Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

For chatting about non-political topics.

Hot topic: The perils of exercise, Lapidary, food, gardening, brewing & Gallipoli/Anzac Day.

Special feature: WWIi Operation Manna/Chowhound.
.

Open to guest posting.

Moderator: johnsmith

Forum rules
The rules for this board are in the Charter of Moderation. Off Topic is for fairly serious discussion of things other than politics and current affair.

Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 23 Mar 2018, 20:23

As we all know, a pedestrian in the US has been struck and killed by an autonomous car that was in full self-driving mode.

The initial statement made by police shortly after was that the pedestrian was likely at fault. However, a number of experts reveiwing the situation have disagreed. On the premise that by virtue of being superior to a human driver in every way including having sensory functions beyond what humans posess, the car should be held to a higher standard of accountability than a human driver (my interpretation).

The comment made at the scene by the police chief that the victim was likely at fault seems to have been a conditioned, offhand response by someone whose experience in these matters has been 100% with human-controlled vehicles. In such a case, the pedestrian would likely have been at fault because a human driver probably could not have been reasonabley expected to react in time when the victim stepped from the dark. However, the autonomous vehicle in question is not fully dependent on headlights to navigate in the dark - it is equipped with a number of additional sensors including radar and Lidar (laser imaging navigation), neither of which require visible light to function. It appears both of these systems failed.

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Video of a deadly self-driving vehicle crash in suburban Phoenix shows a pedestrian walking from a darkened area onto a street just moments before an Uber SUV strikes her.

The lights on the SUV didn't illuminate 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg on Sunday night until a second or two before impact, raising questions about whether the vehicle could have stopped in time.

The crash Sunday night in Tempe was the first death involving a full autonomous test vehicle. The Volvo was in self-driving mode with a human backup driver at the wheel when it struck Herzberg, police said.

The video shows the human backup driver in the SUV looking down until seconds before the crash. The driver looks up and appears startled during the last moment of the clip.

Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir has told the San Francisco Chronicle that the SUV likely wouldn't be found at fault. But two experts who viewed the video told The Associated Press that the SUV's laser and radar sensors should have spotted Herzberg and her bicycle in time to brake.

"The victim did not come out of nowhere. She's moving on a dark road, but it's an open road, so Lidar (laser) and radar should have detected and classified her" as a human, said Bryant Walker Smith, a University of South Carolina law professor who studies autonomous vehicles.

Smith said the video may not show the complete picture, but "this is strongly suggestive of multiple failures of Uber and its system, its automated system, and its safety driver."

Sam Abuelsmaid, an analyst for Navigant Research who also follows autonomous vehicles, said laser and radar systems can see in the dark much better than humans or cameras and that Herzberg was well within the range.

"It absolutely should have been able to pick her up," he said. "From what I see in the video it sure looks like the car is at fault, not the pedestrian."


Also, the safety driver who was in the drivers seat with access to overriding controls appears not to have been looking at the road. This is a problem with human s backing up a machine running on auto-pilot - because you aren't engaged in driving, boredom ultimately sets in, your mind naturally begins to wander and alertness levels fall.

Smith said that from what he observed on the video, the Uber driver appears to be relying too much on the self-driving system by not looking up at the road.

"The safety driver is clearly relying on the fact that the car is driving itself. It's the old adage that if everyone is responsible no one is responsible," Smith said. "This is everything gone wrong that these systems, if responsibly implemented, are supposed to prevent."

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/police-release-video-fatal-crash-uber-self-driving-232906380.html

My thoughts: this is probably the inevitable opening of a legal can of worms that was always going to occur sooner or later with autonomous vehicles.

Are autonomous cars better and safer than human drivers? The answer is almost certainly yes.
Are they 100% infallable? The answer is: definately not! Anything that can go wrong will go wrong sooner or later.

And if it is determined that the car is at fault - who is legally liable and to what extent? A machine cannot stand trial and yet a person appears to have died as the result of one's actions. We have legal systems for dealing with human drivers being at fault - an individual person is punished. But this screams "massive law suit" to me. The company, manufacturer and designer could all be held responsable in the same way that a faulty car part leading to a fatality can. THat doesn't happen all that often because probably at least 95% of car crashes are the result of human error rather than mechanical failure. But with autonomous cars, suing the company will probably become standard. Which are vastly more costly than a single person going to gaol. Crashes may happen less often but when they do, the implications will probably be much further-reaching.

