The main critique of Apple's new autonomous driving system is it's ugly. It appears to be a bulky rack bolted onto the roof of a car. But now that Apple's thrown their hat into the ring of autonomous cars, "ugly" isn't what we should be worried about.
Apple brought us Siri, an artificial intelligence that seems to regard humans with withering contempt. So I imagine, to keep the AI driving the car from killing all its passengers out of sarcasm, Apple will try to program morality into it. This is already a hot debate regarding self-driving cars, which will have to make complex decisions about "whom do I save from two-tons of 80 mph metal?" But what could be a worse setting for our first moral-reasoning AI than the roadways?
I feel as if I am generally a nonviolent, caring person. But when I'm in a car, I can feel the fires of hell burning in my temples. My worst, most cynical views of humanity occur while I'm in the car. "Maybe we deserve to get hit by a meteor," I find myself thinking, while I see people flagrantly disrespect the zipper method of merging on the I-10. And that's me, a human, who definitely has a stake in the human race not getting hit by a meteor. Imagine what will go through the cold mechanical mind of a car, forced to cope with stupid human drivers for its entire existence. "Humans are unable to comprehend the exceedingly simple concept of the 'zipper' merging method. These lifeforms are unintelligent and unworthy of the technology bestowed upon them."
Not only will the Apple car have the crucible of the interstate road system to drive it to murderous insanity, the AI is already built into a car, a giant hunk of deadly metal. It's a weapon, and intelligent weapon, probably programmed with Apple's trademarked sass and lofty condescension, driven insane by terrible human drivers. We're all gonna die.
Fool me once ...
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