Ford Opens Palo Alto Research Center - InformationWeek

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1/24/2015
10:10 AM
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Ford Opens Palo Alto Research Center

The company's focus on mobility has led it to expand its presence in Silicon Valley.
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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 11:59:48 PM
Re: decision
I see your point. I don't really want to be in the shoes of the coding experts. And with the quantity of accidents in our country and in the world, it could be a real possibility that a future car would need to choose between a mother with a stroller and an old man.
For the sake of the argument, let me complicate things and say, how about if the stroller is empty and the mother is a serial killer; and, the old man is Mandela or MLK like. What then?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/26/2015 | 2:40:26 PM
Re: decision
What he's referring to is a scenario where a car's AI has to choose between hitting a pedestrian on the sidewalk and hitting one in the street. When that's written into code, it creates liability. An attorney could find fault with the way the choice was made in a way that might appeal to a jury. 

Attorney: "So you car decided to mow down the mother with the stroller rather than the old man?"

Engineer: "It defaulted to not changing direction if the alternate route is obstructed."

Attorney: "But you could have used the car's computer vision system to override that choice if a stroller is present, correct?"

Engineer: "We could have, I suppose."

Attorney: "But you didn't. Why? Because a child's life wasn't worth the extra man-hours to code that contingency?"

Defense: "Objection, your honor..."

...Companies don't want to be involved in anything like this.
mak63
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50%
mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
1/26/2015 | 2:07:14 PM
decision
"When the vehicle has to make a decision and there is no choice, to drive into a ditch or a tree, or hit a pedestrian, today you leave it up to the human being and nobody questions it. It's just a judgment in time. But when we program it to do that, it's a different story."

Why does it have to be a different story? If we consider what is more valuable, going to a ditch seems to be the more reasonable course of action. Am I missing something here?
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/26/2015 | 11:12:37 AM
Silicon Valley culture
Always interesting to hear about these moves. GE made a similar (major) investment in a Silicon Valley software center, and the thinking is often to try to inject the Silicon Valley culture -- of speed, of software-driven innovation, of embracing new ideas -- back into the larger company.
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