Given this - are autonomous vehicles going to turn out to be cost effective replacements for taxi drivers, truck drivers and the like? Or will the risk of litigation against companies outweigh the cost savings?
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 02 Apr 2018, 02:44

Semi-autonomous vehicle has been involved in a fatal crash while in auto-pilot mode

I'm a bit sceptical of auto-pilots for cars that are meant to be able to be suddenly switched to human control. Once the vehicle is driving itself, the human in drivers seat is simply not fully alert because they are not engaged in driving. To go from daydreaming to highly alert and reactionary in the blink of an eye is a bit much of an ask.

Autopilot may be ok when cruising at 30 000 feet - there isn't much to run into up there. But roads on the ground are massively crowded by comparison and there are infinitely more objects to run into.

Inevitably, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles will become more and more commonplace and in general, they will be safer than human drivers. But it's a major mistake to assume that they will ever be infallible. When they can build a computer that never crashes, then I'll believe that they can build a computer-controlled car that never crashes.
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Dax » 02 Apr 2018, 07:47

It may be the case, that autonomous cars will be a fad and die out over time. like 3D tv. There are to many variables involved for them to be successful, as pointed out, in the air and at sea there are very few things to hit. But there are still ships crashing into each other on autopilot, so they are still not infallible and probably never will be.

On the roads, there are many many things to hit or which can and will pop up to confuse the system. Then we have to add the huge amount of radio and emf signals at ground level, which all have an adverse effect on autonomous detection.

The company that produces an electric car which is simple, easy to drive and cost effective, will take the future market. More and more electronic sophistication, only increase costs and power use.
User avatar
Dax
Pitbull terrier
 
Posts: 339
Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 12:15
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 02 Apr 2018, 10:00

It may be the case, that autonomous cars will be a fad and die out over time. like 3D tv.


I'm kind of suspecting something along the same lines - I think that autonomous vehicles will become more commonplace than they are now but I see problems with attempting to make human operators redundant altogether.

All of this is part of a broader question posed by the exponential advancement of AI and automation - some "experts" are predicting that half of all jobs will disappear within a decade and in less than 50 years, there will be virtually nothing that humans do now that a machine cannot do better.

Which begs the blindingly obvious question that few of these experts seem to be asking yet - if human activity becomes obsolete, what then is the purpose of human existence? The whole premise here is that unlike previous leaps forward in technology (such as the industrial revolution) which caused temporary displacement but then ended up creating new jobs for humans that had previously not existed, the obsolescence will be permanent - whatever new fields of activity are created, it is likely that machines will be better placed to perform those as well.

To argue that 50% of all jobs will permanently disappear within a decade seems to show ignorance of socio-economic realities. During the Great Depression, many nations were close to societal breakdown into anarchy - at a maximum unemployment rate of around 25%. No economy can function at double that rate. Every human made permanently redundant in any kind of socio-economic system from fascism to communism and everything in between represents a largely lost consumer. And producing stuff for consumption in some way or another is really the only purpose machines ultimately have. How will people be able to consume the output of the machines that have replaced them? A poverty-level Basic Income Guarantee won't cut it.

And exactly how does consigning large swathes of human beings to the rubbish dump constitute progress and advancing human well-being? Some things actually do not appear to have changed in the past couple of hundred years in that while advances in technology have enormous potential to benefit human kind, much of the motivation behind making lots of human workers redundant has fuck all to do with benevolence and everything to do with maximising the hip-pocket gains of the owners of the machines - just like the heady days of the Industrial Revolution.

It won't be all that long before these challenges to the existence of civilisation - and what the so-called experts are talking about is that serious, whether they realise it or not - will render something else obsolete: modern day lassiez-faire capitalism aka neo-liberalism. These issues cannot be addressed by limiting government and maximising market freedom, only a return to a higher degree of socialism in the mix can do that.
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 02 Apr 2018, 10:27

It is still a new technology going through the testing stage. Of course there they will encounter problems. With advancements in technology this will likely be an ongoing process. I disagree that it is a passing fad. I don't think anyone ever expected we would develop and build this technology, from conception to commercialisation, without something failing somewhere along the line. That's the whole purpose of such an extensive testing programme. Did we stop using airbags just because some failed?


