Do Androids dream of electric sheep?
A science fiction novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. First published in 1968, the novel is set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. It was later retitled Blade Runner and hit the big Screen starring Harrison Ford in 1982.
It, along with films such as iRobot starring Will Smith many years later not only dealt with Ai (Artificial Intelligence) but also, and interestingly featured self-drive hybrid motor vehicles.
What 30, and as recently as a few years ago, seemed fantasy in science fiction writer’s imaginations is now rapidly dawning as a reality on our roads when it comes to the portrayal of these vehicles in their respective films.
The question however does not question the concept of the hybrid vehicles I mentioned which were portrayed in the respective films, but rather the core issues and themes both films presented regarding self-awareness of the manmade machine and the questionable moral decisions they must make.
Jeremy Clarkson, the man we love to hate and love all over again presented an interesting view point on the subject of emerging self-drive technology which, if you missed it, can be found here
Fundamentally Clarkson posed the scenario that if you were a passenger in one of these new self-drive vehicles, and were heading for a collision with a vehicle ahead crossing your path, what would the vehicle do? Veer left and head towards 2 pedestrians standing waiting to walk across the intersection or plough into the oncoming vehicle?
While delivered in Clarkson’s comical style, the scenario is one that raised many a question.
What am I rambling on about?
Bill Gates was right, so were the respondents from GM, and the 2 movies pre-empted reality with fantasy, nothing is inconceivable however to conceive and create an infallible replacement for the human cognitive process is a tough task. I personally don’t think we will totally ever replace these human capabilities nor erase their importance when humans exist within an environment where total mechanisation is the controlling factor.
The only reason we set foot on the moon was because Armstrong grabbed the controls to counter a radar landing malfunction on Eagle, and the only reason there was a miracle on the Hudson was because Sully weighed up the risks and made the right call when all computer modelling suggested a safe probable return to the nearest landing strip.
Even while writing this piece, I had several annoying windows 10 bugs disturb the writing process, technology has a lot of catching up to do on human evolution
Happy, motoring ;)