Cugel wrote:Still, if you're going to be a futurologist, it's probably better to be a bit Pollyanna about it as a more historico-realistic appreciation of the likely vectors of human activities into the future is very depressing.
There's no shortage of 'inventions' that benefit humans, you can't use history as a reliable gauge of what's to come for any individual 'thing'.
Car in my view were a mistake. But they're here now and they're not going away anytime soon.
I advocate electric cars but to an extent I'd rather there be no reliable way of powering cars beyond fossil fuels because unpleasant as it is short term, long term we'll adapt and move on without them.
Electric cars mean that will probably never happen.
So the realist in me simply accepts that electric cars are a vast improvement over IC and so I accept it and move on.
Self driving cars are a similar thing.
I'm fed up of watching day in and out the subhuman standard of driving I see and the carnage that lies behind it - not just in deaths and injuries but in making our environments seem fraught.
Humans are poor drivers and the sad thing is they don't even realise it.
But here's how driving works.
We all mostly know how we should drive. We can all set out rules that would make driving quite safe both for us and everybody else.
We simply don't stick to them, we drive on automatic and give the monkey complete control why we get on and ponder human things.
But because we know how driving works we can imbue those rules into a system that will apply them religiously, without anger or without being sidetracked or any of the many things that make us poor drivers.
Our rules but applied all the time and with vastly better 'always on' sensor equipment to boot.
So my ultimate view is I'd rather there be no cars.
But there are cars that are driven by AI that's completely unsuited to the task so in that case replace that with another AI that even in its nascent stage is already demonstrating that its an order of magnitude better than the thing its replacing.
That to me isn't misplaced idealism, it's simple realism borne from experience.