Dax wrote: But there are still ships crashing into each other on autopilot, so they are still not infallible and probably never will be.

autopilot on a ship is designed purely to follow a set course, not navigate through traffic.
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Dax » 02 Apr 2018, 12:35

johnsmith wrote:It is still a new technology going through the testing stage. Of course there they will encounter problems. With advancements in technology this will likely be an ongoing process. I disagree that it is a passing fad. I don't think anyone ever expected we would develop and build this technology, from conception to commercialisation, without something failing somewhere along the line. That's the whole purpose of such an extensive testing programme. Did we stop using airbags just because some failed?


Dax wrote: But there are still ships crashing into each other on autopilot, so they are still not infallible and probably never will be.

autopilot on a ship is designed purely to follow a set course, not navigate through traffic.


Modern marine autopilots, warn crew of vessels and obstructions in their area and if their courses or positions are a danger, as they are interconnected with radar, sonar and gps. Have seen them in action, even on fishing boats working around shipping lanes, they have the same setup and lots of times the system fails because they can't differentiate properly, especially in inclement weather. Whereas the human eye and brain can work out differences by deduction, anticipation and forward thinking, which can be changed instantly, if required.

There will always be a need for human overseeing of AI, computers are fallible for many reasons and locked into set parameters, so when changes can and do occur without notice, then tend to fail or give the wrong information. There will always be failures of technology, just as there are failures in nature. It will be humans who decide how far automation of transport goes, taking the thrill of control out of the hands of humans totally, will lead to a collapse of the human psyche.

Humans need challenges, things to look forward to and the ability to experiment, adapt and change. If we lock everything into AI, humans will be lost and probably die very early, because of boredom, lethargy and hopelessness.
User avatar
Dax
Pitbull terrier
 
Posts: 339
Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 12:15
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 02 Apr 2018, 13:27

Dax wrote:
johnsmith wrote:It is still a new technology going through the testing stage. Of course there they will encounter problems. With advancements in technology this will likely be an ongoing process. I disagree that it is a passing fad. I don't think anyone ever expected we would develop and build this technology, from conception to commercialisation, without something failing somewhere along the line. That's the whole purpose of such an extensive testing programme. Did we stop using airbags just because some failed?


Dax wrote: But there are still ships crashing into each other on autopilot, so they are still not infallible and probably never will be.

autopilot on a ship is designed purely to follow a set course, not navigate through traffic.


Modern marine autopilots, warn crew of vessels and obstructions in their area and if their courses or positions are a danger, as they are interconnected with radar, sonar and gps. Have seen them in action, even on fishing boats working around shipping lanes, they have the same setup and lots of times the system fails because they can't differentiate properly, especially in inclement weather. Whereas the human eye and brain can work out differences by deduction, anticipation and forward thinking, which can be changed instantly, if required.

There will always be a need for human overseeing of AI, computers are fallible for many reasons and locked into set parameters, so when changes can and do occur without notice, then tend to fail or give the wrong information. There will always be failures of technology, just as there are failures in nature. It will be humans who decide how far automation of transport goes, taking the thrill of control out of the hands of humans totally, will lead to a collapse of the human psyche.

Humans need challenges, things to look forward to and the ability to experiment, adapt and change. If we lock everything into AI, humans will be lost and probably die very early, because of boredom, lethargy and hopelessness.



i don't think anyone expects self drive cars to be totally foolproof .... but if they can bring our road toll down from current levels of around 1200 deaths per year, to 600 or even 800 - 1000 deaths per annum, it'll still be seen as a huge win for self drive cars
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 02 Apr 2018, 15:22

i don't think anyone expects self drive cars to be totally foolproof .... but if they can bring our road toll down from current levels of around 1200 deaths per year, to 600 or even 800 - 1000 deaths per annum, it'll still be seen as a huge win for self drive cars


Yes, they should be able to do that because they are - or if not, soon will be - superior to human drivers in every way.

Therefore, they should be held to a higher standard of culpability - just as we expect more from an adult than from a child both socially and legally given that an adults abilities are more advanced than those of a child, so too with technology that is arguably superior to humans, which humans will be forced to share roads and public spaces with.

You can't argue the great superiority of an autonomous car over the human driver on one hand and then on the other, dismiss any fatalities caused by the vehicle as simple misadventure just because a machine cannot stand trial. Someone is liable. When the driver is human, an individual is punished by the law. When the driver at fault is the machine itself, I'd expect the legal consequences to be much further reaching - the fleet owner, the manufacturer and designer can probably all be held accountable. This kind of action can damage or even sink an entire company.

