The fatal crash that killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, in March occurred because of a software bug in Uber’s self-driving car technology, The Information’s Amir Efrati reported on Monday. According to two anonymous sources who talked to Efrati, Uber’s sensors did, in fact, detect Herzberg as she crossed the street with her bicycle. Unfortunately, the software classified her as a “false positive” and decided it didn’t need to stop for her.
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Not so long ago, Uber was testing a autonomous vehicle in Arizona that failed to slow down and stop when a woman was crossing the highway. As a consequence the car ran over her and ended her life.
This is further proof that no matter how much bug fixes they do, an AI is still a computer program written in a programming language. Which means bugs will always exist. Even after the engineers fix most bugs and thus the software gets closer to perfection, every now and then a glitch will cause an accident or cost an innocent life.
Remember, when you were a child and experienced the joy of playing with your RC car until an old brother of yours took the remote control from your hands? Well the same will occur with your automated automobile, but this time it will be Big Brother in the literal meaning of the word!
If you are born in a corrupt country with a facade democracy and ruled by an iron first, you realize how bad this idea sounds. Imagine this technology at the hands of corrupt politicians and crooked entrepreneurs, they will use it to achieve personal gains such as trying to silence anyone that opposes them or forcing the car’s AI to bring political activists to the police or getting the location of a suspect through the vehicle’s GPS system.
If this technology ever becomes a trend in least developed countries such as Brazil, India, China and Russia, I’m sure it’s most likely to be used to enforce the elites’s wicked goals rather than to give more comfort to the local population.
Remember, you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.