When Recklessness Negates AI
Although artificial intelligence (AI) is approaching the brink of breakout into mainstream in use in society, there has been and still will be a lot of discourse as to whether humans are ready for it.
One good example to this was revealed in an Elon Musk bashing-piece whereby the tech magnate irresponsibly demonstrated how to drive the Tesla Model 3 car that was equipped with a driver-assisted Autopilot feature.
According to the piece that commented on CBS program’s 60 Minutes‘ Leslie Stahl interview, Musk removed his hands totally off the wheel in the bid to show off the Autopilot’s ability to self-drive.
This is in direct conflict with Tesla engineers’ statements that ‘..under no circumstances, should the human driving the car take their hands off the wheel’ as the Autopilot is just a driver-assisted tool and NOT a replacement.’ This car Autopilot exemption is echoed by the US Department of Transportation when they commented on the fatal crash of a Tesla driver just in March.
As much as Tesla is widely regarded as an embodiment of AI in a very appealing future of autonomous vehicles for a safer and better human driving experience, the fact is that they have not yet developed a car that can safely drive itself.
Musk’s actions that were observed by the millions of CBS and other viewers, I am not surprised, sends an incorrect image message that AI in cars is complete and ready to relieve you of actual driving. ‘Yeah, AI allows one to now hop into a car like it’s a cab!’
This is a stupid assumption, that sadly would be also the cause of many fatal endings.
No doubt that 5G and IoT technologies are driving next-generation autonomous vehicles at at rapid rates. By 2020, there will be some 250 million connected vehicles on the roads worldwide and autonomous driving features will help prevent 9% of accidents by 2025 with the potential to save 900,000 lives in the next 10 years (World Economic Forum).
There are also huge societal benefits from AI being deployed in travel – Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will become a reality, economic opportunities (Intel’s Strategic Analytics describes the entire ‘Passenger Economy’), environmental sustainability (from reduction in greehouse gas emissions from EEV cars), etc.
But for now, tech leaders need to be more responsible in promoting their AI wares, as the mass public is naturally easily impressionable, especially in an era where everything seems to be possible.
Human stupidity that is often driven by pride and ego, can easily negate the benefits of AI and result in catastrophic outcomes.
IT BYTES BACK! says: It’s a surprise that Musk resorted to such a cheap silly publicity stunt for his Tesla cars, when he is as an outspoken critic of AI posing an existential crisis to mankind and (rightly) keeps calling for its regulation and oversight. What were you thinking, Musk, if at all?