Uber must think so because they have been lobbying the government of California to pass laws absolving the machine - and by extension the company - in cases such as this.

It will be humans who decide how far automation of transport goes, taking the thrill of control out of the hands of humans totally, will lead to a collapse of the human psyche.

Humans need challenges, things to look forward to and the ability to experiment, adapt and change. If we lock everything into AI, humans will be lost and probably die very early, because of boredom, lethargy and hopelessness.


Agree there Dax. The true believers in a world of total automation assume that tossing half of the human population (and ultimately almost all of it) on a permanent scrap heap is unstoppable and inevitable - I disagree. Government has all the power in the world to decide how far this goes - they can declare something legal or illegal with the stroke of a pen. Human beings are programmed to contribute - take that away permanently and they become dysfunctional. For the coming generations, the question of "what is my purpose in life and who needs me?" will be answered with: nothing and nobody. How does that serve to advance the lot of humankind?

In a world of total automation, why not just close down secondary schools, universities, colleges, TAFE's etc - once our kids can do basic reading, writing and arithmetic, what point is there training them further since all current roles will be redundant. All of the skills humans currently posses will be forgotten since they will no longer be needed.

Personally, I don't believe it can get this far before everything starts to come apart at the seams.

Future human dystopia
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 02 Apr 2018, 16:35

Lefty wrote:You can't argue the great superiority of an autonomous car over the human driver on one hand and then on the other, dismiss any fatalities caused by the vehicle as simple misadventure just because a machine cannot stand trial.


I'm not dismissing anything.I just don't think all the hoohaa over the one death over millions of kilometers of testing is warranted. Sure, hold them to a higher standard, just don't hold them to an impossible standard.

Lefty wrote:Government has all the power in the world to decide how far this goes


If thirty years ago, if they had told you that today's generation would be putting all their public info online for all and sundry to see, most people wouldn't have believed you. If they had told you that companies would buy your personal information to use for their own ends they would have said 'won't happen, govt. won't allow it'.
It's the same with automation. While todays generation might have reservations, tomorrows generation will grow up knowing nothing else, won't. Full automation is inevitable, it's only the timing that is in question.
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Dax » 02 Apr 2018, 19:36

johnsmith wrote:
Lefty wrote:You can't argue the great superiority of an autonomous car over the human driver on one hand and then on the other, dismiss any fatalities caused by the vehicle as simple misadventure just because a machine cannot stand trial.


I'm not dismissing anything.I just don't think all the hoohaa over the one death over millions of kilometers of testing is warranted. Sure, hold them to a higher standard, just don't hold them to an impossible standard.

Lefty wrote:Government has all the power in the world to decide how far this goes


If thirty years ago, if they had told you that today's generation would be putting all their public info online for all and sundry to see, most people wouldn't have believed you. If they had told you that companies would buy your personal information to use for their own ends they would have said 'won't happen, govt. won't allow it'.
It's the same with automation. While todays generation might have reservations, tomorrows generation will grow up knowing nothing else, won't. Full automation is inevitable, it's only the timing that is in question.


To me, it's not the current rate of deaths caused by autonomous vehicles, but all the other factors that will require attention if that occurs.. It will probably be more like, urban public transport and hire vehicles will become autonomous, but heavily regimented. Whilst other transport may consist of semi autonomous trucks and coaches and the same with private vehicles, people will still want to race them, enjoy the thrill of driving and not just sitting there with no challenge or skill required. In urbane areas they will switch to autonomous and enter the system.

What do you do in a drive from Sydney to Melbourne, or anywhere outside urban areas, sleep, get drunk, read a book, watch movies, eat and only stop to recharge and replenish supplies. Pretty boring existence, they will probably put dunnies in your car so you don't have to stop. How about offroaders, play chess. Autonomous trail and road bikes, how would that work for fun and enjoyment.

Fully autonomous everything may lower the intelligence, creativity and enjoyment in the human race. As it is, we are dumbing down humanity with the lose of physical hands on skills throughout societies. You could say it is a refection of the demise of the human race, not only are we destroying the ecological balance that keeps us alive, we are dumbing down humanity by making more and more useless, other than economic cannon fodder.

