Blog #4

In the chapter, Passengers, from Carr’s “The Glass Cage” he starts by describing the feeling of driving a manual car. Then he contrasts the sense of control a manual provides with the almost effortless and boring nature of an automatic vehicle. This feeling of being a passenger while he is still driving is how he leads into being a passenger to technology. Carr then describes how the idea of fully-automated vehicles is becoming more and more relevant in the world. Also he gets to a point on how a line needs to be drawn on what can be automated by computers and that the wheel of a car should remain in human hands.

For Carr’s question, of where responsibility should land in the event of an accident involving a self-driving vehicle, I would say responsibility should land on the manufacturer who installed the self-driving system. An accident would imply a malfunction or a manufacturing error and if a car has an issue of functioning incorrectly currently then that issue lands on the manufacturer. If a company made 100 cars that stop working after driving 30 minutes it is a faulty product, and if a self-driving system doesn’t work it would be the same.

In this chapter Carr has chosen to convey a concerned and cautious tone when describing a world of fully-automated vehicles. Carr even describes the difference between a human preforming a task and a computer doing the same task by saying, “When a driverless car makes a left turn in traffic, it’s not tapping into a well of intuition and skill; it’s following a program” (Carr 11). I like this because it causes the reader to question whether it is really a safe idea because there is no way a computer can function identically to a human. I find this tone to be different to that of “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” because currently self-driving cars are not a very big issue at the moment but he is much more urgent and concerned when describing the effects of google on the minds of the current world.


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