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Showing posts from April, 2019

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…
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