Tag Archives: ethics

A Self-Driving Car Might Decide You Should Die

An Autonomous Car Might Decide You Should Die

But that prospect isn’t as scary as it sounds

The “trolley problem” is an old, familiar thought experiment in ethics. Lately it has been enjoying a rather outlandish level of exposure. Much of the credit goes to journalists applying the problem to autonomous cars. Those discussions end up feeling remote and theoretical. Yet by revising the problem just slightly, it can contribute to both a realistic and urgent debate on self-driving cars… which is precisely what I’m fixin’ to do in this article.

Google Trend for “trolley problem”. Apparently the holiday season makes people really, really philosophical.

First, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page. What follows is one iteration of the original trolley problem:

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