In 1949, there was a book written called "1984", where the writer, Orson Welles I think, predicted exactly what we are seeing develop today. When it was released in the 1960's, read it and laughed at it. At the time was working in a large organisation which was developing computer systems for their business and part of my job was to provide the programmers and punch card girls the information they needed to enter. When talking to one of the programmers, remarked it reminded me of 1984 and he said, "wouldn't be surprise if that's where computers were going".

Thought about that many times over the years and believe he was right, just got the timing wrong. With full automation, they will have every bit of information about your life, every minute of the day and have full control of your life and your vehicles. Musk Has started sending his satellite network into space, to control his cars and provide a cheap mobile internet for them and others anywhere on the planet. They've already begun that with smart appliances and communication media, the camera surveillance systems are getting so saturated, they are introducing face and vehicle recognition, as everyone gets put into the system with the never ending supply of data they take from all those using common computer systems.

Our technology may be coming autonomous, but we are becoming enslaved.
User avatar
Dax
Pitbull terrier
 
Posts: 339
Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 12:15
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 02 Apr 2018, 21:03

when I was talking about full automation, I wasn't' talking about off road, racing or rally. I was referring to your everyday drive to and from work, or to anfd from shops etc. Of course specific types of driving will remain for those who pursue those hobbies.

Dax wrote:Fully autonomous everything may lower the intelligence

an argument I've seen used previously showed the opposite effect.. If you have a two hour drive, instead of staring at a road, doing nothing , you can use that time reading a book, studying or doing some work.

although i do agree with you in that it will get damn boring if the car does everything by itself. My car is a manual cause I get bored driving an auto.
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Dax » 03 Apr 2018, 06:48

johnsmith wrote:when I was talking about full automation, I wasn't' talking about off road, racing or rally. I was referring to your everyday drive to and from work, or to anfd from shops etc. Of course specific types of driving will remain for those who pursue those hobbies.

Dax wrote:Fully autonomous everything may lower the intelligence

an argument I've seen used previously showed the opposite effect.. If you have a two hour drive, instead of staring at a road, doing nothing , you can use that time reading a book, studying or doing some work.

although i do agree with you in that it will get damn boring if the car does everything by itself. My car is a manual cause I get bored driving an auto.


What would you be studying, AI may be doing everything for us, including R&D. Books may be read out to you by AI, of course you could surf the web which gets boring as well. I get bored sitting in a bus, even for short trips, just like I did when traveled in trains, trams etc. We need to be hands on involved to gain life satisfaction, if not, our mental state deteriorates with no aims, goals or desire to learn.

Have both a manual and auto, much prefer the manual for long drives. My bus is auto and for long trips, prefer that to the last manual one, because of the amount of gear changes. We are creating a dilemma for ourselves which could easily be solved, if we have a sane workable political system and got rid of the economic/profit growth system.
User avatar
Dax
Pitbull terrier
 
Posts: 339
Joined: 12 Apr 2017, 12:15
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 03 Apr 2018, 16:39

Dax wrote:What would you be studying


you think people are suddenly going to stop learning?

Dax wrote:Books may be read out to you by AI

if you're into that you may as well watch tv ... I for one, prefer to read real books. No amount of AI is going to change that
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 04 Apr 2018, 07:49

I'm not dismissing anything.I just don't think all the hoohaa over the one death over millions of kilometers of testing is warranted. Sure, hold them to a higher standard, just don't hold them to an impossible standard.


There's actually been several deaths so far (this latest one is the first pedestrian to be hit), more injuries and damage and given that a lot of testing was carried out under controlled conditions, the ratio may be higher than we have been led to believe. It's obvious that they are generally safer than human drivers but the extent to which they are may be currently somewhat overstated.

Not sure what would constitute an impossible standard. Human drivers are in some ways held to an impossible standard - never have an accident or face the consequences. When a human driver is responsable for causing damage, injury or death they are held to account and almost certainly punished. Since a machine cannot be held to account, why not those responsable for putting the autonomous vehicle on the road when it does likewise?

After all, they successfully lobbied authorities to allow them to force the public to share it's roadways with autonomous vehicles on the premise that said vehicles were not only as good as a human but better and therefore the public would be safer. There is a growing list of occurrences of the machines failing to do that.

If thirty years ago, if they had told you that today's generation would be putting all their public info online for all and sundry to see, most people wouldn't have believed you. If they had told you that companies would buy your personal information to use for their own ends they would have said 'won't happen, govt. won't allow it'.
It's the same with automation. While todays generation might have reservations, tomorrows generation will grow up knowing nothing else, won't. Full automation is inevitable, it's only the timing that is in question.


