Autonomous Vehicles and the “Trolley Problem”

July 27, 2017 – Maura Morrison has kindly sent me this infographic that illustrates the “trolley problem” dilemma that an autonomous vehicle may face in the future. What happens when an artificial-intelligence driven vehicle has to make a “lady or the tiger” choice? When a human is asked to choose between two impossible choices we call it a moral dilemma. When a machine is asked to do the same, just how do we define it? The machine’s intelligence comes from human software coders. So the human designers are wrestling with this dilemma and Maura has offered this summary of their thinking. As always your comments are invited.



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Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery.