The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

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Tyndmyr
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:53 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:To me, the burden of responsibility from killing an unarmed someone with a car or a gun or a knife is so high that talking about how the person killed was "taking risks" is bullshit. You are using a highly lethal tool, it is on you not to kill people with it. If your gun range has downrange unlocked doors that say "do not enter", it is on you if someone opens them and walks into your line of fire. If someone jaywalks in front of you and you hit them, if a biker hits a pot hole and falls under your wheels, if the knife slips out of your graps and cuts a dinner party guest -- it is on you.

These are lethal tools, treat them with respect, and if you cannot, stop using them. Have some responsibility for your actions.


There is a responsibility to use dangerous things with care, yes. But it is not so great as to cover every eventuality. If you're driving down the road, and a biker hits a pot hole and suddenly changes course to fall under your wheels, you have not done anything negligent. The action causing the incident is on the biker. Now, sure, we're all going to try to avoid that biker if we can, but ultimately the biker has accepted risk by choosing this action, and it was his action that led to his death. Nobody else coerced him into making that choice, or into hitting that pot hole.

It'd also be fair to advocate, say, better pothole repair on general principles, but that isn't something the auto driver is responsible for.

The driver has responsibility for his actions. The biker has responsibility for his. Lethality might change the choices made, but it doesn't absolve the biker of responsibility for himself.

ucim wrote:
Dauric wrote:the "victim" did indeed cause the incident by being excessively careless (and in California by crossing not at the crosswalk was breaking the law).
Let's see now... the car was speeding (a crime), and the driver was not looking where she was going (a crime) - it looked to me like she was not paying attention at all.


The car was evidently not speeding. The car was travelling 40 mph in a 45 mph zone. That's not excessively careless. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/20/us/self-driving-uber-pedestrian-killed.html

The driver ought to have been paying more attention, sure. However, given that there was less than a second where the pedestrian was visible to the cameras, even an attentive driver may not have responded in time. Additionally, some degree of inattentiveness is probably going to happen when watching a robot for hours at a time.

If you're staying strictly to legality, then the pedestrian, as a jaywalker, was definitely at least partially at fault. It's illegal, of course.

It was also late at night, and crossing a poorly lit area with quite a few lanes of traffic(five at the position the body was found). The Uber was not especially close to the curb. Sometimes pedestrians cross the road heedless of traffic, counting on others to stop, slow, or avoid them. Realistically, I'm not gonna tell you to never jaywalk. It happens, just as speeding does. But when you do so, you need to be aware of traffic, and be cautious. The world cannot be made completely safe, there's got to be at least some onus on the individual to be sensible about when they're skirting laws/safety practices.

Also, yeah, the McDonalds one is a good example of a counter-intuitive result. At an initial reading, it does sound quite ridiculous, but once you find out the details, it is indeed pretty logical.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ucim » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:42 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The car was evidently not speeding. The car was travelling 40 mph in a 45 mph zone. That's not excessively careless.
I stand corrected - I had read elsewhere that it was 40 in a 35, and was responding to the "pedestrian was jaywalking, which is illegal" comment. I agree, 40 in a 45 is not necessarily careless.

However, keep in mind that the cameras do not give a good indication of what it actually looked like - camera dynamic ranges is much lower than the human eye. The pedestrian may very well have been visible to an attentive driver.

Tyndmyr wrote:even an attentive driver may not have responded in time. Additionally, some degree of inattentiveness is probably going to happen when watching a robot for hours at a time.
This illustrates the (high!) dangers of level 4 automation. However, the safety driver had one job, and if it could not be done with adequate safety, the driver should have stopped. Uber also bears part of the blame for conducting unsafe experiments on humans and pushing the drivers beyond safe limits. Remember, the huge financial rewards of these tests will accrue to Uber. It's like pushing a truck driver past their driving time in order to get more loads done. That's why it's illegal.

Perhaps safety drivers need similar laws applied to them.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:54 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The car was evidently not speeding. The car was travelling 40 mph in a 45 mph zone. That's not excessively careless.
I stand corrected - I had read elsewhere that it was 40 in a 35, and was responding to the "pedestrian was jaywalking, which is illegal" comment. I agree, 40 in a 45 is not necessarily careless.

However, keep in mind that the cameras do not give a good indication of what it actually looked like - camera dynamic ranges is much lower than the human eye. The pedestrian may very well have been visible to an attentive driver.


