In the New Yorker, an essay by Gary Marcus on the ethical and legal implications of Google's driver-less cars which argues that these automated vehicles "usher in the era in which it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems."
Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school bus carrying forty innocent children crosses its path. Should your car swerve, possibly risking the life of its owner (you), in order to save the children, or keep going, putting all forty kids at risk? If the decision must be made in milliseconds, the computer will have to make the call.
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Well this is rich. NBC Bay Area reports that Thomas Langenbach, identified as a VP at SAP's Palo Alto Integration and Certification Center, has been charged with four felony counts of burglary over ill-gotten LEGOs.
Authorities say the German software engineer generated his own fake bar codes, printed stickers with them, then slapped those cheaper bar codes over more expensive kits. And then, it is alleged, he sold that hugely-discounted LEGO loot on eBay for a profit.
Stealing and reselling LEGO on eBay is a thing! Back in 2005, Mark blogged about a guy from Reno, Nevada who pulled the same scam with phony DIY bar codes, and made off with $200K worth of stuff. Back in 2008, Boing Boing covered the story of a man in West Palm Beach, Florida who ripped off $42K worth with an even simpler method. And there are more similar cases.
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