How should autonomous vehicles be programmed?

A colossal survey developed by MIT researchers discloses some discrete global preferences regarding the ethics of autonomous vehicles, with few regional variations.

The survey had over 2 million online participants from more than 200 countries evaluating varieties of a typical ethical challenge, the "Trolley Problem." The problem involves situations in which an accident involving a vehicle is impending, and the vehicle must opt for one of two potentially fatal options.

The most definite global inclinations in the survey are for sparing the lives of humans over the lives of other animals; sparing the lives of many people rather than a few, and preserving the lives of the young, rather than older people.

The researchers suggest seeking public input about an issue of advancement, and public safety should continue to become a larger part of the dialogue surrounding autonomous vehicles.

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