Smart robots, driverless cars work – but they bring ethical issues too

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/20/artificial-intelligence-impact-lives

Who knew that robotics had grown this much?  I must be out of the loop here because I knew that AI was advancing tremendously but I had no idea there were people talking about the possibility of us becoming “bio-hybrid.”  I can’t imagine adding a brain chip to download email or replacing my organs with prosthetic ones.  I do however find it fascinating that if and when we are able to develop prosthetic organs that fully function in a human body that there will no longer be the need for donor lists and the lifespan of some will be extended without the fear of not getting a kidney transplant, or something similar.

It is scary to think that if we would become this bio-hybrid type of human that someone could hack into our bodies from anywhere in the world.

I do enjoy the idea of driverless cars and how they can help us in so many ways.  I like how this article mentions that it can make the elderly more independent.  My grandmother refused to ever drive.  My grandfather tried to teach her once many years ago and she ended up in a ditch.  From that point on she never drove again.  Well my grandfather passed away in 1986, so from then until she passed away in 2010 she had to rely on family and friends to take her to the grocery store, to doctor’s appointments, etc…  I cannot help but wonder what her life would have been like if her lifespan was shifted forward and she could have experienced a car like this.

Having a driverless car for me would reduce my stress levels.  Last night alone on my way home from work I had two people try to pull out in front of me.  If we end up in a world full of driverless cars who are smart enough to know their surroundings, these types of situations will be eliminated.  It does concern me though of what could malfunction and then like the issue this article poses, who is responsible?  It can’t be the driver, because there is no driver.  So then who?  The manufacturer?  I would say so, but who knows where this concept will end up…  Maybe insurance will change and they will cover it.  It will be interesting to watch this field grow and and how it will transform our lives.

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