The internet and social media based upon it are great. It's an innovation that did not previously exist in a comparable but cruder form, did not displace anyone and actually created jobs in marketing and tech application. Although it can be abused, I'd consider it a technology that has overall enhanced human lives - I don't recall widespread protests and riots over the rise of this particular tech so there was nothing for governments to be forced to listen and respond to.

Full automation of transport and everything else is an entirely different kettle of fish. Last I looked, around three-quarters of a million people in this country alone made their living in the transport sector - all of these will be redundant. And the tech-spurts insist that unlike every other dislocation in history caused by advancing technology, these jobs will not be replaced by anything for humans to do and these people will be thrown on a permanent scrap heap.

Will they all take it lying down? What should we do with them? Will the government be happy to add them all to the welfare queue?

Many of these people have mortgages. When Joe Bloggs can't pay what he owes the bank, he's in trouble - when a million Joe Bloggs can't pay what they owe the bank, the banking and financial system are in trouble! And we're only talking about one particular sector of the economy here, the boffins insist that 50% of jobs will be permanently wiped by automation without any replacement before I'm old enough to retire myself. How can an economy reliant on the expansion of private sector debt sustain that? Or any kind of economy - there's simply no precedent here.

The human race has benefitted immeasurably by inventing technologies to SERVE humanity to the benefit of all.

Full automation of everything is the process of REPLACING humanity to benefit the few - the owners of capital (the machines). Do you think that Uber have been experimenting with the idea of replacing human drivers who need to be paid with autonomous vehicles (currently suspended) because of a heartfelt concern for public safety? That's a great selling point their marketing division has come out with to allow them to put these things on public roads but their real motivation is money.

I think we'll find that attempting to make large percentages of humanity permanently redundant (while still expecting them to be able to keep consuming the output of the machines that have replaced them) is going to be fraught with problems on a scale not seen since WW2.
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 04 Apr 2018, 09:12

Lefty wrote:why not those responsable for putting the autonomous vehicle on the road when it does likewise?


if a death occurs because those responsible are negligent, greedy or just lazy, by all means hold them to account. I'm not suggesting we give anyone a free reign.

Lefty wrote:What should we do with them?

a living pension. Whilst most conservanuts write it off as lefty ideology, i think there is more to it than that. I think it is almost inevitable although it is still a long way off. People will end up working far fewer hours, doing work that can't be done by machines, not because they are lazy, but because of automation.
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 04 Apr 2018, 19:32

a living pension. Whilst most conservanuts write it off as lefty ideology, i think there is more to it than that. I think it is almost inevitable although it is still a long way off. People will end up working far fewer hours, doing work that can't be done by machines, not because they are lazy, but because of automation.


I know that your intentions are good here - but I'm going to argue that this simply isn't going to work.

Far from that being lefty ideology, that exact argument is being advanced by some of the most powerful owners of capital. They have realised where we are headed (with them setting the course!!!!) and are advancing the notion that government should pay for the destruction they will cause if left to their own devices.

If we believe that that sovereign government is revenue-constrained and must raise taxes to pay for it's spending (false), then how do we propose that the 50% in employment will be able to pay to keep the 50% made idle not merely alive but to keep consuming enough to prevent everything from collapsing? What about when the ratio reaches 90%?

Even if we understand a bit more deeply and realise that what we choose to call money is an abstract accounting identity which a fully sovereign government (such as ours) can issue in unlimited quantity (and that does not imply that they should spend to infinity!) and is perfectly capable of buying every last thing offered for sale in that sovereign currency unit, including idle labour - what do you imagine the well-being of this great mass of pensioned-off human beings to be like?

It is deeply programmed into our DNA that we are social animals. Almost all of us have an inborn psychological need to CONTRIBUTE to the greater society - as much as probably all of us piss and moan about our jobs, it is mainly through work that we express that need. When Campbell Newman became Premier, I received a letter saying that my services would likely no longer be required and that if the committee reccomended it, I would simply be dumped like rubbish. Just like that. It was a shock I can tell you - one moment I was performing a humble yet valuable service to the greater good and the next.....I was worthless. Without any value at all. As it turned out, the shock was temporary - even the fucktard Newman ultimately realised that if you just sack everybody on the premise of saving money then there's nobody left to do what still needs to be done and my job was spared (and didn't I LOVE watching that little cvnt go down in flames!!! :rofl ). But that's exactly what full automation of everything would do - render entire generations of humans without a purpose in life. Paying them a poverty-level allowance (or perhaps even a bit more) will not give anyone the sense of purpose they require to be a mentally and emotionally functional human being. A society where millions exist without purpose, without meaning.....without hope. See how long you can make that hold together.