Yeah, some of the initial reporting was that, it was pretty widely reported until later corrected.

It's possible. No doubt the footage will be reviewed extensively to discover that. However, being that it was 10:30 at night, I don't have any trouble with the idea that a pedestrian may not have been very visible to the driver until picked up in headlights.

Tyndmyr wrote:even an attentive driver may not have responded in time. Additionally, some degree of inattentiveness is probably going to happen when watching a robot for hours at a time.
This illustrates the (high!) dangers of level 4 automation. However, the safety driver had one job, and if it could not be done with adequate safety, the driver should have stopped. Uber also bears part of the blame for conducting unsafe experiments on humans and pushing the drivers beyond safe limits. Remember, the huge financial rewards of these tests will accrue to Uber. It's like pushing a truck driver past their driving time in order to get more loads done. That's why it's illegal.

Perhaps safety drivers need similar laws applied to them.

Jose


The driver probably will be punished for inattentiveness, given what happened. And also given the whole felon thing. At a minimum, it is unlikely she will be driving further for Uber.

That said, this is an accident I can very easily imagine a human having as well. Even an alert, well rested human can certainly hit a pedestrian in similar circumstances. I think it's very easy to blame both the driver and the company, but doing so is a standard that isn't terribly consistent with most other pedestrian accidents. I'm pretty sure that if the exact same thing had happened, but a human was at the wheel, it would not only have not been in the news, it wouldn't have gotten either in trouble. We shouldn't subject Uber or the driver to extra hatred simply because they are trying to introduce a new system that might well be substantially safer than what we have now.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Angua » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:57 am UTC

New User wrote:
If someone jaywalks in front of a moving car and is hit, the blame shouldn't necessarily be on the driver (although there could be a thousand different hypothetical situations we could discuss) because otherwise, people would just be walking on roads anywhere they please and cars wouldn't be able to drive any faster than 5 mph anywhere for fear of hitting someone who might erratically meander in front of the car, and traffic everywhere would be gridlocked. I have driven many places in my life, and when there is a paved sidewalk on the side of the road, I trust that the pedestrians will not suddenly change direction without warning and step in front of my car while I'm moving 35 mph, just as I suppose they trust that I will not suddenly steer my car to the right a little bit and drive on the paved sidewalk and strike them with my vehicle. It's like you don't even know what the purpose of roads is, or how traffic and driving work. What kind of society do you live in?

I am going to blow your mind here, and point out that there are many countries (and I have spent most of my life in them) where jaywalking is not illegal! And people don't generally drive at 5 miles an hour in fear! There isn't even a word for jaywalking, I first heard it on the powerpuff girls and was very confused!
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Trebla » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:37 pm UTC

ucim wrote: the safety driver had one job, and if it could not be done with adequate safety, the driver should have stopped.


Can you give a source for this? Either the relevant laws or Uber's policy for "safety drivers"? I've heard people say that the driver is there to take over if they think something bad will happen, and others say that they're more like babysitters in case the car becomes disabled. What, actually, was the "driver's" job? (I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't know their actual job). From my searching (and, admittedly, I'm pretty bad at finding specific information), Arizona's laws say nothing about a safety driver... fully driverless cars are permitted, so in the eyes of the law, they had no job. I can't find the explicit Uber policy, just reports that "it needs to change."

Pedestrians get hit, kind of a lot. And dealing with a specific case is not talking about the general case of "car hits person: car is at fault." I don't even know how to respond to someone saying that the train/driver is at fault if someone camouflages themselves against the tracks and lays down in the path of the train. I'm not trying to be insulting, but that sounds as absurd as saying a bear is at fault for mauling you if you walk into his cave... or the sun is at fault for burning you if you don't put on sunscreen.

To me the real question is the safety of autonomous cars vs human drivers. Are they close? Are humans still way better? Are computers now beyond humans? At the very least, Uber seems to be recklessly aggressive with testing its self-driving technology to the point of being unsafe, possibly criminally unsafe (based on comparisons with other companies about failure rates). Is anyone disputing that Uber is at least partially in the wrong and should be held liable? I don't think they are.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ucim » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:07 pm UTC

Trebla wrote:
ucim wrote: the safety driver had one job, and if it could not be done with adequate safety, the driver should have stopped.
Can you give a source for this?
No; I was more using the meme for brevity than presenting Uber's detailed policies. However, considering the nascent state of robotics and the danger cars pose to pedestrians, there should be a prime emphasis on actively monitoring the actual drive to act as backup when the computer fails to behave properly, and thus I think I was justified in being emphatic.

