Ethics of autonomous vehicles



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Author of this exhibit: IMAGINARY. The exhibit is based on ‘Ethical Autonomous Vehicles’ by Matthieu Cherubini.


Supported by

Carl Zeiss Foundation

We sit in a self-driving car, controlled by an AI. All of a sudden, something unexpected happens. How is the AI going to react? Use the buttons to choose a scenario and see what happens.

Autonomous vehicles can react to dangerous situations much faster than human drivers. But they operate in the real world, interacting with humans and dealing with unpredictable situations. Even with perfect sensing and immediate reaction times, sometimes they will have to face situations where human lives are endangered and no possible measure can avoid harm. In these cases, decisions will be made based on a guideline, or policy, which might be programmed into them. Based on what values, should reactions be determined within the guidelines? How should priorities be set? Can we create policies that are fair for all? Ethical reflections play a big part in AI research. Different countries develop their own policies and strategies that heavily influence technical innovations.

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