Friday, February 17, 2023

#48 / Self-Drive Why?


The New York Times has recently offered us a "Glimpse Into the Future." That phrase helps fill out the headline of the hard copy version of an article that ran in the December 21, 2022, edition of The Times. Online, here's the headline, in full: "What Riding in a Self-Driving Tesla Tells Us About the Future of Autonomy."
What taking that trip in a Tesla tells us, to get to the bottom line quickly, is that "driverless cars are still 'very, very far away.'" Apparently, even Tesla understands this. In articles published today, February 17th, various newspapers have announced that Tesla has announced a recall of those vehicles that utilize its "self-driving" software.

If The Times' paywall will permit you to read the story, you can not only find out about Tesla's lack of autonomous accomplishment, you can also view a set of short videos that help drive the point home (if you will forgive the pun).
I agree with the following statement, found in The Times' article: 

“That moment shows that the car can only know what it is trained to know,” Mr. Cook said of the sudden turn into the parking lot. “The world is a big place, and there are many corner cases that Tesla may not have trained it for.”
Experts say no system could possibly have the sophistication needed to handle every possible scenario on any road. This would require technology that mimics human reasoning — technology that we humans do not yet know how to build.

It's going to be tough, we're told, to train a computer that can match human reasoning. Here's my question: WHY would we want to do that?

It's a kind of an "existential" question, don't you think?

In many, many ways, we are trying to use "technology" to replace all kinds of human actions (and interactions). We are building computers to make art for us. We have devised ways to let computers write our high school essays. We are ever more inclined to relate to people by looking into a small screen that we hold in our hand, as we walk around in the real world, bemused by what we see in that tiny little screen and ignoring our actual environment  (see illustration, below).

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Or if it doesn't, it ought to!

Image Credits:
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(2) -

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