Trebla wrote:I don't even know how to respond to someone saying that the train/driver is at fault if someone camouflages themselves against the tracks and lays down in the path of the train.
Neither do I - that is ridiculous and not at all comparable to this case.

Jose
Trebla wrote:To me the real question is the safety of autonomous cars vs human drivers. Are they close? Are humans still way better?
Humans are still way better. They are in any case have a more proven track record. But only trained and licensed humans are permitted behind the wheel. No such licensing or examination seems to be required for robots, and Uber seems especially willing to put the equivalent of children behind the wheel and call it done. (Yeah, the company needs to apply for permission from the town, but I see nothing approaching a "driving test" being given to robots, nor does the state seem to know what that would entail).

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:19 pm UTC

I'm all for autonomous cars, but Uber is probably not the hill to die on. I'd be much more willing to defend the more reputable car/tech companies. They have higher mileage between accident rates, and don't need to steal engineers to do a worse job.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby New User » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:30 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
New User wrote:
If someone jaywalks in front of a moving car and is hit, the blame shouldn't necessarily be on the driver (although there could be a thousand different hypothetical situations we could discuss) because otherwise, people would just be walking on roads anywhere they please and cars wouldn't be able to drive any faster than 5 mph anywhere for fear of hitting someone who might erratically meander in front of the car, and traffic everywhere would be gridlocked. I have driven many places in my life, and when there is a paved sidewalk on the side of the road, I trust that the pedestrians will not suddenly change direction without warning and step in front of my car while I'm moving 35 mph, just as I suppose they trust that I will not suddenly steer my car to the right a little bit and drive on the paved sidewalk and strike them with my vehicle. It's like you don't even know what the purpose of roads is, or how traffic and driving work. What kind of society do you live in?

I am going to blow your mind here, and point out that there are many countries (and I have spent most of my life in them) where jaywalking is not illegal! And people don't generally drive at 5 miles an hour in fear! There isn't even a word for jaywalking, I first heard it on the powerpuff girls and was very confused!

That doesn't blow my mind at all. I don't doubt that it isn't illegal in some areas. It isn't necessary to criminalize dangerous behavior as long as people have the sense not to do it. I was trying to explain that drivers shouldn't be blamed if someone carelessly steps into a road where fast cars belong. Crosswalks and traffic signals exist for a reason, which is to allow traffic to flow in ways that are safe for everyone, and everyone can have their turn to move and their turn to wait. I don't think someone needs to be punished for crossing where there isn't a crosswalk, as long as it can be done safely, but if someone carelessly goes into a road where there isn't a crosswalk and is struck when a vehicle can't stop in time, I don't think the driver should be blamed as long as they aren't intentionally trying to hit a pedestrian.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:41 pm UTC

This is probably where a lot of the confusion on the Uber case came from:

"The Verge wrote:The vehicle was traveling 38 mph, though it is unclear whether that was above or below the speed limit. (Police said the speed limit was 35 mph, but a Google Street View shot of the roadway taken last July shows a speed limit of 45 mph along that stretch of road.)...

But others noted that the street design where Herzberg was struck likely was sending pedestrians a mixed message. It features an inviting brick-paved walking path across the median, in addition to a sign warning pedestrians not to use it.



The quality control manager admitted on the stand that there was no need for the coffee to be that hot because it would be too drink. McDonalds refused to change their policy on how hot the coffee machine should be set to because the amount burned is such a small percentage of their customers that it was trivial. The jury got really pissed off about that and forced McDonalds to pay the women 3 days worth of coffee sales as a punitive fine. That ended up being way more than the jury thought it would be and the judge ultimately decreased it to something much more reasonable.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:02 pm UTC

And now I'm thinking of "Put one Big-Mac on the first square of a chessboard, two Big-Macs on the second, four on the next, and so on…" ;)


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:13 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:...and by the 8th square the chess board is an obese diabetic.

