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Science & Ethics: How should self-driving cars be programmed?

Are philosophical questions merely armchair musings or do they have real-world implications? With self-driving cars in…

Posted by General Paper Singapore on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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Useful takeaways:

  1. Science and ethics: Instead of using run-of-the-mill examples of Man playing God, consider discussing how new developments (self-driving cars) have forced us to revisit some old ethical dilemmas.
  2. Culture and ethics: Is it reasonable to base our ethics on culture? The research findings show that our views on ethics are much influenced by our culture. Applying this back to the context of self-driving cars, is it acceptable that cars in some countries be programmed to prioritise the baby over the grandma, and the reverse in other countries? Also, who should determine which set of ethics to be pre-programmed into the cars – the government, engineers, car makers or individual drivers?

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