[LINK] Why you may not own, or drive your vehicle in 10 years time

David Lochrin dlochrin at key.net.au
Fri Jun 10 11:38:42 AEST 2016

On 2016-06-10 10:13 Karl Auer wrote:

> Working computers have only been around for half a century or so. In that time they have gone from electrical monsters to electronic marvels. They have taken on a multitude of tasks that we once said with great confidence they would never be able to do.
> On that evidence (*evidence*) I think it more likely than not that driverless cars are in our future. Perhaps not the immediate future, perhaps not a future that looks just like the present except for a mysterious lack of steering wheels, but certainly a future where there is no human directly controlling the vehicle.
> Protesting that "it will never work" is not going to cut it; it's a content-free protestation of - what? Hope? Fear? Belief?

On the other hand, we have to avoid a technological cargo cult.

Way back in the 60's artificial intelligence comparable with human intelligence was confidently forecast to be a reality in 10 or 15 years.  Ten years later it was another decade or so away.  We're now half a century further on and there are still no AI systems comparable with the human mind.  Eventually rule-based systems were produced, but they're a different thing altogether.  Games such as GO and chess are also in a different class because the rules are highly defined and finite, even though the combinatorial complexity is very high.

And with any road system like the one we have now, no amount of on-board AI is going to get around the necessity for real-world information outside the immediate road environment and the ability to understand its significance.  However driverless technology might be useful in certain highly controlled environments.

And finally, any such technology has to work in the messy legal, political, economic, and social environment of the real world.

David L.

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