Self-driving Car Suttons Waitara

Self-driving cars need ‘adjustable ethics’ set by owners

Self-driving cars need ‘adjustable ethics’ set by owners

The Conversation

By David Tuffley, Griffith University

One of the issues of self-driving vehicles is legal liability for death or injury in the event of an accident. If the car maker programs the car so the driver has no choice, is it likely the company could be sued over the car’s actions.

One way around this is to shift liability to the car owner by allowing them to determine a set of values or options in the event of an accident.

People are likely to want to have the option to choose how their vehicle behaves, both in an emergency and in general, so it seems the issue of adjustable ethics will become real as robotically controlled vehicles become more common.

Self-drive is already here

With self-driving vehicles already legal to drive on public roads in a growing number of US states, the trend is spreading around the world. The United Kingdom will allow these vehicles from January 2015.

Before there is widespread adoption, though, people will need to be comfortable with the idea of a computer being in full control of their vehicle. Much progress towards this has been made already. A growing number of cars, including mid-priced Fords, have an impressive range of accident-avoidance and driver-assist technologies like adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane-keeping and parking assist.

People who like driving for its own sake will probably not embrace the technology. But there are plenty of people who already love the convenience, just as they might also opt for automatic transmission over manual.

Are they safe?

After almost 500,000km of on-road trials in the US, Google’s test cars have not been in a single accident while under computer control.

You’ll be amazed by what you find out about the man in the driving seat.

Computers have faster reaction times and do not get tired, drunk or impatient. Nor are they given to road rage. But as accident-avoidance and driver-assist technologies become more sophisticated, some ethical issues are raising their heads.

The question of how a self-driven vehicle should react when faced with an accident where all options lead to varying numbers of deaths of people was raised earlier this month.

This is an adaptation of the “trolley problem” that ethicists use to explore the dilemma of sacrificing an innocent person to save multiple innocent people; pragmatically choosing the lesser of two evils.

An astute reader will point out that, under normal conditions, the car’s collision-avoidance system should have applied the brakes before it became a life-and-death situation. That is true most of the time, but with cars controlled by artificial intelligence (AI), we are dealing with unforeseen events for which no design currently exists.

Who is to blame for the deaths?

If car makers install a “do least harm” instruction and the car kills someone, they create legal liability for themselves. The car’s AI has decided that a person shall be sacrificed for the greater good.

Had the car’s AI not intervened, it’s still possible people would have died, but it would have been you that killed them, not the car maker.

Planning for the unpredictable accident – so who’s to blame?
Flickr/Johannes Ortner, CC BY-NC

Car makers will obviously want to manage their risk by allowing the user to choose a policy for how the car will behave in an emergency. The user gets to choose how ethically their vehicle will behave in an emergency.

As Patrick Lin points out, the options are many. You could be:

  • democratic and specify that everyone has equal value
  • pragmatic, so certain categories of person should take precedence, as with the kids on the crossing, for example
  • self-centred and specify that your life should be preserved above all
  • materialistic and choose the action that involves the least property damage or legal liability.

While this is clearly a legal minefield, the car maker could argue that it should not be liable for damages that result from the user’s choices – though the maker could still be faulted for giving the user a choice in the first place.

Let’s say the car maker is successful in deflecting liability. In that case, the user becomes solely responsible whether or not they have a well-considered code of ethics that can deal with life-and-death situations.

People want choice

Code of ethics or not, in a recent survey it turns out that 44% of respondents believe they should have the option to choose how the car will behave in an emergency.

About 33% thought that government law-makers should decide. Only 12% thought the car maker should decide the ethical course of action.

In Lin’s view it falls to the car makers then to create a code of ethical conduct for robotic cars. This may well be good enough, but if it is not, then government regulations can be introduced, including laws that limit a car maker’s liability in the same way that legal protection for vaccine makers was introduced because it is in the public interest that people be vaccinated.

In the end, are not the tools we use, including the computers that do things for us, just extensions of ourselves? If that is so, then we are ultimately responsible for the consequences of their use.

