ENDNOTE: Alma Mater studies the ethics of self-driving cars?




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Heidi Furey is part of a National Science Foundation grant focused on the dilemmas surrounding autonomous vehicles.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently said that he wants fully unmanned taxis serving paying customers by mid-2019. But what happens when these driverless cars are on the road?

Heidi Furey, Ph.D., an assistant professor of philosophy at Manhattan College, along with two other philosophers and a civil engineer, are working to answer those questions in a project titled “Ethical Algorithms in Autonomous Vehicles,” supported by a $556,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Since the technology is relatively new, the challenge of working on the ethics of self-driving cars is to anticipate what sort of moral issues will arise as they are introduced and become entrenched in society. Furey and the team’s first step is to map out the ethical terrain – the ethical algorithms – and determine the best way to resolve those issues, working with faculty and students from across different disciplines at the College.

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I guess it’s a worthwhile study project. I’d rather see the Injineers building them. 

I’d be interested to see if they come up with a BNF — Backus-Naur Form is a syntax for describing syntax. It’s used to write a formal representation of a context-free grammar. If that doesn’t sound abstract enough for you, a grammar doesn’t have to be a programming language or even a human language, it can be any syntax that you want to describe. — for the “ethics language”.

(I was really into it when I was writing a cross compiler in my MS Comp Sci-Fi program. I could give headaches talking about it. But now I’m old and stupid.)

As a result, I formulated my meme about dikw (i.e., data, information, knowledge, wisdom).

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