Every once in a while, we are faced with some situation where we have to take a difficult decision. This could be something from our profession, or something related to our relationships with other people. But this new game is giving its players, what can be called, nightmares of every person driving on the road ever.
The players have to choose one life over the other while playing the game. The results obtained from the game will be used to program future autonomous cars.
Creative technologist Matthieu Cherubini came up with the simulation. Similar to three ethical behaviors, three different philosophies can be chosen by cars when faced with a driving situation.
First one is the preservationist behavior. In the event of an accident, everyone inside the car becomes the top priority, according to the preservationist programming. While humanist programming, the second philosophy, prioritize saving the largest number of lives in case of an accident. Profit-driven programming, the last and the most controversial one of the three, makes the lowest-cost decision in terms of damage and insurance purposes.
Cherubini also noticed that these ethical values are different around the globe and hence, autonomous cars can not all be programmed in the same way.
“If a car is manufactured in Germany and works well in German context and culture, and is exported to China, and I think it’s not possible that this car that works in a German context will work in a Chinese context,” said Cherubini.
“It doesn’t decide what to do–it does something random,” he continued, “That’s a bit how we do it now. We don’t think we’re going to hit that person or that one–we panic. Then you don’t put a value on people, that this person would be better [to harm] than this other person.”
Researchers at Toyota are also struggling to find answers to these critical questions since in near future, these autonomous cars will be the road kings.
“What if we can build a car that’s 10 times as safe, which means 3,500 people die on the roads each year. Would we accept that?” said Hanson, who is currently developing Toyota’s self-driving technology. A lot of people say if, ‘I could save one life it would be worth it.’ But in a practical manner, though, we don’t think that would be acceptable.”