To The Guardian
It was sad to see David Edmonds fall for the propaganda from Silicon Valley regarding driverless cars. This new technology will require that drivers be able to intervene, but it’s well known that the less you do something, the worse you get at it. So the less you drive, the less skilled your intervention is and the more dangerous autonomy becomes. The same is likely to be true of ethics. In essence, dependence on technology is a form of outsourcing. To outsource (as many companies are discovering) is to export skills. Do we really want to export ethical thinking to technology companies?
(Margaret Heffernan, Farrington Gurney, Somerset. The Week 24 Nov 2018)
I have to admit that I don’t see the benefits of driverless cars, unless you are in the transport or taxi businesses. I can, on the other hand, imagine riding in a driverless car, petrified and ready at the slightest excuse to switch to manual. What are you expected to do in one of these vehicles? Watch a movie, read a book, have a deep conversation in relaxed mode about the national fiscal deficit? Really? More likely, it’s all about allowing former drivers uninterrupted time on their cellphones as they travel from A to B. Which means that the they are not watching where they are going and how many people they have nearly knocked over.
Message to techies: spend your time eliminating hate messages on social media and malign foreign interference in elections. And helping the poor, sick and underpaid!