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Artificial intelligence: Self-driving cars are oversold, says researcher

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From AI researcher Filip Piekniewski at VentureBeat:

Deep learning has been at the forefront of the so-called AI revolution for years now, and many people believed that it would take us to the world of the technological singularity. Many companies talked big in 2014, 2015, and 2016 when technologies such as Alpha Go were pushing new boundaries. For example, Tesla announced that its fully self-driving cars were very close, even selling that option to customers — to be enabled later via a software update.

We are now in the middle of 2018 and things have changed. Not on the surface yet — the NIPS conference is still oversold, corporate PR still has AI all over its press releases, Elon Musk still keeps promising self-driving cars, and Google keeps pushing Andrew Ng’s line that AI is bigger than electricity. But this narrative is beginning to crack. And as I predicted, the place where the cracks in AI are most visible is autonomous driving — an actual application of the technology in the real world.

Looking at last year’s California DMV disengagement reports, Nvidia-equipped cars could not drive ten miles without a disengagement. In a separate post, I discuss the general state of that development and compare it to human driver safety, which (spoiler alert) is not looking good.

Since 2016 there were several Tesla AutoPilot incidents, some of which were fatal. Arguably, Tesla Autopilot should not be confused with self-driving, but at least at the core, it relies on the same kind of technology. As of today, even leaving aside occasional spectacular errors, it still cannot stop at an intersection, recognize a traffic light, or even navigate through a roundabout. That last video is from March 2018, several months after the promised coast to coast Tesla autonomous drive that did not happen (the rumor is the company could not get it to work without about 30 disengagements). More.

Whether or not these problems get straightened out, some of us wonder whether self-driving cars will really take off. Don’t people drive cars because they want to do it themselves? Otherwise, why not take the bus?

Note: Anyone who has dealt with an older senior who must give up driving due to cognitive losses will understand what I mean about driving and a sense of independence.

See also: Artificial intelligence pioneer laments current AI limitations, promises machines with free will and morality

and

Henry Kissinger: The End of the Enlightenment dawns, due to artificial intelligence

3 Replies to “Artificial intelligence: Self-driving cars are oversold, says researcher

  1. 1
    FourFaces says:

    Fully intelligent (but not conscious) machines will come one day but not from the mainstream AI community. Mainstream AI researchers are blinded by their materialism which forces them to conflate spiritual or conscious phenomena with the physics of the brain. Only rebels with a bone to pick with the mainstream have a chance to crack this nut.

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    Whether or not these problems get straightened out, some of us wonder whether self-driving cars will really take off.

    I hope they don’t – they might crash into the self-flying planes.

  3. 3
    LocalMinimum says:

    We’re at the dumb, clunky early stages of AI. I knew self driving cars woulds start this way, killing folks; like the first planes. Stunts, bravado, and sad mistakes. I didn’t expect them to reach this stage so quickly, though.

    They are oversold, but everything is oversold. Don’t take the word of someone about something they’re selling.

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