Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Sensationalism vs. AI – Failure of Self-driving Vehicle Raises Issues

Image result for self-driving car

In the face of a technological dawning, consumers and business markets are facing new issues every day. As Artificial Intelligence becomes both available and usable for the everyday consumer, there are new issues and controversies arising daily. Two weekends ago, a self-driving uber vehicle struck a 49-year old pedestrian woman, causing Uber to temporarily shut down the self-driving testing programs.

While there is no denying the tragedy and hurt surrounding the event, in comparison to other business endeavors much harm has been done without completely halting operations. This could perhaps be sensationalist media using emotion to evoke stronger reactions out of its viewers than the story itself permits. Sensationalism has been used heavily as of lately and this is simply an example of how it can be utilized, especially in the case of a new and rather unknown technology.

From a technology advocate perspective, events like this are deeply disheartening both for the hurt technology caused, as well as for the blow to the development of the technology. Those who were excited about the advancement of this consumer AI technology must now accept that perhaps it isn’t ready for market. The events that have occurred prove that the technology still needs work, and therefore cannot be fully implemented as of yet. The growth of consumer-utilized AI is an exciting concept, but society isn’t ready and nor is the market. Until situations like this dwindle, these types of technology will not stand and thrive.

3 Responses to Sensationalism vs. AI – Failure of Self-driving Vehicle Raises Issues

  • I think while some people are excited about emerging AI technologies like driverless cars, the majority of the population is scared of these technologies because of the technology’s “newness”, and their lack of familiarity/ understanding of them. Even when I heard of the trucking industry’s plans for implementing self-driving trucks, I got a little creeped out thinking about driving on the highway with a bunch of ghost trucks. Although people’s fears are valid, there is tremendous potential with these technologies. I think people will be more in support of them the more they’re integrated into society and once the benefit is made apparent.

    You brought up an interesting point when you mentioned the media’s sensationalism. The media has a tremendous impact on society’s perceptions, and it’s just ridiculous how they often play off of people’s fears for a good story. I agree that progress will not be made unless these technologies gain society’s (and the media’s) support. Thanks for sharing, Arlo!

  • The autonomous driving market has been popularized immensely by the media over the past 3-5 years. I think the immense media presence of autonomous vehicle manufacturers like Tesla has perpetuated this idea that self-driving cars are right around the corner. Based off this article, I agree, Arlo, we are still fairly far off from this becoming a reality. I do think this will be quite the innovation, but I look at is a sustaining innovation because people are eagerly awaiting this technology, so it is not really a new-market disruption. Additionally, it will likely be costly at first, so that rules out low-market as well. Regardless, I am excited for the day that self-driving cars become widely used in society.

  • I think that autonomous driving is still far time away due to accidents like these. I think that self-driving trucks will be the first of the kind because of lesses restrictions they need on highways rather than driving in cities with a lot of pedestrians. With those gaining some traction and success, people can start believing AI to be able to drive cars safely. While a lot of these autonomous cases occur due to human error, AI will have to get smart about making decisions that are based on prediction and not live data because of how unpredictable humans can be. Additionally, as more technology becomes available for public roads, this IoT integration (cameras and sensors) can help autonomous machines to make better decisions.

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