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Comment Re:It can't come soon enough... (Score 1) 239

If there is a child running out on the road that is obscured from sensors, a human will see the ball, see others on the yard in horror and shock and be able to intuit what is about to happen.

Or in a more realistic scenario, the human is driving 35 mph in a residential area and still can't stop in time for the child, and the automated car is obeying the speed limit and can stop. But I will certainly grant you there will be times when an automated car kills someone when a human would not. The important thing is whether more or less people in total are killed by automated cars when compared to human drivers.

Your second scenario is exactly why we need legislatures to start deciding these rules now. Your question is essentially how dangerous will we allow these cars to drive. Your ability to sue, or more accurately your ability to win a lawsuit, will depend on the early legislation and case law. Most likely insurance companies will end up covering car companies in the same way they cover individual drivers now. You won't have to sue them, they will just pay you for medical bills, pain and suffering like they would today for a human driver.

Comment Re:It can't come soon enough... (Score 1) 239

You mention a whole lot of things where human intuition is compensating for a brain which is incapable of paying attention to all inputs at the same time. But we aren't talking about such a limited processing device when discussing automated cars.

An automated car doesn't need to know a bouncing ball on the street means it should be looking out for children. It is always looking out for children, unlike its human counterpart.

Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 1) 239

Before getting this technology legal and on the road, perhaps we should focus on getting this technology?

Publicly letting the industry know regulators are interested in helping make automated vehicles a reality is a very important early step in lowering the risk involved in investing in this technology. Major car companies and other investors will probably now be more willing to invest money in technologies which support automated vehicles becoming a reality.

Every investor's risk matrix just had one box move from red to yellow.

Comment Re:Well that's wrong (Score 2) 274

Our computers fuck up all the time because of bad sofrware. So do your phones. So will so-called 'autonomous cars', and the more complex the software, the harder it is to find the bugs in it, and in this case the bugs WILL GET PEOPLE KILLED

Bugs in the human brain killed 38,300 people in 2015 and injured another 4.4 million. And these bugs are far harder to find and fix than autonomous driving cars would be. Yes, it's very likely each year self-driving cars will kill thousands of people and injure hundreds of thousands more. But even if this is true they would still be an order of magnitude safer than human drivers.

I'm not saying it is an absolute that self-driving cars will be safer than humans in the next 10 years, but it is certainly not nonsense.

Comment Re:like what? (Score 1) 530

It looks like a better headline to this story could have been "How can we get techies to spend more time improving the world?" It doesn't appear you are unaware why they aren't doing it now so this may have geared the answers closer to what you were looking for.

In an attempt to answer your intended question:

1) One way for techies to improve the world is simply to create tools used by others who are improving the world. Better business intelligence tools can and are used by charities to identify and target those they help, not just by for profit corporations. Improved social media apps were arguably instrumental in the Arab Spring, and will likely continue to assist in other efforts to improve the world. It's easy to dismiss "meaningless apps" but they are created because they solve a problem for someone, so to their customers these apps are improving the world.

2) Increasing funding to charities and to for profit companies with a focus on social good will cause more techies to work on these projects. This funding would almost certainly need to come from governmental organizations as they have the easiest method of collecting revenue for projects with little to no ROI (mandatory taxes).

So if you really see this as a problem to improve, choose the most liberal political party in your country (which has a chance of winning elections) and work to help them get into (or stay in) power. That is most likely the best path to improving this problem.

Comment Re:like what? (Score 1) 530

Technology and especially information technology is the focus on human power right now, and that power can be applied to better goals [...]

Technology is not the focus of human power right now, financial capital is. This is unlikely to ever change. Technology is simply a tool used by those with power (regardless of how much power they have) to achieve their goals. The percentage of technological advancement geared towards social good is directly proportional to the desire to enact social good by those who have financial capital.

When those with financial capital are more interested in solving the world's most important problems than they are in gaining more capital, technology will quite naturally shift its focus towards those new goals.

Comment Re:like what? (Score 5, Insightful) 530

Isn't Venture Capital throwing money at a problem with the hope of solving it and making money? Why is throwing money at BeerMe, DriveMe, FeedMe, etc., a reasonable idea but throwing money at a more important problem not acceptable or likely to work?

Solving a problem does not inherently make you money. Creating a solution customers are willing and able to spend money on will make you money. By giving $10 to a starving poor person I could solve that hunger (at least temporarily), but I am unlikely to see a return on that "investment". Finding a way to make a better tasting ketchup, on the other hand, could make a lot of money, regardless of whether tastier ketchup is a more important than feeding starving people.

Venture capital is not charity. Wealthy people can certainly choose to start a foundation (like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) instead of investing in a VC firm if solving "important" problems is their goal. If they choose investing, however, return on investment is likely the goal.

There are a lot of VC funded companies solving very important problems, but the reason they were funded almost certainly was because they could show a potential return on investment. Social good could have been a factor, but very few companies (or possibly no companies) are funded by VC's as a charity case.

Comment Re:Bravo indeed (Score 1) 424

In those societies, if you wanted to share a secret with a select few, you may do that. They may talk about it with others, but there is no method of instantaneous mass distribution.