NOTE: This article was amended on 1 September 2014 at the Author’s request to include additional attribution.

The Conversation

David Tuffley does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.


Liverpool Confirm the Signing of Lallana


After a summer worth of will he won’t he, Adam Lallana has been confirmed as a Liverpool player.

He will be given the shirt number 20 and the man himself is over the moon. Speaking in his first interview Lallana was asked what this move means to him.

“It’s a huge step. Liverpool have got so much history and after the season they had last season, I can’t wait to get started and carry on and build on that. Champions League football is back; everyone is telling me that the atmosphere on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Anfield are something special. Lambert is up here already and he has been telling me all about it. It’s great that I can continue my career with him as well. That’s a special moment.”

He also had some great words to say about Steven Gerrard.

“There’s no limit to what I can learn playing with him. I grew up watching him. My best mates, he’s their legend. For me to be playing alongside him, not just at England but at club level, is quite surreal really. They’re always asking me what he’s like. He’s got that aura around him. But I need to quickly get used to it because I’ll be playing with him week in, week out.”

For a fee around £23 million Liverpool are signing a player that is in his prime, something we’ve all been calling out for over the last few years and he will be expected to make a significant impact straight away.

So Adam Lallana, welcome to the greatest club on the planet and I am sure all the fans will wish you nothing but success.


No Royal Commission; but banks not too big to be held to account

The Conversation

No Royal Commission; but banks not too big to be held to account

By Thomas Clarke, University of Technology, Sydney

The Senate inquiry in the actions of the Commonwealth Bank and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission has drawn a line in the sand, holding the banks and financial advisers to account for their actions in advising clients.

The Senate Committee’s final report which describes a “reckless sales-based culture “at the Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL), roundly condemns the apparent inability of ASIC to intervene.

But the government has effectively rejected its most controversial recommendation of a Royal Commission, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann this morning noting the dissenting report by Liberal senator David Bushby. When asked if he supported a Royal Commission, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said:

Obviously some terrible things happened and it’s good that the Parliamentary Committee enquiring into this has been able to expose some of the problems. We will carefully consider the recommendations of the Committee. We do obviously have an inquiry into financial governance going on now. We want to get to the bottom of these things and we want to ensure that investors are as safe as they can be in a market economy.

All eyes will now turn onto former CBA chief executive David Murray, who is preparing his final report into the financial system, due on July 15.

Most immediately, Murray needs to come up with more than platitudes about the future integrity of Australia’s financial services, to address the blight revealed on Australia’s banks and financial services and assure Australians immediate action will be taken to resolve it.

In the United States, despite the passage of the voluminous Dodd-Frank Act, the consolidation of the big investment banks, and the apparent lack of any behavioural changes among the toxically incentivised finance executives, a sense has developed – in the words of US Senator Elizabeth Warren – that they are “too big to fail, too big to manage, too big to regulate, and too big to jail”.

The cross-party report in its robust attack on bad practices in the financial services industry, and its determination to pursue the perpetrators, insists this is not going to happen in Australia.

The “unethical and dishonest” treatment of “vulnerable trusting people” involved a “a callous disregard for their clients’ interests” by CFPL financial advisers, while the Commonwealth Bank “tolerated for so long conduct that included apparent criminal activity”, in the resounding words of the inquiry Chair, Senator Mark Bishop.

ASIC is excoriated for “complacency” and placing too much trust in an institution that “sought to patch over its problems”. Now “rogue advisers” need to be identified and any breaches of the law pursued.

A Royal Commission would mean there will be no early burying of this scandal and its implications for the whole banking sector : “Firms need to know that they cannot turn a blind eye to rogue employees who do whatever it takes to make profits at the expense of vulnerable investors.”

The demand for ASIC to become “a more proactive regulator” means that if the banks do not clean up their act, they will face further intervention.