And you still have 56 squares to go.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:22 pm UTC

And the final square is a big Mac is 91 miles high and 124 miles wide, causes massive earthquakes and shifts the tides.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

I think you're off by a couple orders of magnitude there.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:53 pm UTC

The final square has 2^63 big Macs, raising this to 1/3 yields a cylinder of big Macs 2097152 big Macs in any direction. At 2.75 inches high, this is 480600 feet or 91 miles. At 3.75 inches wide it's 124 miles. The big Macs have such weight as to squish everything into a big Mac mush, so it would only be 91 miles high for a moment. Given the sheer size, Mac mountain would effectively flow in all directions like lava, engulfing the countryside in a greasy slurry of boiling beef and cheese product.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby mashnut » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:09 pm UTC

mmmmmm, slurry

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:34 am UTC

On Arizona's governor's relationship with Uber:

A tranche of emails published through a document request from The Guardian reveals that governor Doug Ducey went to some lengths to encourage Uber to move its program from California to Arizona, including allowing it to test self-driving cars in Phoenix back in August 2016 without letting the public know.

Within a month of taking over as governor in 2014, Ducey met with Uber representatives and one of his first acts after being elected was to instruct state officials not to chase ride-sharing companies over their failure to follow taxi licensing rules.

A few months later, he signed a new bill that legalized ride-sharing services, appearing at a signing ceremony with executives from Uber and Lyft. Two months after that he held another press conference with Uber over a tiny $25,000 donation by the ride sharing firm to an Arizona university.

As well as revealing frequent and friendly interactions between the mayor, his office and Uber executives, Ducey also pressured local councilors in Phoenix to allow Uber to pick up passengers from the city's international airport.

He even personally tweeted about a related Uber food-delivery business at the request of the company's representatives. In return, Uber provided Ducey with a free workspace when he visited San Francisco.

The close relationship between Uber and Ducey paid off when California forced Uber to shut down its self-driving program after their cars were spotted running several red lights in San Francisco and it was discovered the company had never applied for autonomous vehicle testing permits.

Ducey reacted to the news on Twitter with the message: "This is what OVER-regulation looks like! #ditchcalifornia."

Kicked out of California, Uber simply drove its cars over the state line into Arizona. Ducey embraced their arrival, putting out a statement that read: "Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads. While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses."

It is notable that he did not mention that his office knew Uber had been secretly testing its cars for months in his state.

In addition, Ducey's complaints about over-regulation led him to allow far more lax rules'n'regulations on self-driving programs than other states. That has meant that recent statistics on Uber's program are not available – such as the number of times self-driving cars have required human intervention.

Source: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/2 ... lind_spot/

Yeah, "over-regulation" looks like not having a pedestrian get killed. Is there any chance of him facing legal consequences for this? Or is it up to the Arizona voters to vote him out of office, assuming they care about this enough to do so?

I really hope Uber just shuts down their self-driving car program. A company that shady and corner-cutting should not be involved in this tech.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:35 pm UTC

A company that shady and corner cutting shouldn't be involved in a hotdog stand, let alone a multibillion dollar taxi service.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:19 pm UTC

Is the governor aiding a friend or is it the more typical begging for potential jobs that every politician does?
Edit: begging for jobs is not a good use of tax payers resources.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Yakk » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:42 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:...and by the 8th square the chess board is an obese diabetic.

And you still have 56 squares to go.

By the 64th square, your density is about 10 million times higher than a neutron star.

It should explode; failing that, it should collapse into a 10^-6 inch scale black hole. Maybe both.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:14 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:
Dauric wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:...and by the 8th square the chess board is an obese diabetic.

And you still have 56 squares to go.

By the 64th square, your density is about 10 million times higher than a neutron star.

It should explode; failing that, it should collapse into a 10^-6 inch scale black hole. Maybe both.

So what your saying is if you eat enough McDonald's, your waist size would go down.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:22 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Yakk wrote:
Dauric wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:...and by the 8th square the chess board is an obese diabetic.
i
And you still have 56 squares to go.

By the 64th square, your density is about 10 million times higher than a neutron star.

It should explode; failing that, it should collapse into a 10^-6 inch scale black hole. Maybe both.

So what your saying is if you eat enough McDonald's, your waist size would go down.

I think the circumference would, but not sure about its radius... Or I may have that flipways. And now we can't ask Hawking. Especially about the virtual pickles that half-escape.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:41 pm UTC

I think he's saying that if your stomach is replaced with a black hole with a schwarzchild radius less than your original radius, you technically have a smaller radius...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Mon May 14, 2018 5:13 pm UTC

UK scientists believe they may have found a way to combat the common cold.

