer under existing common law and product liability arrangements and recover their costs from the manufacturer.

Now do you understand?

The headline is beyond stupid.

Then to avoid misconceptions you should have maybe read the article. Even the summary makes the point that if the passenger is not liable then the manufacturer is.

I note that initially you didn't specifically call out the headline as being stupid, you just generally called the story stupid.

The machine itself should IMHO not liable whether the manufacturer, programmer, passenger or mapmaker is or not. If someone fucks up the lookup table that people call an A.I. then that person or their employer should be liable instead of some stupid fiction about a car being able to make choices and found to be responsible.

That fiction is only in the headline. The article *and* the summary clarifies things. You make judgements about all articles based on clickbait headlines?

Submission + - Malaysian Police: VX nerve gas killed N Korea leader's brother in airport attack (

An anonymous reader writes: Malaysian police have announced their finding that Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un, was killed by assassins using VX nerve gas in an attack in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysian authorities plan to decontaminate the airport and other sites visited by the attackers. Police are holding the two female attackers, one of whom was affected by the chemical agent, as well as two other men. They are seeking seven more North Koreans connected to the case. VX is the most toxic of the nerve gasses and the UN has declared it a weapon of mass destruction. The manufacture and stockpiling of more than 100 grams of VX per year is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. It has no commercial uses. The Malaysian police are trying to discover if it was smuggled into their country, or manufactured there. The Malaysian government has recalled its ambassador to North Korea for consultation. North Korea is blaming the death of Kim Jong Nam on Malaysia. North Korea is believed to have major stockpiles of chemical weapons, and is alleged to conduct experiments on prisoners and social undesirables.

Comment Re:Drone has no passenger at all. Results, not err (Score 1) 117

If UPS's truck rear-ends me on an ice-covered road, I'm going to sue UPS. I don't know what Tesla told UPS about what conditions are safe and which are unsafe for the trucks.

Right. That makes sense.

If UPS also sues Tesla for selling them bunk trucks, that's none of my business. That's all about the discussions and contract between UPS and Tesla.

But I think that's the point, UPS *is* going to sue Tesla for selling them bunk trucks, and the government stance on it that UPS *should* sue them, because the government feels that Tesla is going to be ultimately responsible, not UPS, not Amazon, and not the passengers.

So yeah, i think you are right... if my self driving car hits you, youre insurance covers you for the injurty/damage. And then promply sues me because its my car, and then my insurance company jumps in and pays yours on my behalf, and then when i demonstrate to my insurance company that the car was properly maintained so its not a negligent maintenance issue by the owner they'll turn around and sue the manufacturer...

And the government is saying, yeah, that's who is going to be ultimately liable here.

So when the government says we want to make the manufacturer responsible, i don't think that necessarily means in an accident the victim goes straight to suing the manufacturer bypassing the owner... but as the process winds through the system, the owners of the self-driving vehicles ARE going to be able to successfully sue the manufacturers for accidents the vehicles have.

Comment Re:Beyond stupid (Score 1) 117

Beyond stupid - the people in charge of children and livestock are found culpable so why let people in charge of something with less brains than either off?

The people in charge of the SDC is the manufacturer, not the passenger. The manufacturer determines how the car drives. The passenger only determines the destination. Do you also think that you are liable if you're in a taxi that gets involved in an accident?

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 117

What do you mean "initially".

What I mean is that eventually, when the bugs have been worked out and only automated cars are allowed to use most of the lanes on the interstate and the accident rate stabilizes (hopefully near zero) then the burden will be shifted from the automakers to the customers, who will pay for it along with the rest of their mandatory liability insurance. The insurers aren't going to deal with insuring vehicles individually until the risk is reasonably estimable.

Why should the customer *ever* be liable for a malfunctioning car? If it is supposed to self-drive and it doesn't, then that's not my fault, it's the fault of the manufacturer.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 117

Car makers are selling Autopilot knowing full well that the people behind the wheel will be texting/surfing on their phones or in car entertainment systems.

Car makers are selling cars without Autopilot knowing full well that the people behind the wheel will be texting/surfing on their phones or in car entertainment systems.