The timidity of ASIC

The inquiry’s portrayal of ASIC as “a timid, hesitant regulator, too ready and
willing to accept uncritically the assurances of a large institution that there were no grounds for ASIC’s concerns or intervention”, will haunt ASIC in years to come, and hopefully spur it into action.

The catalogue of condemnation of ASIC and the CBA’s behaviour will not easily be erased from public memory. While defrauding innocent retirees of their assets is truly appalling, it is topped by the cynical indifference and meanness of the Commonwealth Bank’s response once the problem was unearthed.

The Inquiry reports CBA intimidated clients, obfuscated, was reluctant to provide files and provided no representation of clients interests when files were being checked and reconstructed. There were also numerous instances of missing documents, fabricated documents, forged signatures, and manifestly inadequate compensation.

The picture is one of an enormous and cruel “power asymmetry between unsophisticated, and in many cases older and vulnerable clients, and CFPL.”

This is far from the reassuring picture of a well-managed, well-regulated, and healthy banking and finance system in Australia that we have been encouraged to believe in as the best of all possible systems in recent decades.

The Conversation

Thomas Clarke does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.


Genocide Outrage

Suarez Outrage, You’re Doing it Wrong

Outrage Genocide

Suarez for the third time, that we know of, has decided to use his teeth to gnaw at an opponent and this has lead to all the outrage in the world to come piling down on him as though he had just committed the kind of atrocities that Jimmy Savile committed for decades with no one in power ever and I mean ever thought of pursuing while he was alive.

Justice you see is blind, it is consistently looking in the wrong direction and it never seems to want do the right thing at the right time, just ask the victims of that disgustingly abhorrent man Savile or the families and friends and neighbours and the entire city of Liverpool as they fought tooth and nail for over two decades to see justice being done. The justice for the 96 campaign is only now almost at the point where justice may finally be opening her eyes to the sheer bastardry that occurred on that fateful day many many years ago.

Before people start to portray this piece as a justification of Suarez’s actions or an excuse for punishment not to be handed out to our man Luis Suarez, let me just say, there is not a single rational Liverpool fan anywhere that does not believe he absolutely MUST BE PUNISHED. This is not in any way shape or form me saying anything otherwise. Let me repeat that one more time Luis Suarez absolutely MUST be punished for his actions. Now we can all debate what is and what is not a just punishment and that may or may not be a discussion that will lead to some kind of steadfast resolution by you lovely readers but even though I am not a betting man, I would bet on that resolution never coming to fruition. The world you see has many different points of view and with those points of view come opinions that may or may not be valid and whether you are to see them as valid for the most part is dictated to you by how you come at the problem in the first place.

This piece is not even about that, this piece is about the over the top outrage that has been spewed by many pundits and fans and officials from every corner of the globe. The outrage that comes thick and fast and automatically ends up escalating in a way that has managed to portray Suarez as the man that ruined Christmas.

Look at the examples I gave above, that is outrage worthy, that is the kind of story that deserves to be splashed all over the front and back pages of newspapers across the world, not this. I am absolutely sickened by the way our society decides to make villains out of celebrities and heroes out of those that for the most part are the least deserving. Take a long hard look at yourself and ask, have you really got something to be outraged over with this particular incident? Like seriously? Did he just rape your sister while she lay sick in hospital? Did he just use your dead aunts corpse to perform oral sex on? Is that why you are so outraged? Is that why you can not sleep at night until he is shot in the street and his corpse is dragged throughout the mud and filth until there is nothing left of him but a dangling achilles tendon?

Outrage you see, is best reserved for acts that DESERVE outrage, and here it is, the point of this whole sorry affair.

A little less than a week ago I wrote this piece titled “Genocide of Today” It WAS a fictional short story about what is actually occurring right now as we speak, as you read this piece, in the northern territories of Iraq. You really should read it, because when I wrote it, I felt sick in my stomach, I was genuinely sick and it is something that many people will never comprehend. It is the writer that understands pain and understands that sometimes you must write something that you do not feel as though you are capable of but you do it anyway because the story MUST BE TOLD.