Rather than attacking the virus itself, which comes in hundreds of versions, the treatment targets the human host. It blocks a key protein in the body's cells that cold viruses normally hijack to self-replicate and spread. This should stop any cold virus in its tracks if given early enough, lab studies suggest. Safety trials in people could start within two years.

In the lab, it worked within minutes of being applied to human lung cells, targeting a human protein called NMT, Nature Chemistry journal reports. All strains of cold virus need this human protein to make new copies of themselves.

The test drug completely blocked several strains of cold virus without appearing to harm the human cells in the lab. Further studies are needed to make sure it is not toxic in the body though.


Wow. Curing the common cold. Who'd've thunk it.

link

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Mon May 14, 2018 7:43 pm UTC

Hmm... could the same be done for other cells, like T4 cells? Denature the saccharide that HIV binds to, stopping transmission? Granted that means a defective immune system...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Angua » Mon May 14, 2018 10:18 pm UTC

Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby gmalivuk » Thu May 24, 2018 9:09 pm UTC

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/05/em ... ntsb-says/



The report confirms that the sensors on the vehicle worked as expected, spotting pedestrian Elaine Herzberg about six seconds prior to impact, which should have given it enough time to stop given the car's 43mph speed.

The problem was that Uber's software became confused, according to the NTSB. "As the vehicle and pedestrian paths converged, the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path," the report says.

Things got worse from there.

At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined that an emergency braking maneuver was needed to mitigate a collision. According to Uber, emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior. The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator.

The vehicle was a modified Volvo XC90 SUV. That vehicle comes with emergency braking capabilities, but Uber automatically disabled these capabilities while its software was active.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 24, 2018 9:11 pm UTC

That is much more damning of Uber, wow.

The misidentification, sure, sure, computers glitch, they coulda talked that off, but disabling the existing auto-brake and not re-enabling it is rough. Even if it'd started trying to brake, woulda been better.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby HES » Thu May 24, 2018 9:16 pm UTC

The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator.

Bit of a disconnect between these two sentences.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Fri May 25, 2018 9:06 am UTC

HES wrote:
The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator.

Bit of a disconnect between these two sentences.

Not really. The operator is expected to intervene based on seeing the pedestrian walking across the road and noticing the car not slowing down.

The system could alert the operator (and, I'm sure, will in the future), but, sort of by definition, if the system has to alert the operator then it has already failed - and it may have failed in such a way that it doesn't even realise it needs to alert the operator. Thus the onus is on the operator to always be ready to react and take over.

Ironically, the fact that the system fails so rarely means the operator drops their guard; It's hard to go from hours of boredom to needing to react in a split second.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 25, 2018 11:57 am UTC

The system knew (eventually) that it needed to do a thing it couldn't do on its own. If that was attached to an alert, the alert would have happened, albeit too late in this case.

And the human driver didn't have an attention lapse, she was paying attention to diagnostic information Uber said she had to watch.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Fri May 25, 2018 12:21 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And the human driver didn't have an attention lapse, she was paying attention to diagnostic information Uber said she had to watch.

Ah. I thought she was expected to be alert and able to take over in an emergency. My mistake.

Uber has a lot of things to work through then.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Fri May 25, 2018 1:18 pm UTC

In the alternate timeline where possible false-positive issues that have already been deemed too frequent and dangerous to send to the indifferent emergency brakes instead get pinged up to the very human 'driver', it would very possibly be a Windows UAC situation all over again.

I find the final identification as a bicycle (but, from what was given, assumed to be moving differently than it was) interesting. As a bike being wheeled across the road, it might be outside much of the expectations of the training data where things identifiable as bikes move along roads (or across them only on their own roads at junctions) and typically exhibit speeds above walking pace.

Maybe the initial identification of a potential bogey and then bandit (taking linerties with 'unidentified, potentially hostile aircraft' and 'identified hostile aircraft', respectively) needs tuning to not auto-ascribe predictive motion based upon what the supposed identification currently gives. It should hopefully be instead taking the apparent (and relative) movement of a bogie into account when determining what kind of bandit. This way, it already knows it has to avoid (say) a light aircraft that just made an emergency landing on the road in front of it because there's something suddenly rolling to a halt on the road in front of it without having to have been exposed to sudden planes (and helicopters, parachutists, decoupled trailers, emerging mole-machines, coyote-style spring-loaded roadrunner catapult traps, etc, etc) in the first place.

