Interesting article: Unexpected Consequences of Self Driving Cars by Rodney Brooks

This is an interesting article about the unexpected consequences of self-driving cars. I’m still unconvinced that 100% self-driving cars will happen in my lifetime.  I’m not even sure I’d want it, though I do understand there is probably a significant safety argument to be made to get humans away from the steering wheel (many of us are quite dumb and reckless).

But I come at this from a rural-ish part of the USA where I don’t see everybody being able to afford, let alone want or trust a fully autonomous vehicle. But who knows.

In this post I will explore two possible consequences of having self driving cars, two consequences that I have not seen being discussed, while various car companies, non-traditional players, and startups debate what level of autonomy we might expect in our cars and when. These potential consequences are self-driving cars as social outcasts and anti-social behavior of owners. Both may have tremendous and unexpected influence on the uptake of self-driving cars. Both are more about the social realm than the technical realm, which is perhaps why technologists have not addressed them. And then I’ll finish, however, by dissing a non-technical aspect of self driving cars that has been overdone by technologists and other amateur philosophers with an all out flame. And yes, I am at best an amateur philosopher too. That’s why it is a flame.

Source: Unexpected Consequences of Self Driving Cars – Rodney Brooks

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Worth a look via Smithsonian: When Robots Take All of Our Jobs, Remember the Luddites

Another interesting article on automation and how workers responded in the past, and how things might play out in our future.

What happens then? If this vision is even halfway correct, it’ll be a vertiginous pace of change, upending work as we know it. As the last election amply illustrated, a big chunk of Americans already hotly blame foreigners and immigrants for taking their jobs. How will Americans react to robots and computers taking even more?

One clue might lie in the early 19th century. That’s when the first generation of workers had the experience of being suddenly thrown out of their jobs by automation. But rather than accept it, they fought back—calling themselves the “Luddites,” and staging an audacious attack against the machines.

Source: When Robots Take All of Our Jobs, Remember the Luddites | Innovation | Smithsonian

What the Robots Are Doing to the Middle Class…

So we’ve been told that the election of Voldemort in the most recent US election is a reaction to people losing their jobs and being scared for their future. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I thought this might be of interest.

The simplistic response to the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on employment is that we’ve experienced this before, during the Industrial Revolution and beyond, and that the “market” will eventually provide plenty of jobs. The reality is that tens of millions of Americans will have to accept food service and retail and personal care jobs that don’t pay a living wage.

Source: What the Robots Are Doing to the Middle Class | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

And this…

At a time when robots crowd factory lines, algorithms steer cars and smart screens litter the checkout aisles, automation is the new spectre. The robots, they say, are coming for our jobs.Let them, reply the luxury communists.

Source: Fully automated luxury communism | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

I don’t know what the answer is/will be, but it would be nice if we had a united government that would seriously look at the issue and comes up with a solution that will help us all. That is probably the most far-fetched idea in this entire scenario, but hey it’s 2017 and we might as well hope.