Within the piece I write about a young Christian family who are stuck within the war torn region that their ancestors called home for over 6000 years. The Assyrian people the indigenous inhabitants of what is now called Iraq have for the last century been slaughtered at the hands of mad men who use the fact that they are Christians to attack, rape and pillage. While the rest of the world only found out about the term jihad after 9/11, the Assyrian Christians living in their homeland have not only known what the term means but have been at the wrong end of its foul stench for hundreds of years now.

“In a world where your brother is slaughtered and your father is left to fend for himself in a refugee camp because his dearly beloved wife was killed walking home from the local shop, there is no real cocoon that can shield you. In this scene, I fall asleep hoping for rest yet, my mind races at the possibilities that are now as good as a sure thing.

I will be killed at some point.

I will be made to denounce my faith in Jesus Christ.

I will be made to repent for being born.

I will be forgotten by the world.

We are all to blame, each and every one of us.

That is the truth.”

- See more at:

Can you see my point? Outrage, genuine or otherwise at the actions of a footballer is outrage wasted on something that will not have any bearing on the life of you or your loved ones. It achieves NOTHING. It is energy that should be put into something that actually deserves your sense of outrage and injustice.

After writing that piece, at the back of my mind I always knew that it was not going to be something that would stay fictional for very long. The world that my brethren now inhabit has been ripped to shreds and within the boundaries of those ancient walls, they are left to fend for themselves as the bastards that call themselves ISIS run amuck at their expense. The world does not care as this happens because the world is too busy being outraged at the actions of a professional footballer at the God damn World Cup. Seriously.

If you can’t make yourself understand that their are just more important things in life to be outraged at, well I hope for your sake you never find yourself in the same position as that father who had to witness the most heinous acts being committed on his wife and daughter in the name of religion.

Think about that while you fall asleep tonight.

Imagine being in the position of not only that poor father but most importantly that poor mother and that young girl that have now literally got nothing to live for. Nothing.

And then while you’re at it, why don’t you think about the Australian Federal Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison and his despicable actions that WILL result in more genuine refugees being led to their torture and death because he wants to live up to his God damned three word slogan “Stop the Boats!”

That is outrageous. That is worth getting out of your armchair for, Luis Suarez biting an Italian when viewed from that vantage point just does not seem to matter all that much now does it?



Liverpool’s deal for Moreno is Off

Liverpool have spent much of the summer break so far pursuing the well renowned left back Albert Moreno.

According to Sevilla’s Sporting director it appears that this deal is off.

“The matter of Alberto is practically settled. We couldn’t reach an agreement and I don’t think it can be revived,” he said.

“It was great offer, but the player is only 21 years old and it’s possible that the catharsis of being with the national team had a positive effect.

“He has a lot of room to grow and the coach is very happy to have him. I don’t think we’ll make a lot of moves, but if on August 14 a club comes along and they give you a mountain of cash, well….I know you don’t like to hear it, but we are economic managers.

“My feeling is that the negotiations are paralysed and I don’t see any hint that they will be restarted. We put a price on our players which we believe to be appropriate. Whoever wants to buy, can buy, and if you can’t…

“Also, with the sale of (Ivan) Rakitic, our needs were covered. We don’t have the burden we had at other times.”

The reality is, we can probably still get Moreno, however it would mean pushing our bid to £20 million which is a hefty price to pay but seeing that we are in desperate need for a left back and Moreno is likely to be our first choice Left Back for the next decade, an extra £4 million doesn’t appear to be the end of the world.

But in Rodgers we trust and I guess we will now see if he values Moreno that highly.

By: simone.brunozzi - CC BY 2.0

Palmer will repeal carbon tax but rejects other parts of Abbott’s package

The Conversation

Palmer will repeal carbon tax but rejects other parts of Abbott’s package

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

In a spectacular joint appearance with former Vice President Al Gore, Clive Palmer has announced PUP will vote to repeal the carbon tax but seek to set up a shell emissions trading scheme that could be activated in the future.