(Maybe they already did this. Maybe it was more a basic visual confusion that the sensors just couldn't resolve in time, like the "sky-coloured trailer" fatality. I'm just thinking allowed, and I'm sure the developers have thought much more about thr process than my armchair efforts.)

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Fri May 25, 2018 2:02 pm UTC

I'm surprised it based its decision primarily on the type of object in front of it and not the speed by which it was moving.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Chen » Fri May 25, 2018 2:40 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I'm surprised it based its decision primarily on the type of object in front of it and not the speed by which it was moving.


For a human sized object I agree. That said if it identifies something as a squirrel, rat or bird I imagine you wouldn't want to emergency brake, so what the object is identified as should definitely be playing a role in the braking logic.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zohar » Fri May 25, 2018 2:56 pm UTC

That makes sense. It sounds like it tried to identify the object to guess how quickly it will move though, not if it's a large size or not. And the computer might not want to avoid a crow, but will want to avoid a tire, so size isn't the only thing that matters here.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Chen » Fri May 25, 2018 3:04 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:That makes sense. It sounds like it tried to identify the object to guess how quickly it will move though, not if it's a large size or not. And the computer might not want to avoid a crow, but will want to avoid a tire, so size isn't the only thing that matters here.


Looks like it was at least that. The article implied identifying the object allowed a better prediction of where it would end up. Presumably once it determined it was going to intersect with the vehicle path then the size/composition of the object would be what determined if swerving/braking etc were needed.

At least that's how I would have it coded. Who knows what Uber actually did though.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Coyne » Fri May 25, 2018 4:42 pm UTC

I've kept out of this, mostly because of the walls of text. But in reality I've been surprised that every automatic car hasn't killed somebody, at some point in time. I suspect bias. Specifically, I suspect that most of the car companies are testing when conditions are fair or better. These conditions were poor.

The real world is hard, as in difficult. Take contrast, you need that in order to be able to see things. Take a situation where the contrast is bad and you can barely make out what is going on. Halve that contrast, and sooner or later you'll encounter that situation as well. Inevitably, there will be situations where the combination of background lights, ambient lighting, and weather conditions will mean that a car will hit someone with the only clue that it is going to happen being the impact.

The only question that matters to me is: How would a competent, attentive driver have responded in the same situation? I doubt if they would have outperformed the Uber car, or really I'm saying that wrong, I doubt if the driver would outperform the car every time if the situation were repeated multiple times.

I think that the real indication that automatically driven cars have not arrived, is the fact that they need a vehicle operator to fall back on. This situation in particular, if the car had to fall back on the operator, it has already failed, regardless of the outcome.

Does that mean the experiment is a failure? No. It means that our expectations are too high. If the car consistently outperforms a human by 10% then it should be cars driving humans, just for the gains in property and life. Expecting perfection in the real world, is expecting too much.

Yet here we are, expecting that, because of a human bias: "I could have driven that Uber car better!" As long as humans can claim that they could one-up up the car, it's going to be hard for automatic driving cars to be accepted.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 25, 2018 4:48 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:And the human driver didn't have an attention lapse, she was paying attention to diagnostic information Uber said she had to watch.

Ah. I thought she was expected to be alert and able to take over in an emergency. My mistake.


I believe that is also expected, but human attention/reaction time is limited.

Even if they'd had an alert, but the human didn't have time to react, I think they'd have come off looking better than they will as a result of this. I can see tradeoffs for auto-braking and alerts, but having neither is a bit rough. The auto-identification failure is unfortunate, but isn't outside the sort of things I'd expect to find while testing. The lack of any viable response seems rather less reasonable.

I mean, sure, you might get false positives, but eh, that's why you're testing, right?

As a response to Coyne, I previously took a more pro-Uber approach, but the additional information provided indicates they put less effort than I would have expected into avoiding deaths. I don't insist on a robot car getting it right the first time, but either auto-braking or an alarm is a fairly reasonable expectation given that both exist in on the market vehicles.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby commodorejohn » Fri May 25, 2018 4:52 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
elasto wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:And the human driver didn't have an attention lapse, she was paying attention to diagnostic information Uber said she had to watch.

Ah. I thought she was expected to be alert and able to take over in an emergency. My mistake.

I believe that is also expected, but human attention/reaction time is limited.

Which is why the whole idea of human-assisted AI drivers is stupid to begin with. Human beings simply do not context-switch fast enough to be useful in an accident situation unless they were already engaged.
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