Ethical Autonomous Vehicles


Many car manufacturers are projecting that by 2025 most cars will operate on driveless systems. While it is valid to think that our roads will be safer as autonomous vehicles replace traditional cars, the unpredictability of real-life situations that involve the complexities of moral and ethical reasoning complicate this assumption.

How can such systems be designed to accommodate the complicatedness of ethical and moral reasoning? Just like choosing the color of a car, ethics can become a commodified feature in autonomous vehicles that one can buy, change, and repurchase, depending on personal taste.

Three distinct algorithms have been created – each adhering to a specific ethical principle/behaviour set-up – and embedded into driverless virtual cars that are operating in a simulated environment, where they will be confronted with ethical dilemmas.


Ref: Ethical Autonomous Vehicles

That’s the premise driving a new startup called, which emerged this week out of MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program. Its goal, according to the startup’s website, is to emulate your personality by tapping into your digital paper trail–chat logs, emails, and the like. Once that information is provided, an algorithm splices together all those you-isms to build an artificial intelligence based on your personality, which “can interact with and offer information and advice to your family and friends after you pass away.”’s creators pitch it as Skype from the past–an animated avatar from the dearly departed. A kind of digital immortality.



Netflix’s Deep Learning Algorithm

The online movie and TV outfit once sponsored what it called the Netflix Prize, asking the world’s data scientists to build new algorithms that could better predict what movies and shows you want to see. And though this certainly advanced the state of the art, Netflix is now exploring yet another leap forward. In an effort to further hone its recommendation engine, the company is delving into “deep learning,” a branch of artificial intelligence that seeks to solve particularly hard problems using computer systems that mimic the structure and behavior of the human brain. The company details these efforts in a recent blog post.

eep learning remained on the outskirts of academia until the mid-aughts, when computers were finally powerful and affordable enough to begin doing some practical work. Although today’s largest neural networks mimic only about one percent of the human brain, according to Engineering and Technology Magazine, modern deep learning algorithms can detect faces in photos, learn your tastes and habits, and, to a certain extent, understand what you say.


Ref: Netflix Is Building an Artificial Brain Using Amazon’s Cloud – Wired