Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Tagself-driving cars

スマートスピーカー

Alexa Really Does Not Understand Us

In a recent test, only 35 percent of the responses to simple questions were judged adequate
Actually, I am impressed that voice assistants work as well as they do, given the number of AI problems that were solved. But consider how much more complex the problems facing a self-driving car are. Read More ›
The car made of grass.

Can We “Evolve” Self-Driving Cars?

The new method may be an advance but thinking of it as "evolution" at work risks misconceptions

In evolution, “performance” just means the continued survival of a lineage. Thus it can include hybrids between what you might want for your purposes and what you don’t want.

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concept of self-driving car

Will Industry Pressure Loosen Self-Driving Car Tests?

Right now, the regulatory agency is under pressure to accept the industry’s “softball” testing suggestions
The regulatory agency (NHTSA) needs to adapt. But trusting technical documentation alone or only testing already sold vehicles is grossly insufficient. Technical documentation is what engineers think should happen; it is not the future. And testing sold vehicles creates an incentive to skimp on tests. Read More ›
Urban traffic Pexels

Are self-driving cars really safer?

A former Uber executive says no. Before we throw away the Driver’s Handbook…
Current claims that self-driving cars are safer are hype, not measurement. Meanwhile, Congress is expected to push for legislation next month to pave the way for widespread use of self-driving vehicles without a consensus on safety standards. Read More ›
Autonomous cars on a road with visible connection

How self-driving cars can really work today

At Mind Matters News, we advocate self-driving technology that doesn’t confuse human and machine powers
A commitment to engineering over techno-utopia has bumped Mercedes, which has got the okay for driverless valet parking, into the lead in self-driving technology. Read More ›
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Crosswalk with fake car and pedestrians

Does a Western Bias Affect Self-Driving Cars?

How a driver is expected to act varies by culture
Self-driving cars (autonomous vehicles) will need to adapt to different rules and we will, very likely, need to change those rules to make the vehicles work. Read More ›
Dangerous driving and using a mobile phone

Whatever Musk says, Don’t Watch Netflix in Your Tesla

He’ll only allow streaming while stopped until “full self-driving is approved by regulators”

This is hardly the time to encourage drivers to believe that someday soon, distraction will be okay. Distracted driving claims the lives of roughly nine people per day in the United States.

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Lithium mine in Argentina satellite image public domain

Self-driving Cars: Following the Money up a Cooling Trail

The market for lithium for electric car batteries is slowing

One way we can assess entrepreneurs’ claims (think Elon Musk) is to ask, what physical components does the product require and how is the market responding?

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relaxed man in autonomous car. self driving vehicle. autopilot. automotive technology.

Should Tesla’s Autopilot Feature Be Illegal?

A recent study from the United Kingdom suggests that maybe it should

Tesla may tell drivers that Autopilot is not the same as a self-driving car. But, just as cell phone manufacturers’ warnings not to “text and drive” are too often unheeded, so too may be Tesla’s warnings.

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word taxi (2)

Even Elon Musk Can’t Get a Robotaxi These Days

His recent earnings call makes clear that few think his promised million-taxi fleet is real-world
I get the feeling that even Musk's faithful followers are beginning to doubt the hype and are instead focusing on the core business aspects, the questions Musk dismissed last year as boring. Read More ›
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Car top taxi sign

Even Uber didn’t believe in Uber’s self-driving taxis

We found that out after Google’s Waymo sued the company

Optimism is not driving the recent collaboration and corporate consolidation in the self-driving car industry. Rather, their retrenchment is protection against an uncertain future.

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Self driving car on a road. Autonomous vehicle. Inside view.

Elon Musk: You Are Liable for My Malfunctioning Code!

He hopes to put the blame for self-driving mishaps in parking lots on customers

At Mind Matters News, we have criticized his approach on numerous grounds. One problem that keeps getting left out is, who assumes moral responsibility and legal liability for self-driving vehicles?

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Poker Esteban Lopez liEV4NUf2qU Unsplash

Can the AI Poker Champ Improve Real-World Decisions?

That’s the claim aired at Nature for Pluribus, the new Texas hold ‘em champ. Bradley Center fellows are skeptical

“The trouble is," says Brendan Dixon, "any technique that works by searching ‘to the end of the game’ will not help self-driving cars (as an example) one bit…unless they have also mastered predicting the future. There is no ‘end of the game’ for nearly all decisions we make.”

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Photo from driver's seat with light trails ahead

The Real Future of Self-Driving Cars Is — Better Human Drivers!

Manufacturers are improving safety by incorporating warning systems developed for self-driving cars into conventional models

This human-plus-machine combination is proving more potent than the machine-only hype/promise.

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Snowman against Alpine panorama

If You Think Common Sense Is Easy to Acquire…

Try teaching it to a state-of-the-art self-driving car. Start with snowmen.
No sensible driver would stop and wait for a snowman. But a self-driving car very well might. And it’s not only snowmen that challenge AI; it is a broad range of unexpected encounters. Read More ›
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Two pilots behind array of flight controls and computers

A Critic of the Evangelical Statement on AI Misunderstands the Issues

On the question of moral responsibility, Dr. Swamidass seems to misunderstand the Statement entirely

Rather than lacking insight into AI issues, this band of theologians is especially sagacious in applying theology to them.

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Taxi in traffic

News from the Real World of Self-Driving Taxis: Not Yet

WayMo includes a human in all their “robotaxis,” just in case, because the vehicles (at last report) were still confounded by common conditions

Hype serves no one other than the early investors hoping to get their cash back. Calm evaluations—and an appreciation for the amazing beings that humans are—would serve all of us much better than overpromised claims that are doomed to under deliver.

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Stripes on two lane highway

Can We Program Morality into a Self-Driving Car?

A software engineering professor tells us why that’s not a realistic goal

Any discussion of the morality of the self-driving car should touch on the fact that the industry as a whole thrives on hype that skirts honesty.

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Hardworking

Meet the everyday people behind AI

Not famous, not lone geniuses, usually not even well-paid. Without them, ambitious systems would gather dust.
Although you probably haven’t heard much about the 26-year-old single mother in the hi-tech news, Brenda is one of the intelligences behind artificial intelligence. For $9 a day, Brenda, who lives in the slum district Kibera in Nairobi, along with a thousand co-workers helps code information for self-driving cars for San Francisco-based Samasource (founded 2008). Read More ›