Fast Company:

The problem with autonomous cars no one’s talking about


An autonomous taxi’s first day in New Delhi and why AI needs more culturally diverse training to make autonomous cars work for everyone.

In a recent article on Fast Company, Jasper Dekker Senior Interaction Designer, takes us through what a more inclusive AI might look like for autonomous vehicles around the world. Jasper mentions that beyond the official rules of the road, social and cultural norms define the way people actually drive, which creates a traffic culture that is specific to each place. Without knowledge of this culture, autonomous vehicles (AVs) would be paralyzed.

"Before autonomous vehicles are rolled out, they could first go through a training program where they absorb the local traffic culture safely. For example, in New Delhi, they would learn to give audible signals to let human drivers know they’re in their blind spot, discover the leeway around changing lanes, or understand the appropriate distance to other vehicles. It would be up to carmakers and governments to define what such a training program entails and how AVs can graduate."
-Jasper Dekker, Senior Interaction Design, Smart Design

So how do we make AI more inclusive?

To successfully deploy autonomous vehicles in places all around the world, AI needs to be trained locally by applying learning in hyper-local feedback loops to identify unique patterns. The larger challenge is to foster mutual understanding between users and AI so that they can effectively operate together. Before autonomous vehicles make their way into cities, we need to make sure they are not culture blind.

Read more on autonomous vehicles and inclusive AI on Fast Company here.

Aug 2019