Seminar: Ethical Accident Algorithms for Autonomous Vehicles and the Trolley Problem: Three Philosophical Disputes
- Date: Sep 26, 2023
- Time: 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
- Speaker: Sven Nyholm, Ludwig Maximilians Universität
- Location: Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin
- Room: 316
- Host: Center for Humans and Machines
© Angeline Swinkels
Sven Nyholm, Ludwig Maximilian University
Ethical Accident Algorithms for Autonomous Vehicles and the Trolley Problem: Three Philosophical Disputes
This presentation will explore three philosophical disputes concerning the comparison between the ethics of crashing autonomous vehicles and the Trolley Problem. The first dispute concerns whether there is something ethically problematic – or perhaps even flippant – about comparing the real-world issue of what autonomous vehicles should do in accident scenarios with the philosophy of the Trolley Problem. The second dispute concerns whether or not there is a close enough analogy between real-world accidents involving autonomous vehicles and the so-called trolley cases discussed in relation to the Trolley Problem.
The third dispute concerns whether or not the large literature on the Trolley Problem discusses topics directly relevant to the real-world ethics of crashes with autonomous vehicles. The presentation will consider key arguments on each side of the dispute. It will also offer a diagnosis regarding whether the Trolley Problem is relevant for the ethics of autonomous vehicles. The conclusion will be that it is either directly or indirectly relevant: It may be directly relevant because the Trolley Problem can teach us important lessons or indirectly relevant because identifying key differences between the ethics of autonomous vehicles and the Trolley Problem allows us to get clear on what matters most in the real-world ethics of autonomous vehicles.
Sven Nyholm is Professor of the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He is also a Principal Investigator in the Munich Center for Machine Learning, a member of the Ethics Advisory Board of the Human Brain Project, and an Associate Editor of the journal Science and Engineering Ethics. Nyholm’s research covers both general ethical theory and practical ethics, in particular the ethics of AI and technology more generally. His most recent book is This is Technology Ethics: An Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2023).
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Meeting number: 2740 720 9532