The Man Who Built Google’s First Self-Driving Car Is Now a Trucker
Mark Harris
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Yesterday I met one of the autonomous driving code scientists in the heart of Mountain View. The challenge seems not to concern following or coding the rules. The challenge is coding the response to those (humans) breaking rules. Red light runners, jay walkers, speeders, or even a ball rolling out into the street, a high-probability lead indicator for a kid running after it, for example. This brings up another hot debate I attended at a Volkswagen Das Auto Meetup last year. While artificial intelligence and self-learning algorithms can defensibly support a judge’s verdict, it is still the judge making the ultimate decision. The issues arise from more from our legal system rather then the technical challenge alone. Who is at fault when things go terribly wrong? Our own life experience, encoded emotionally into our fast-response nervous system, assists in making instant, sometime life-saving, decisions. Trusted gut feeling. Of course there is no guarantee we as humans make the right decision fast enough.

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