Here's a very timely article by Prof Bill Mitchell (no I didn't read it before posting this morning, the thoughts are my own) on exactly this issue:

A number of the reigning oligarchs … are calling for a guaranteed basic income. It looks progressive. They couch their proposals in the moral language of caring for the destitute and the less fortunate. But behind this is the stark awareness, especially in Silicon Valley, that the world these oligarchs have helped create is so lopsided that future consumers, plagued by job insecurity, substandard wages, automation and crippling debt peonage, will be unable to pay for the products and services offered by the big corporations.

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=39030

Technology will continue to advance but whether it serves the best interests of humanity or inflicts mass dysfunction and suffering is a choice we will need to make. How can we have a society in which there is no place for humanity to contribute because it has been made obsolete? Is that even a society? It's hard to see how it would not undermine the foundations of the thing we call "civilisation".

Just because we will ultimately be able to replace almost all human activities with machines doesn't mean that we should. Or even that we can without basically destroying ourselves.
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 04 Apr 2018, 20:30

Lefty wrote: how do we propose that the 50% in employment will be able to pay to keep the 50% made idle

just close the loop holes and make companies pay their fair share of tax. I'd also look at a transaction tax instead of income tax. There would also be massive savings in our budget from other areas, health and infrastructure being one. Abolish wealth fare, unemployment and pensions, and replace it with a living wage. People will still work, just not the same number of hours. They'd be able to travel more, dine out more, live a little more. All which greatly boosts demand in certain sectors of the economy.

Lefty wrote:what do you imagine the well-being of this great mass of pensioned-off human beings to be like?

The way mental health is fast becoming the biggest health issue we currently face, I actually see peoples well being will improve. People will be able to pursue whatever they like. Creativity will blossom, arts will prosper. People will mostly work at something they like, rather than have to do something they hate cause they have to pay the bills. They'll have more free time to exercise and get out in the fresh air. Time to explore and time for their families. I see lots of positives. Of course, no system is fool proof. There will be downsides, but I think the positives outweigh it.
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby Lefty » 05 Apr 2018, 05:20

just close the loop holes and make companies pay their fair share of tax.


How much tax do you expect will be required in order to pay 50%+ of the adult population a living wage? When living wages currently constitute over half of all economic activity here I think you can see this won't work.

Abolish wealth fare, unemployment and pensions, and replace it with a living wage.


I would like to think that at the very least, sovereign government would do so if nothing else. Sounds pretty cruisy but you will find problems emerge.

People will still work, just not the same number of hours. They'd be able to travel more, dine out more, live a little more. All which greatly boosts demand in certain sectors of the economy.


We already increasingly have that - it's called "under-employment". And it does not lead to less hours worked for more money and more leisure time. It leads to poverty, precariousness and less demand for goods and services. And if you want to boost demand you need to do it overall not just in select areas otherwise it's merely robbing Peter to pay Paul.

John - I've read books that were published in the 1950's that were promising automation gifting mankind a utopian future. They've now had a whole human lifetime to come true but I'm sure you can see that if anything, we've been moving in the opposite direction.

The way mental health is fast becoming the biggest health issue we currently face, I actually see peoples well being will improve. People will be able to pursue whatever they like. Creativity will blossom, arts will prosper. People will mostly work at something they like, rather than have to do something they hate cause they have to pay the bills. They'll have more free time to exercise and get out in the fresh air. Time to explore and time for their families. I see lots of positives. Of course, no system is fool proof. There will be downsides, but I think the positives outweigh it.


You're saying that removing the need to do, think and problem-solve will result in an explosion of creativity? You understand that our ability for creativity is largely a direct result of our ability to problem-solve, which in turn is the result of being presented with an array of challenges on a regular basis. Employment is what currently provides much of that. But then perhaps we can just dispense with the problem-solving part of our brain since it won't be needed - machines will anticipate and solve all of our problems without us having to furrow our brows in thought.

