7 thoughts on “Who is really responsible for the self thinking machine?

  1. Edward Vestergaard

    The Self Thinking machine, better known as Artificial Intelligence (AI), is a revolutionary technology which assists people in everyday life. When AI first started out, its functionality was fairly limited; either robots worked in manufacturing plants or a robotic voice directed you to your destination (GPS). As the technology evolved however, AI has branched out to assist on other platforms like smartphones in particular. Apple’s “Siri” immediately comes to mind, as she (or is it, “it…” not sure how I feel about assigning a gender) instantaneously fetches information for her user- whether that be traffic, weather or a restaurant review. In the video posted by Matthew Ehrhardt, AI has been adapted to serve specific interests; take Pilot for example. Through the app, languages can now be seamlessly translated from one language to another, allowing people of all nationalities to communicate with ease. Additionally, AI has identified cancer- or the warning signs of- in patients by “analyzing spectral information and diagnostic criteria” found on file (Video). Although AI carries its share of positives, it also carries some negatives too- particularly its underlining unethicality. The narrator (assumingly Ehrhardt) hints that granting AI, the superior intelligence, access to databases is problematic since they’re essentially “self-learning and self-deciding” like humans (Ehrhardt). Therefore, AI could potentially exploit this information for its benefit- but how it would benefit remains unclear…but the thought of AI even pursuing exploitation seems outrageous.

    Personally, I’m a huge fan of AI technologies and readily use them whenever an opportunity presents itself. I, like millions more, use Siri frequently to seek information on a moment’s notice that I need at that present time. Simply put, I absolutely love it; anything I could possibly ask for is searched and quickly thrown back at me almost instantly. And although I understand Ehrhardt’s concerns about AI’s access to unlimited information, I don’t believe there’s much of an ethics issue here. If a computer could save my life by analyzing my medical information, then more power to it, I’m not complaining… but to think that that computer would, under its own power, sell my information for personal gain is absurd. Now I’m not discounting the fact that unscrupulous people would do such a thing, but artificial intelligence? No, c’mon, they cannot magically engage in unethicality unless programed to do so. On a different note, Ehrhardt speaks of the advancements in autonomous driving which raise questions about a company’s legal responsibility to ensure safety. Uber has recently dabbled in this technology and beta-tested autonomous cars in Pittsburgh, which resulted in a fair deal of success. Experts say that these driverless cars will be “50% safer than human operated vehicles,” but as it stands, there aren’t any laws to govern this form of AI. If this is truly the future of automotive travel, then government better get moving to play catch up. Honestly, I wouldn’t trust my life to a computer chip- regardless how sophisticated- that controls speed, breaking and turning (basically every aspect of driving) because logically a driverless car is senseless. Maybe after extensive testing proving the reliability and safety of autonomous technology I’ll invest, but for the foreseeable future, I’ll be driving myself.

  2. Gregory Medina

    As stated in the video, the first death from a self-driving car occurred this year. A Tesla Model S had its autopilot turned on by the driver. The driver then fell asleep, and due to the intense rays of sunlight bouncing off of a white truck next to the vehicle, the autopilot sensors did not sense the truck causing the vehicle to crash in full force into it. This ultimately killed the driver and has finally opened the doors to legality when it comes to machines. In this case, who should carry the blame cannot be fully determined due to the lack of laws dealing with such. Moreover, although Tesla did create the vehicle, it was the driver’s fault for falling asleep on the wheel. The question of how such a case should be treated can be looked at through the same lens as faulty products.
    Consider the philosophy of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the moral philosophy that is based on the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. Such a philosophy can also come into the production of technology. For example, following the release of the Samsung Note 7, a large volume of products began to explode due to faulty batteries. Due to such, Samsung immediately requested a recall of the phone as well as began a full investigation. On the other hand, the replacement phones began to explode as well resulting in Samsung requesting a full recall with refunds and for the production of the phone to be discontinued. In a sense of utilitarianism, Samsung acted accordingly by ording a mass recall after learning about the problem. However, the possibility that they decided to release the phones knowing that there was a problem with the battery is a high possibility. In such a case, an act like such would be considered immoral since it leads to possible active harm to the individual, which in both senses it actually has. Overall, when the product is faulty, and thus shows to be, then such blame of fault can easily be put on the producer.
    On the other hand, there are actions conducted by people that cannot be blamed by the producer. For example, there is a high possibility for a circumstance where an individual can put their hand willingly into a running chainsaw and proceed to sue the producer of the chainsaw. Due to such, companies protect themselves with warning labels that, to most people, are completely obvious. In the case of Tesla, blaming them for a faulty system can be made, yet, it was the responsibility of the driver to stay awake during the drive even if autopilot was on. This is due to the fact that the system is imperfect which Tesla very much stresses to their customers. After the incident, Tesla began to remind its customers to stay awake while driving even if autopilot is on. Obviously, the context of such a case depends on both parties.
    Nevertheless, when it comes to new technology new laws must be put into place regardless. The goal of technology is to make lives easier; however, since people are imperfect, so is our technology. Due to such, responsibility must begin to take shape as new technology begins to be produced.

  3. Jesse Klarfeld

    Technology each and every day is growing enormously. It is in this generation where the implementation of AI is really come into effect. This video talks about the immense innovation that is taking place whether it is for GPS or for medicinal beneficiaries. This video is very well made and addresses every aspect of the Artificial Intelligence. It explains how Siri and other similar AI is a basic sort of AI and how it really works. The author, Matt Ehrhardt, dives in depth to see how legality would come into play with this Self Thinking Machine. This notion is brought up because the first death occurred from a self-driving car, and this sparked questions regarding whom is responsible for this fatality.

    Moreover, this is very interesting because as Ehrhardt asserts in the video, there are many factors that could tie in when trying to find justice based on legal statute. Although “AI such as self-driving cars are disrupting the future of the automotive industry, insurance industry, and technology industry. However, the biggest disruption is of human safety and legal responsibility” (Ehrhardt). This is bringing realization to society that there needs to be some laws put in place to protect the safety rights of citizens that are using these advancements.

    Technology has many positives, but also many negatives. Products aren’t always perfect, in fact, recently there has been an increase in call-backs between many different brands, electronics, and automobiles. It is the way of the world, and progress is made through mistake. However, the background safety and responsibility of the user is always at hand.
    Having AI in the world today will greatly influence the creation of many new laws.

    As I read many other blogs regarding technological innovation and advancement, I found this video to be very interesting and gives a perspective of AI that many people do not think about. I always thought about the benefits of having self-driving cars and never really much about the in depth issues that arise from putting this AI in place. This post goes along with others such as the dominos delivery robot, and the cars that are already on the streets in other parts of the world. This is a beautiful thing to come of the many years, but, there needs to be a legal structure behind these devices in which decide the legal pathway to go down.

    I truly believe that with more thought and more progress, the future AI could be very effective in an unlimited range of activities. Ehrhardt shed light on me that there are many other factors that will influence the implementation of such advancements. I now see why it is so difficult to just put something out on the market. The biggest goal right now with autonomous technology is to provide safety for users and structure for the company and law. As stated in the video, there are many perspectives such as ethical and moral. Many decisions and ideas are still to be made with Artificial Intelligence, however, the progress is very exciting.

  4. Joseph Padula

    Before I get into the content of the response itself, by Matthew Ehrhardt, I just wanted to take this time to acknowledge the great job he did on this video, which was very well put together and well executed video. The constant stream of videos, which pertained to the topic, the soft but nice tone of the background music, and the narration loud and clearly enough to understand was done very well. I digress nonetheless.

    This first topic I would like to touch on would be the pilot, the smart earpiece that translates languages simultaneously. Ever since I saw the first video of this technology I was amazed because of the significance this issue plays in the world today. I have visited Europe three times and in 9 different countries and the biggest problem I ran into each time was the language barrier. Nothing makes it harder to find a specific place to go or visit when you can barely communicate with the person you are asking. Additionally, for those who struggle with learning foreign languages, who I can sadly admit would be myself, would appreciate this technology so much since they can finally go to a foreign country and not worry about that major barrier. The way the pilot works is that the ear pieces must be in use with a smart phone app. The earpiece puts up the sentence of words being pronounced and translates those foreign words into native words for the wearer. This can allow two people who are not fluent in the same language have a flawless conversation without a problem. This advancement is estimated to hit the market in 2017 and I can proudly say I am really excited to see how it works personally.

    Moreover, another topic I would like to cover is the ethical questions that may accompany automated vehicles on the world stage. As Matthew pointed out in his video there is limited legislature about these vehicles and limited understanding of who would be liable in a death caused by a malfunction. In the most recent incident with a Tesla vehicle that was on autopilot when its sensors malfunction driving the car under a semi, killing the driver. Since there has never been a case of this the verdict is still being decided in court. Given my experience with law cases, standards are something ever case is compared to and since this case does not have a standard to be associated with I guarantee this case will be become the trademark case for these issues until another circumstance arises.

    Furthermore these issues with automated driving must be resolved sooner rather than later because before we all know it the streets are going to be full of automated vehicles. Limited legislation will only entail that justice will not be able to be served for countless individuals who end up on the wrong end of an AI controlled vehicle. Although I do these issues will be covered soon, I am very interested to see who will be to blame for an automated accident, the computer designer of the program, the car company deploying them, or a third party yet to be discovered. Only time will tell us the answers for these critical questions.

  5. Robby Hazel

    In his engaging and attention grabbing vlog, Who is really responsible for the self thinking machine?, Matthew Ehrhardt went over several new forms of technology that should be rolled out to the public in the near future, as well as the forming legal and social issues that are tagging along. The technologies he went over included: a language translating ear piece called Pilot, cancer-spotting AI, and the greatly anticipated self-driving vehicle. All of these technologies will likely leave a huge impact on the world, given the fact that they are each very innovative in their own regards. However, as the vlog pointed out, there is a huge legal dilemma brewing in the background as these technologies grow closer and closer to seeing mass utilization. Needless to say, there are not many laws or legal precedents available for analysis in the event that a self driving vehicle is involved in a fatal accident. Similarly, who would be to blame if a cancer-detecting AI reported that a patient was cancer free during a routine screening, only to find out later that they were not? On a smaller scale, where would the blame be casted if Pilot made a key translation mistake that led to a violent altercation from which lawsuit developed? These are all questions that need to be answered sooner rather than later.

    The first technology is probably the one that I am the most excited about. Pilot will allow me to communicate with someone from any part of the world without actually having to understand their language. During high school, my least favorite and most difficult classes were undoubtable the various language courses I took. The first three years of high school I took Spanish, earned a B average, and could not hold a conversation with a Spanish kindergartener for more than one minute to this very day. My senior year I took Chinese, and the result was about the same. My cognitive inability to learn another language would prove at least slightly detrimental to my anticipated career in business without the invention of this device.

    Going back to the legal aspect of his vlog, the majority of his video pertained to the legal liabilities that are present in the event of an autonomous automobile accident. As Matthew pointed out, there are several parties who are potentially liable if a self driving car gets into an accident including the owner, the car’s manufacturer, the providers of the car’s navigation and safety networks, and those tasked with making sure the networks operate smoothly. Given America’s “sue first, ask questions later” mentality, certain laws need to be put in place that will keep the wait list for America’s court rooms from becoming too long. People will need to know specifically who is liable in the event of an accident in order to ensure the wrong person does not serve jail time simply because the event was unprecedented. Needless to say, there are several legal issues that need to be worked out and set in stone before autonomous vehicles dominate the highways.

