Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In the article "The Robot Car of Tomorrow May Just Be Programmed to Hit You", Patrick Lin talks about the new autonomous cars that will be released in 2016 and tries to determine whether or not they are an ethical solution. The topic is very complicated so even after reading the entire article, it still isn't clear whether or not he believes it is. The first example he provides is if the car has to chose to hit either an SUV or a Mini Cooper. The SUV will be able to absorb the impact more easily and less damage will be done so if it was programmed to make smart decision then it would hit the SUV. The issue with that is people will start buying cars that are not safe so that they don't get targeted, which will hurt companies that are known for their safety. Despite this, I feel like people would still buy safer cars because if they are getting hit by a normal car then they still need to be safe. I also feel like it could potentially encourage people to ride bikes short distances which is better for the environment. I don't believe it will become an issue and people will continue to buy SUV's even after autonomous cars are everywhere. The next example he talked about was if it should hit a motorcycle rider with or without a helmet. He said that this would encourage people to take their helmets off when they are riding. This scenario requires 2 motorcycles to be driving near each other though which doesn't happen very often. It is much more likely that they will be driving by a car and a helmet would make them much safer. I don't think the cars will influence whether or not they wear a helmet.

Lin then proposes to have the target chosen at random. I think that this is a good idea, but it should only be used when the targets are similar. If the car has to chose between denting a bus and running over a biker, it should hit the bus. When it is determining which car to hit however, I think it should be random. He says that this will not be better than human driving, but I disagree. It has a faster reaction time so it is more likely to avoid the crash and it makes better decisions than a drunk driver would so it is still better than a human driver.

After the article was published, someone commented asking whether or not the person inside should be responsible for the crash or if the dealership should be. I feel like the driver should not be held responsible because he did not cause the crash. He shouldn't be penalized for an accident that he didn't cause. I feel like the dealership should not be penalized either unless something went wrong with the programming and it wasn't supposed to hit the target it hit. Otherwise, it did exactly what it was supposed to do so if the accident was unavoidable then nobody should be penalized.

Overall, I see feel like these cars are one hundred percent ethical. They will help save thousands of lives and stop billions of dollars in damages. Based on these outcomes I can conclude that the cars should be produced and there is nothing ethically wrong with them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Passion Project Update#2

Since the last update, I finished the majority of my research and I have began creating my PowerPoint. With only 3 Fridays left, I will have to do most of the project at home. My project will probably be about 40 slides long and so far I only have 5. I feel like there is a lot more to learn on the topic and I wish i could spend more time on it instead of creating the PowerPoint. My biggest obstacle is going to be the small amount of time remaining. My project will most likely have to be cut short to make sure I get the PowerPoint done in time. I've learned a lot though so the project has definitely been worthwhile.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Revised Passion Project Update

For my passion project, I was originally planning on researching optical and audio illusions and why our brain interprets it the way it does. However, there was not nearly as much information on the topic as I thought there would be, so I decided it would be wiser to switch topics. When I got home, I turned on the TV and the history channel was on. The show was on mass extinctions and it looked pretty boring at first. I almost changed the channel, but the remote was all the way across the room and I was too lazy to get up. I decided to give it a shot. The longer I watched the show, the more interested I became in the topic. When the episode ended, I felt like I hadn't learned everything that I could so I decided to do a little research. There ended up being lots of information on the subject, so I decided to make that my passion project topic. In my passion project I hope to learn a lot more about previous mass extinctions. I also want to learn about when the next mass extinction will possibly be occurring and if we will become extinct with it. The most important question however is whether or not we are speeding it up and if there is anything we can do to prevent it. The only obstacle I can see coming with my project is the lack of time that we have in class. There is a lot of information on it so I will most likely have to do a lot of the work at home. It isn't really work though. I am looking forward to my research and I hope that I can learn a lot from it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

During our planet's history, there have been 5 events that wiped out the majority of the life on Earth. The last one was the extinction of Dinosaurs about 60 million years ago. I want to answer to following questions. First of all, when will the next one be? I also want to know what the cause of it will be. In addition, I want to know if humans are helping to speed up the process. The most important question however, is whether or not we will be included in this extinction.