I'm afraid I don;t see any evidence pointing to an explosion of well-being arising from permanent obsolescence. I tend to agree with Dax that it is more likely to dumb humanity down. Painting, basket-weaving and Tai Chi are all worthy pursuits but I think that the scope and breadth of creativity will shrivel - not grow - since all thinking and doing necessary for survival will have been turned over to machines. Replacing human doctors for example with AI and robots (yes, this is forecast) may be efficient but humans highly skilled in medicine will disappear and we will be lucky if a human will remember how to put a band-aid on a cut. Sound good? Sound wise?

So yes, think about how much better and freer you would feel if all of the challenges you face day to day were eliminated.

Then think about how your ability to problem-solve would be after travelling like that for 20 years.

Then think about how fit you would be to survive if you had never been forced to solve a problem in your life.


So no - I don't think that making humanity permanently obsolete will benefit us in any way,, shape or form. And this is assuming that government will actually pay most of the population a solid and growing wage so that they can be obsolete from the process of production yet still participate fully in consumption. I think we'll see a great deal of poverty and dislocation before that ever occurs.

And even assuming it does I think we'll find the result in the long run is not freedom and creativity but rather the atrophy of the human mind.

The use of automation will need to be strictly regulated - end of story.
User avatar
Lefty
Bengal Tiger
 
Posts: 16583
Joined: 15 Nov 2009, 10:34

Re: Autonomous car death likely to open legal can of worms

Postby johnsmith » 05 Apr 2018, 09:36

Lefty wrote:We already increasingly have that - it's called "under-employment"


the problem with under employment is not the lack of hours worked, it's the lack of sufficient income so as to allow a suitable standard of living. A living wage will deal with that short fall. Remember, the living wage is not the be all. If you want more money, you can simply go out and earn more money.

Lefty wrote:And if you want to boost demand you need to do it overall not just in select areas otherwise it's merely robbing Peter to pay Paul.

any boost to consumer demand will spread throughout the economy to all sectors

Lefty wrote:John - I've read books that were published in the 1950's that were promising automation gifting mankind a utopian future. They've now had a whole human lifetime to come true but I'm sure you can see that if anything, we've been moving in the opposite direction.


I'm not sure how you can claim we're moving in the opposite direction. We certainly have a hell of a lot more automation today than we did in the 50's. As technology improves, so will the level of dependency on automation. It is a ongoing process that is not likely to end anytime soon. Someone will always make one faster, bigger, stronger or smarter.

Lefty wrote:You're saying that removing the need to do, think and problem-solve will result in an explosion of creativity?


You're over reaching. Why are we removing the need to problem solve? I don't agree that will happen at all. People will always problem solve, it's not like we're all going to buy a robot and then sit down and vegetate. It's human nature to find a way to do something that hasn't been done, or if it has, to do it better. That won't stop just because cars will drive themselves or a robot cooks your dinner. Did people stop designing vacuum cleaners just because we had a working model 100 years ago? Did we suddenly stop improving cars after the Model T? Did car manufacturers stop improving there robotic welding arms despite first using them over 40 years ago? Or have they instead had people working on new methods to improve efficiency, economy and quality?

Lefty wrote:since all thinking and doing necessary for survival will have been turned over to machines


again, you're over reaching. The menial tasks will be passed onto machines. If a patient comes in with something unexplained, doctors will be free to dedicate as much time as necessary to cure them, to find out causes and to find out how to prevent future cases instead of being limited to 15 minutes because they're constantly being called away to put a band aid on another patient.

Lefty wrote:So no - I don't think that making humanity permanently obsolete will benefit us in any way,, shape or form.

and that is what I think is the mistake with your whole argument. We are never going to be obsolete. Instead we'll be free to further improve and design, invent and explore.



Sure there will be people that will spend their new found spare time in front of a tv ... we have them now. It won't change. These people however have never changed society. The real doers, the inventors, the thinkers, the philosophers, the creators, the designers, the problem solvers will in fact thrive because they'll be free to do what they do, withoput the need to put on a uniform and do their 40hrs a week just to pay the bills.


I guess the whole argument depends on whether you're a glass half full, or a glass half empty type of guy.
I've always seen the glass as half full.
FD.
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
User avatar
johnsmith
Rhinocerus
 
Posts: 5419
Joined: 25 Sep 2017, 22:39
spamone: Animal


Return to Off Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron