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Technology Ethics in Action: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This special issue interrogates the meaning and impacts of "tech ethics": the embedding of ethics into digital technology research, development, use, and governance. In response to concerns about the social harms associated with digital technologies, many individuals and institutions have articulated the need for a greater emphasis on ethics in digital technology. Yet as more groups embrace the concept of ethics, critical discourses have emerged questioning whose ethics are being centered, whether "ethics" is the appropriate frame for improving technology, and what it means to develop "ethical" technology in practice. This interdisciplinary issue takes up these questions, interrogating the relationships among ethics, technology, and society in action. This special issue engages with the normative and contested notions of ethics itself, how ethics has been integrated with technology across domains, and potential paths forward to support more just and egalitarian technology. Rather than starting from philosophical theories, the authors in this issue orient their articles around the real-world discourses and impacts of tech ethics--i.e., tech ethics in action.


A Probabilistic Framework for Dynamic Object Recognition in 3D Environment With A Novel Continuous Ground Estimation Method

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this thesis a probabilistic framework is developed and proposed for Dynamic Object Recognition in 3D Environments. A software package is developed using C++ and Python in ROS that performs the detection and tracking task. Furthermore, a novel Gaussian Process Regression (GPR) based method is developed to detect ground points in different urban scenarios of regular, sloped and rough. The ground surface behavior is assumed to only demonstrate local input-dependent smoothness. kernel's length-scales are obtained. Bayesian inference is implemented sing \textit{Maximum a Posteriori} criterion. The log-marginal likelihood function is assumed to be a multi-task objective function, to represent a whole-frame unbiased view of the ground at each frame because adjacent segments may not have similar ground structure in an uneven scene while having shared hyper-parameter values. Simulation results shows the effectiveness of the proposed method in uneven and rough scenes which outperforms similar Gaussian process based ground segmentation methods.


BlackBerry makes China push as the OS for Xpeng smart cars – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

The once-pioneering BlackBerry is pretty much out of the smartphone manufacturing game, but the Canadian company has been busy transitioning to providing software for connected devices, including smart cars. Now it has brought that section of its business to China. This week, BlackBerry announced that it will be powering the Level 3 driving domain controller of Xpeng, one of the most-funded electric vehicle startups in China, and Tesla's local challenger. Baked in Xpeng's intelligent cockpit is BlackBerry's operating system called QNX, which competes with the likes of Android and Linux to enter automakers' next-gen models. Sitting between BlackBerry and Xpeng's tie-up is middleman Desay SV, which specializes in automotive system integrators like Aptiv.


Algorithmic decision-making in AVs: Understanding ethical and technical concerns for smart cities

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are increasingly embraced around the world to advance smart mobility and more broadly, smart, and sustainable cities. Algorithms form the basis of decision-making in AVs, allowing them to perform driving tasks autonomously, efficiently, and more safely than human drivers and offering various economic, social, and environmental benefits. However, algorithmic decision-making in AVs can also introduce new issues that create new safety risks and perpetuate discrimination. We identify bias, ethics, and perverse incentives as key ethical issues in the AV algorithms' decision-making that can create new safety risks and discriminatory outcomes. Technical issues in the AVs' perception, decision-making and control algorithms, limitations of existing AV testing and verification methods, and cybersecurity vulnerabilities can also undermine the performance of the AV system. This article investigates the ethical and technical concerns surrounding algorithmic decision-making in AVs by exploring how driving decisions can perpetuate discrimination and create new safety risks for the public. We discuss steps taken to address these issues, highlight the existing research gaps and the need to mitigate these issues through the design of AV's algorithms and of policies and regulations to fully realise AVs' benefits for smart and sustainable cities.


Android of the Auto Industry? How Baidu May Race Ahead Of Google, Tesla, And Others In Autonomous Vehicles

#artificialintelligence

As Baidu accelerates its capabilities in self-driving vehicle technology, we dive into the Chinese tech giant's uniquely collaborative approach. Baidu has become the "dark horse" in the autonomous vehicle arms race. In an effort to play catch up to frontrunners in the US and gain an edge on emerging players in China, Baidu has taken a novel approach to developing self-driving software. From autonomy to telematics to ride sharing, the auto industry has never been at more risk. Get the free 67-page report PDF. The company's Apollo project, which it launched in April 2017, is an open source software platform that's designed to encourage collaboration across the auto industry to accelerate the development of self-driving cars.



Elon Musk: $35,000 Tesla Model 3 arrives but job cuts coming as sales shift online

ZDNet

Tesla's long-awaited $35,000 Model 3 electric car is finally available to buy, just under three years after hundreds of thousands of people started placing deposits for pre-order vehicles. The standard Model 3 has a range of 220 miles and its single electric motor is capable of 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds with a top speed of 130mph. The standard interior includes heated cloth seats, manual seat and steering adjustment, basic audio, standard maps and navigation, and a center console with storage and four USB ports. Tesla has also announced a Standard Range Plus model, which has a 240-mile range with a top speed of 140mph and can do 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds. Along with the Model 3 announcement, Tesla said it will also close most of its showrooms around the world and shift sales to online only.


Tesla's big software update arrives without new AutoPilot features

Engadget

Tesla is rolling out a much-anticipated software update to every "Model S, Model X and Model 3 ever built" that will everything from Atari games hidden as Easter Eggs to 360-degree surround camera views, even as some driving assistance features are on hold. There's a new app launcher, and users can switch between apps by swiping up or down. Once you have this update (downloaded via WiFi, you can schedule it for convenience), you'll be able to trigger software updates remotely via the app, send navigations to the car's software from your phone's mapping apps, and let passengers control media playback using their phones. For cars with newer Hardware 2.5 built-in, they can enable dashcam recordings from the car's front-facing camera, saved to a flash drive that you plug into the car's USB port. Pressing an icon will save a 10 minute clip, while holding it down pauses recording.


Interview: StreetDrone announces open-source autonomous car platform

#artificialintelligence

"We take the rear bodywork off it and put a different set of bodywork on, to mount LiDARs and cameras and put the big computer brain in the back. You don't have to worry about all the CAN bus stuff you'd have to in a bigger car, with all the air conditioning and windscreen wipers, and everything that's controllable by the CAN bus in a modern car. We don't have to worry about all that while we're developing autonomous software. So we've simplified a lot of that with Renault, so that it's way easier to control than let's say, hacking into a Prius or one of the other big SUVs that a lot of the folks you might have seen online are starting with.


Linux is under your hood

ZDNet

Elon Musk's new tractor trailer can handle most US shipping routes on a single charge. Way back in 2004, Jonathan Schwartz, then Sun's chief operating officer, suggested that cars could become software platforms the same way feature phones were. But, it's Linux, not Java, which is making the most of "smart cars". That's because Linux and open-source software are flexible enough to bring a complete software stack to any hardware, be it supercomputer, smartphone, or a car. There are other contenders, such as Blackberry's QNX and Microsoft IoT Connected Vehicles, but both have lost ground to Linux.