The PUP senators, who take their places from July 1, will also vote against the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority, and prevent any change to the renewable energy target before the next election.

The Palmer Party’s decision means that Tony Abbott will be able to fulfil his promise of scrapping the carbon tax but can only get part of the measures in his broad repeal package.

PUP will demand that the repeal legislation contain a provision to ensure that all energy producers have to pass on to consumers the savings from the end of the tax. The government maintains that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will make sure that savings are passed on and no additional measure is needed in the legislation.

Palmer staged his press conference in Parliament House’s Great Hall. He and Gore gave addresses and then immediately left without taking questions. Palmer said he would meet the media again later in the evening, after dinner.

Gore, an international campaigner on climate issues, said that while he would be disappointed if the immediate price on carbon was removed, “I am extremely hopeful that Australia will continue to play a global leadership role on this most pressing issue”.

Palmer’s plan would seek to insert an amendment into the Climate Change Authority legislation for the establishment of an emissions trading scheme that would only become effective once Australia’s main trading partners also took action to establish such a scheme.

“This is designed to establish and encourage a fair global scheme quickly,” he said.

So the measure could not be defined as a financial one, the scheme would have a carbon price zero rated, he said.

“The government and the parliament of the day have the ability to set the financial parameters of the scheme based on the action of our leading trading partners such as China, the United States, the European Union, Japan and Korea. We need to ensure the jobs and enterprises of all Australians will not be disadvantaged. Australia will respond in like terms.”

Gore said this was an “extraordinary moment in which Australia, the US and the rest of the world is finally beginning to confront the climate crisis in a meaningful way”. He pointed to recent actions by US President Barack Obama; cap and trade systems in two provinces and five cities in China with an indication these pilots would serve as the basis for a future national system; and positive developments in India.

“All of these developments add up to the world moving to solve the climate crisis and that is why it is so significant that Clive Palmer has announced that his party will support the continuation of the renewable energy target and the continuation of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the continuation of the Climate Change Authority, and that he has announced as well that he and his party will fight to implement an ETS under the conditions he has described.”

Palmer said that while in opposition the Abbott-led Coalition had promised before the election that Australia would retain its renewable energy target. “Now he seeks to break this promise. We will therefore not support any change to the RET before 2016.”

Palmer said that he had talks with Gore, “a great leader” who had “certainly convinced me of the need for the whole world to work together”.

“The world is constantly changing and our ability to adapt to change and keep an open mind on issues that effect all of us is what really matter.” Palmer said Obama “has recently shown great leadership on the issue.”

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

So Suarez Does Stupid Things


Suárez Tomb
Suárez Tomb (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

Suarez does stupid things, he does stupid things for stupid reasons and stupid people react to what he does in stupid ways and then people start to make stupid jokes and then stupid tweets flood twitter until all the stupid people in the world have had a chance to make stupid remarks about stupid retweets and all the while this poor guy, gets bombarded with stupid comments by stupid people because he had the audacity to use the twitter handle @Suarez.

For those that do not quite understand what it is that I am saying, I am saying Suarez Does Stupid Things.

He keeps doing stupid things and for as long as Suarez is gonna be in the public eye, he will continue to do stupid things over and over again.

This is the man that we now know is not really interested in doing anything that does not enhance his reputation for doing stupid things. He is a menace to society and logical reasoning and therefore people will constantly react to him in ever-increasing stupid ways.

Good job world, you are a shining beacon of how to deal with stupidity with stupidity.

But seriously, it’s a really stupid thing for him to do, as it was the first time he did a stupid thing and so on and so forth.

Now if only we could like get him to not be so god damn stupidly brilliant when playing football and maybe, just maybe, all of us Liverpool fans can well and truly just get on the stupid bandwagon and scream out for Suarez to be banished from the entire stupid planet because yes, that is what we should absolutely do.

Moral of the story, stupid does what stupid is or something stupid like that.




%d bloggers like this: