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Artificial intelligence and driverless cars: Does it lead to an ethical trade-off?

August 09, 2019 / Frank Ryan

The ethics surrounding driverless cars and autonomous decision making are hotly debated subjects.In a situation of certain fatality, should the driverless car hit A and B to save C, or swerve to hit C to save A and B? The moral conundrum is hopelessly difficult to resolve. The scenario echoes the renowned trolley problem – should you kill one person to save five? Perhaps there will never be a universally accepted solution to this dilemma, yet in the case of the artificial intelligence of driverless cars this is the kind of ethical question that is concerning people the most.  There is no global consensus on the law governing driverless cars. So far, Germany is the only country that has legislated on the issue and has attempted to set out guidelines for its manufacturers. German law requires that a driverless car be manned by a human with a black box recording when the vehicle is in the human’s control or when it is under the control of the vehicle’s self-piloting...