And the manufacturer then doesn't have any liability. It sounds like you are in agreement with parent.

Comment Re:I am, and should be, liable. Also implied warra (Score 1) 117

If I chose to send my drone (toy) flying around a busy parking lot and a gust of wind sent it crashing into a baby stroller, I would be responsible.

Ok, that's a reasonable analogy. But I think its 'wrong' on two points.

First, it fails the scale test.

Cars are not a small hobby toy. And car accidents happen far more frequently than windblown drones crashing into baby strollers.

In other words, the analogy isn't applicable because if you scaled it up society would NOT be content with the status quo... that of simply holding you liable for your bad decision.

If it were happening thousands of time per day we'd surely see all kinds of new restrictions, regulations, licensing, and mandatory training and insurance for hobby drones. Drone manufacturers would be regulated to automatically detect and land and refuse to fly in windy weather. Perhaps even the outright ban of private citizens owning hobby drones.

Second, your analogy fails because the idea of it being your operational decision ... choosing to watch youtube in busy traffic or driving yourself is really missing the obvious endgame. We already know various industries (taxi/trucking/delivery/..) all want self driving cars, there won't be drivers -- only passengers, and the passengers won't be making any operational decisions; there may not even BE passengers in lots of cases. When there are passengers, they may not even be able to drive. They be drunk, or sleeping, or children...

Who is liable for the accidents those vehicles cause?
The passenger? Surely not. They aren't operating them except to have called it up and set a destination.


What error in judgement did they make that makes them liable? Provided they maintained the vehicles to the manufacturers specifications how are they responsible for car accidents resulting for deficiencies in the vehicles programming/sensor coverage/testing?

Chrysler/GM/VW/Tesla? It makes sense. They foisted the vehicles on the public. If they crash, it is because the vehicle wasn't sufficiently able to cope with doing the thing it was made to do. Operating in traffic in the real world safely is their function. That includes windy days, or in traffic jams, or during a police road closure or construction detour. If they are not fit to operate reliably, predictably, and safely in all these scenarios then they shouldn't be sold as self-driving cars.

I can choose to watch Youtube in busy traffic.

*Right now*, yes, there is this notion that the 'driver' is still operating the vehicle and could be responsible for whether or not the vehicle is operating autonomously or not... but that's today right now, this minute. We're in the beginning of a transition phase. Next year the cars will cope with more scenarios and do it better. The year after that even more still. 20 years from now, situations they can't safely cope with will be much rarer, and the idea that the person sitting in the front seat is responsible minute by minute for whether the car should operate itself or not will be ridiculous.

We need to consider the future. Because this little stitch in time where cars can drive themselves safely... but only sometimes and only when its really easy... is going to be quite temporary.

Comment Re:Isn't it the victim's Echo they want info from? (Score 1) 97

You can monitor it, but is it encrypted? Voice at the quality the Echo records can be compressed down a lot. The Echo has enough processing power to filter data (as in, throw out boring data / near silence) and compress the good stuff. It can send the payload out whenever it wants.

As far as I know, no one has done useful testing. You'd have to run an Echo for some large window of time (30 days?) in an environment with lots of talking without the hotword (Alexa or whatever) and compare to an environment without much talking. Then you'd need to compare the amount of data sent out and try to correlate it with the amount of data it should be sending out based on the use of "Alexa" and the control/baseline environment unit.

Further, you're assuming it only uses your network. It could use any cell band without you knowing it, and with no obvious antenna or other hardware.
And what if the Echo only starts spying on you in excess when triggered by Amazon or some criteria (e.g., the Echo hears you say "Trump")? Your network monitoring only tells you how much data has gone out, ti doesn't tell you how much data could be sent out in the future or what the data contains.

In this day and age, do you really trust a corporation to respect your privacy?
Do you really trust an always-on, internet-connected microphone to not be spying on you?

Comment Re:Fake science/sloppy science (Score 1) 260

I agree, documentation of protocols needs to be improved; however, it's hard to document everything you did for a paper when the journal doesn't give you very many words at all to actually explain what you did, and many don't support video sections for online papers.

Video is almost always less information-dense than text. Why would you want to spend ten minutes watching something that can be read in 60 seconds?

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