The Book of Threes

Germany Outlines Three Laws of Robotics for Self-Driving Cars

Dobrindt has created an ethics commission to work out the specifics in terms of regulation, but the above rules will serve as a starting point for future laws.
The third rule may seem to suggest that the manufacturer cannot depend on the driver stepping in during an emergency, but Dobrindt indicated that drivers will be expected to have a basic awareness at all times. In practice, this will likely mean sleeping at the wheel is forbidden, but reading a book is allowed. A black box will show whether the machine or driver was in charge at the time of the accident.
There is dispute in the sector over how much awareness a driver will need while driving. While the UK’s first self-driving car policy explicitly bans drivers from devoting anything less than their full attention to the road, Michigan has taken steps towards allowing self-driving cars with no human drivers at all.
While Germany’s rules appear straightforward, manufacturers will need to consider how to implement these when dealing with A.I. that may react unexpectedly in certain situations. On Wednesday, researcher Stuart Armstrong explained that, when it comes to teaching rules to A.I., it’s more effective to implement values through machine learning rather than hard coding rules. Nonetheless, Dobrindt’s rules give an outline of what a future A.I. code of ethics may look like for self-driving cars.

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Three is the Magic Number

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