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Part II: So, who is liable?

In the previous post (Part I: Automation & Ethics:Applying Trolleyology), we discussed the introductory part to this article; the inherent ethical dilemma in the trolley problem and how that’s relevant to the current scenario of automated devices and self-driving cars. We discussed certain situations, including the Moral Machine by MIT, and our discussion was primarily ethical. In this post, we’ll carry forward the discussion from an ethical one to a legal one; discussing particular significant legal implications of the issues discussed beforehand.
We discussed ethics in the previous post and observed that people have varying stands when it comes to categorising what particularly is ethical and what is unethical. Despite this personal biases and difference of opinions, every society has certain ethical standards and it enforces the same by way of punishing the unethical. Theft is punished, trespassing is punished, defaming is punished; killing is punished, too, be it five workmen o…

Part I: Automation & Ethics - Applying Trolleyology

Consider the following situation:
You are a trolley driver, driving a trolley on a nice sunny day, when you notice five men working on the street in front of you, in your way. You blow the horn multiple times, but then notice they all are wearing earphones while working and hence can’t hear you approaching. Frustrated, you reach out to the brake, and to your shock, you find out that the brake isn’t working at all. Your mind goes blank, and frightened, just at the thought of what’s going to happen to the five workmen when the trolley hits them shortly.
However, suddenly you notice that there’s a small diversion just before the workmen whichto you can divert your trolley easily and quickly, thereby saving the five workmen! What a relief!
But the relief was only momentary – as you consider taking the diversion, you find out that the diversion isn’t all clear, either. There’s one man working thereon, and if you turn the steering to take the diversion, his death is certain.
There you sit, on y…

Climate Change and Information Technology: Interconnections and Solutions

INTRODUCTION “It is now clear to most observers that ICTs have a very important role to play here. Recognition of this at the international level will provide countries with a solid argument to roll out climate change strategies with a strong ICT element.” -Hamadoun Toure, ITU Secretary General (2011)[1] Numerous documents, policy papers, and research symposiums have called for the need for recognition of the value of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in monitoring deforestation, crop patterns, and other related matters that call for environmental concern. Answering with common prudence, with Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) having penetrated so deep into our day to day personal as well as professional lives, it is highly unlikely that it wouldn’t pose a solution to the climate change issue, alongside a number of possible threats. If the whole climate change solution regime were to be divided into two broad segments for the convenience of intellectual dis…

On Indianness: #Throwback to a long-forgotten tradition

“आनोभद्राःक्रतवोयन्तुविश्वतः” – Rig Veda(Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions.)
(In honour of the 5000-year old culture that taught me to de-contextualise and de-personalise every piece of wisdom.)The India that we get to see today came into being only in 1947, and later.
Prior to that, the whole landmass that we refer to as India was never a part of a single empire, never had a uniform governance, evidently had a high-degree of socio-cultural as well as geographical diversity, and seemingly had no single feature which can be found to be common across the subcontinent. And yet, not only the outer world recognised this whole landmass as one, but the people inside somewhere had this feeling that they’re one – they belong to one!
Interesting, but how?
The whole subcontinent, throughout its history, no matter how diverse it was in its socio-cultural and political affairs, has always had a common essence – a common signature trait that was rare in other contemporary civilisations…

Do we still need feminism?

With a dozen of stories on women entrepreneurs being aired on the news channels on a regular basis, large number of women employees flooding the white-collar jobs, and equally large number of bold women coming out and raising their voices for their rights, it is easy to think that we have achieved a great deal of socio-economic gender equality, if not political yet, and do not need feminism any more.
The question is, is it so?
I beg to differ.
Let’s start from the roots. What does feminism mean, first of all? The Oxford Dictionary defines it as the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of sexual equality. Now, leaving aside my opinion that I’m intending to pen down through this article, if feminism is really the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of sexual equality, that naturally implies that it’d never get old.
Revolutions must never rest, and the fight for rights must never end, if we want a balanced society, as observed by countless political philosophers. And via analogy,…

A Short Guide to Citation of Authorities

© Anshuman Sahoo 2018.  Free for mass distribution as long as the source is mentioned.
The quality and quantity of authorities cited to support a statement is one of the determining aspects that defines the reliability as well as the acceptability of a statement. Be it a memorial, a research paper, or an assignment article towards a law school grading, the importance of citing authorities remains undisputed. Given the importance of citing authorities, this also remains a fact that citation of authorities has always been a confusing and misleading thing. Deciding where to cite, why to cite, and which ones to cite are often difficult decisions a law student has to face. With an endeavour to put an end to this, the current article deals with two basic questions: why do we cite authorities, and which ones are worth citing. First, why do we cite authorities? We cite authorities to support our claim about something, as authorities have the ability to strengthen or weaken a claim. Strictly analy…

Legal Issues Surrounding Cloud Computing

With the explosive growth of innovations in the Information Technology industry, the Legal provisions are currently lagging behind and desperately looking for ways to cope up with the never-seen-before advancements. Cloud computing, being one of such recent advancements, have raised a number of legal issues including privacy and data security, contracting issues, issues relating to the location of the data, and business considerations.
The abovementioned issues are the primary ones faced by almost all the nations across the globe. However, when it comes to the Indian scenario, a number of additional complicated issues are faced by India owing to lack of awareness and lack of resources. With the ‘Digital India’ initiative in the news, it is obvious that more and more individuals and organisations will be using online services and infrastructure via the Cloud in the near future; and it is therefore necessary to analyse our position thereon and discuss whether our legal system is ready fo…
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All these articles are written by me and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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