The late Herbert Simon, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, once fretted that every time a machine showed a hint of brain, people redefined brainpower. ‘They move the goalposts,’ he said. The same thing may well be happening with cars that think… So, how does this apply to the debate over robotic cars? Only that by holding them to human standards we sometimes underrate them–and overrate ourselves. An automated car that perfectly emulated the typical human driver’s strengths and weaknesses would never get approval from the government, the insurance companies or the car-buying public. We’re not good enough for us.
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