  6. Sahnera Spruill

    Prior to this post I had zero knowledge about the Pilot earpiece, which translates between users speaking different languages. Honestly, this is one of the most amazing forms of artificial intelligence I’ve ever heard of. I think I will be investing in this tool now. Since the beginning of mankind technology has had such a major impact on us, knocking down barriers, or at least making it easier for us to climb over barriers. It’s impressive to know that I can now climb over the language barrier with much more ease with the Pilot. We always tend to look at this side of the spectrum when it comes to technological innovations. But now that technology is getting more precise and more complex, we have to look at all angles in a precise manner. I was open to the idea of self-driving cars because I saw no down sides, but this video has helped me to see that I was in fact wrong.
    Whenever there were accidents with any technology, one human, or a company was held responsible. But now that technology is becoming more autonomous, more human, it’s hard to decide who will be held responsible for its mistakes. I have never considered legal responsibility to be a factor to think about when integrating new autonomous vehicles into society. Mathew gave a list of those who may possibly be held responsible if there is an incident in a self-driving car, this list consisted of the car owner, manufacturer/ producer, network providers, or the network maintenance and even possible hackers into the network. I definitely don’t believe that the car owner would be held responsible. Corinne Lozzio of Scientific American says that when a computerized driver replaces a human one, experts say the companies behind the software and hardware sit in the legal liability chain—not the car owner or the person’s insurance company. Eventually, and inevitably, the carmakers will have to take the blame. That only seems right. Why would the buyer of the product have to be held responsible if the product they only purchased malfunctions? They are merely just passengers and I can only think of few instances where a driver could be responsible. Suppose there is a self-driving car that has a manual option. What if the car provided a manual and even driver’s education lesson explaining to the driver where it is appropriate to use the self-driving option? What if the car’s self-driving option could only function properly in a certain temperature and the car owner used the self-driving option outside of that given temperature? Yes, this is a pretty extreme hypothetical but I can see this situation holding the driver at fault. Another hypothetical is one with in maintenance. What if these cars had specific dates to get updated and maintained and the owner neglected to take their car in for observation and an accident happened? I used a lot of brain power just now and these are literally the only two scenarios in which I could imagine the car owner could be held responsible for an accident. Deciding whether the manufacturer, the network provider or network maintenance is responsible is where there is a challenge. I believe that is just a matter of figuring out what exactly malfunctioned in the vehicle to figure out who is responsible.

  7. Dean Falcone

    As far as thinking machines go, the device to translate languages is one I feel is the most remarkable. To be able to simply listen to spoken word and given accurate translations is something straight out of a science fiction movie. That really feels like a piece of machinery with a brain to me. Especially when it spans across multiple languages and still translates back to the native listener’s language perfectly is incredible. Most people today are barely able to understand a fraction of another language, so this device will surely help many. With all the rise of artificial intelligence, there is always a downside along with many upsides. One of the first that sticks out to me deals with education. Just like the smartphone and its abilities to mislead people into thinking they do not need to learn certain subjects, this device may do the same. Instead of knowing how to do calculations, the phone has a calculator and since we are never without our phones, we are never without a calculator. We can also look up whatever we need in a matter of seconds and now this translator can take away language classes in schools. There would be no need to go through an extensive learning process if this machine can do all the work properly. This being the first time I am hearing about such an ingenious sort of machine, it makes me think how more developed it will become in the future.
    What I found pretty interesting in the video was when Siri discussed. I have been taking her for granted. I never realized how intricate they are. Just how the video said, they search through numerous databases in milliseconds to get us our answers. The navigation system works this way too. By gathering our position and the directions to how to get to our destination in split seconds. The up to date traffic and alternate routes are extremely impressive and most of us do not even pay it any mind. I feel bad for my parents that had to use real maps and write our directions before leaving the house. The AI we use in the simplest ways is still so mind blowing to me.
    Now that autonomous cars are becoming more of a reality than science fiction, there are many legal questions being posed. I have read and learned a lot this semester about the topic of self-driving vehicles, but not too much on the legality that goes with them. There are definitely many questions that are going to need to be asked and legislation that needs to be passed. I was unaware of the incident with the Tesla car and the truck. Since there are no laws in place yet, it is a tricky situation. There is a lot of blame to be thrown around, but no one to take all of it. Personally I think it is Tesla’s fault. It is their car and their technology that led to the death of that man and all the damage to the truck. Of course the driver should have been paying close attention because the car was one of the first out at the time. Whatever happens to the future of self-driving vehicles, we need to make sure that they are the safest they can be. Also, people need to understand all of the risks and laws before involving themselves with one. The last thing we need is another crisis dividing our nation.


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