Move Slowly, and Don’t Break Things

As we make the move from digital to cognitive, the tech industry should be thinking a lot harder about putting safety first

Angus Hervey
May 25, 2018 · 10 min read
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“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

~ Reid Hoffman

Doesn’t exactly have the same ring, but maybe their replacements could be, “is this algorithm toxic?”

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View of the self-driving system data playback at about 1.3 seconds before impact, when the system determined an emergency braking maneuver would be needed to mitigate a collision. The emergency brakes were turned off because there was a human driver in the seat. Yellow bands are shown in meters ahead. Orange lines show the center of mapped travel lanes. The purple shaded area shows the path the vehicle traveled, with the green line showing the center of that path. (Source: NTSB)
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The problem wasn’t technical — it was cultural. Engineers at the company simply weren’t able to conceive of use cases where their product could be abused by people who didn’t share their worldview.

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We’re all going to find out, one way or another.

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Future Crunch

Intelligent, optimistic thinking for the future.

Angus Hervey

Written by

From Melbourne and Cape Town, with love. Political economist and journalist, and co-founder of futurecrun.ch

Future Crunch

Intelligent, optimistic thinking for the future. We help people understand what's on the frontiers of science and technology, and what it means for human progress.

Angus Hervey

Written by

From Melbourne and Cape Town, with love. Political economist and journalist, and co-founder of futurecrun.ch

Future Crunch

Intelligent, optimistic thinking for the future. We help people understand what's on the frontiers of science and technology, and what it means for human progress.

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