Picture yourself driving down the road. Longingly looking at a side road littered with bumps, mud, gravel, and adventure. You stare at it long enough to almost imperceptibly make the turn… but you don’t. You are responsible and have work to go to, or a family to care for. How would AI ever figure that out?

It can’t. Just like your significant other, your mother, or even you understand or know what you want some programmers ham fisted coding and algorithms based on math and equations won’t be able to either.

Computer programming and math are too rigid for human thought.

Statistics can show that algorithms and other mathematical equations can and often do guess what we might want. That’s why FaceBook and others use them to “predict” ads we should view to help sell products to us.

Those same statistics when read differently show that those predictive algorithms are terrible at guessing what we want.

An automatic transmission is the perfect example of this. You apply the throttle. The vehicle assumes you want to accelerate and the transmission downshifts. Except when it doesn’t, or it downshifts 3 gear ratios instead of just the one you needed. Better yet is when it just sits there for a second before doing all of it all at once just after the point that accelerations would have worked and now you have to panic brake.

Why do we continue to pursue artificial intelligence?

That’s a really good question. On the face it people want to create things. The bigger thought is that humans want to create life. Your average God complex.

The thought in the automotive world is to reduce accidents, prevent death from accidents, and to remove the need for mundane tasks from everyday life.

The mundane makes us human.

Those mundane tasks make us human. If you read this site you probably enjoy driving your vehicle. If you are like us driving is probably in your top 3 favorite things to do.

There are more than 4 million miles of roads in the US. There are over 272 million vehicles registered for use in the United States with 328,915,700 people in the US (Estimated March 2019). Those millions of miles of roads are there to enjoy. Having a vehicle drive itself is not enjoyable. Having an AI system that can’t understand the desire to stop at the World’s Largest Ball of String on a whim isn’t worth having.

Look at it this way. If your significant other can’t figure out what you like to eat after 20 years what chance does a computer have?

But what about safety?

What about it? Lane departure, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control are great. Except why not design a vehicle, or mirrors, without a blind spot? Why not make roads that are better? How about you keep your eyes on the road. These devices won’t avoid a collision they will only let you know you are going to have one. (Adaptive cruise control might avoid a collision with auto braking but you get where I am going.)

The thing that I like about safety statistics is how they attempt to correlate facts into the future. As in if lane departure reached accidents by 11 percent then we could have prevented an additional 50,000 accidents based on research.

Well, no you couldn’t have. Because those theoretical accidents could be from another source. It’s like a poll that samples 500 people and then tries to predict the entire state of NY’s weather. It’s accurate for 500 people but as soon as you expand the sample size it would all change, or not. We don’t know that’s the point. We didn’t ask so we cannot guess.

Is this still about cars?

Yes. If an when a vehicle can plug into my mind and see what I see, feel what I feel, think how I think, and react to what I want they will never be smart enough.

What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence in your vehicle?

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William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role. He also wields a freely shared...

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