You can still do this today, just don't talk about it digitally. 100 years ago if you sent a letter to a friend it also had the chance of being stolen. Your friends still had the ability to tell others and start gossip.

but we can condemn that person behind an assumed anonymity, so that we suffer no consequences for the things we say or do

This is certainly a slight difference from the past, but once a mob starts attacking someone, individuals in that mob rarely face consequences for their actions. Not many members of lynching mobs, or people pelting others with mud or excrement in a pillory, ever faced consequences for their actions.

This is just the modern version of a pillory.

Comment Re: Bravo indeed (Score 1) 424

And no, people do not consider the consequences of sharing electronic information. We see that time, and time, and time again.

No argument here, although a few more decades of ruined lives has a good chance of changing this perception.

And what of the consequences? Are they just? Should we give up the ability to share any personal information in this age without expecting it to be condemned and mocked worldwide by anonymous fools?

Until our society grows to the point where we realize everyone has aspects of their life which could invite juvenile ridicule, it is absolutely the correct decision to never share personal information digitally which we wouldn't broadcast to the world. Never bitch about work or a friend over text, never email / text / snapchat nude photos, etc. This is basic stuff which unfortunately a vast majority of people don't realize is important. Hopefully enough of these stories changes that naive ignorance in the general public.

Comment Re: Bravo indeed (Score 1) 424

to not admit that instantaneous electronic dissemination of information by anonymous individuals -- who face no consequences for their actions -- is radically different than what any society has ever dealt with before would be absurd.

It has always existed; it's called gossip. Tracking the source of gossip is a little easier than authorities tracking the source of anonymous online leaks, but not that much easier. The only difference is concrete proof can be provided now, which in most cases is a good thing because gossip with a complete lack of proof is not taken as seriously.

Comment Re: Bravo indeed (Score 3, Insightful) 424

Because really, it's not her fault: it's a new situation created by technology that humans weren't equipped to deal with.

The new situation is people who think there are no consequences for their actions. The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850, and I'm guessing it wasn't a revelation even then that public knowledge of questionable sexual behavior could have severe consequences for the rest of your life (or even result in death quite quickly).

We need to realize as a society that privacy and anonymity were the aberrations in human history.

Comment Re:Bravo indeed (Score 5, Insightful) 424

We're seeing a new phenomenon relative to the entirely of human existence -- it's not natural for people to adjust to.

What are you talking about? For how much of human history do you think it was easy for average people to leave their society and start a new life? For how much of human history do you think average people had a large enough community to enjoy actual anonymity at any point in their life?

For most of human history you had small villages with a few hundred people, so anything you did followed you for life. I'm probably even being generous with that "few hundred" figure. Even in large cities people were segregated into smaller communities. What do you think would have happened to a woman who had sex in public for their ex-boyfriend and a few other people to watch in 1200 AD? It probably wouldn't have a happy ending for the woman.

Our society (especially in the US) has enjoyed perhaps a couple hundred years providing an unusual level of anonymity and chance for a new start in life. The final result of the information age will almost certainly put that to an end. Our societies need to spend more time dealing with the consequences of a lack of privacy and the permanency of information instead of kicking that can down the road with stupid laws and an idealistic view of human history.

Comment Re:Are you for real? (Score 4, Insightful) 424

Having sympathy for the woman and having outrage that these kind of stupid decisions end up creating even more stupid laws are not mutually exclusive. Having more outrage about laws that affect billions of people (even if only slightly) than sympathy for a single human life is also quite natural, consider 150,000 people die each day.

If there was no such thing as Right to be Forgotten laws, there would be nothing but sympathy for this woman. But considering the political climate it is reasonable most of us are upset at the people peeing in the pool everyone else has to swim in.

Comment Re:Apple's suicide (Score 0) 495

Those were all technologies that were in some way vastly superseded in quality or functionality.

The standard audio jack is currently extremely high quality (yay push-pull transistors) and universally standard and will remain so, outside of the apple-verse, for decades to come.

History never repeats itself, but it often rhymes. I certainly agree this situation is unique in its own way, just like most of the changes I mentioned. But the one constant will be Apple users who gave up their desire to choose for themselves a long time ago. In the Windows / Android world progress can be just as messy, but you have plenty of other options if you don't like what Dell / Lenovo / Samsung are doing.

Anyone who stayed with Apple after the lightning connector change will stay with Apple after this, save a very small (and vocal) minority.

Comment Re:Apple's suicide (Score 1) 495

False comparison. Keep at it ass-hole.

The only thing false about the comparison is this time they have upped the ante a little. I would have said the same when they made most peripherals obsolete by introducing the lightning connector. I see no reason why Apple users who put up with all of the changes I mentioned will suddenly jump ship now. They may lose a few audiophiles, but not many.

I dislike Apple primarily because there aren't enough options when they decide to get rid of something I like. In the Windows world similar changes often happen, but I have the option of going with a different manufacturer if I'm not ready for the change yet. You give up that control in the Apple ecosystem.

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