Today's artificial intelligence is certainly formidable. It can beat world champions at intricate games like chess and Go, or dominate at Jeopardy!. It can interpret heaps of data for us, guide driverless cars, respond to spoken commands, and track down the answers to your internet search queries.
Robots, too, can be bad drivers. As the world prepares for the coming future of driverless cars, there are bound to be a few accidents. Launched this summer, a trial of PostBus driverless shuttles in Sion, Switzerland was expected to continue through October 2017. Instead, one of the two shuttles hit a parked van earlier this week, sending the whole trial into a screeching halt.
We already interact with artificial intelligence in our daily lives. Furby and Clippy were early forms; driverless cars and Facebook's chatbots pick up the mantle today. But if AI is to continue its evolution, it'll have to get more convincingly human. Right now, its capacity for emotional depth is seriously lacking.
Seems like just yesterday car giant General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft--the ride-sharing service competing with Uber for dominance over your cab experience. Like Google, Tesla, Uber and others, Lyft wants to bring its riders a driverless experience where cars pilot themselves. Now their project, according to the Wall Street Journal, has a launch window: 2017.
Who will the courts blame when the first driverless car kills someone? That's “when”, not “if”, as deaths from driverless cars are a near certainty, and the logic behind *who the car decides to kill* is a good introduction to the fascinating and terrifying world of our coming robot future.
The autonomous vehicles of the future and the assisted-driving vehicles of today both rely on a host of sensors and cameras to figure out where they are in the world – and where everybody else is. But while adaptive headlights can move to provide better visibility and sensors can detect objects in all directions, they can't see what's around the next corner.