Making Open Work
May 8–9, 2017: Training & Tutorials
May 10–11, 2017: Conference
Austin, TX

The ethics of self-driving cars

Paul Fenwick (Perl Training Australia)
2:35pm3:15pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The Cutting Edge
Location: Meeting Room 18 A/B
Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 9 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Everyone can benefit from this session

What you'll learn

  • Understand the ethical and economic challenges of autonomous vehicles—they'll get hacked (already happened), result in massive technological unemployment (already happening), be used as weapons of terror (in the next few years), and advance our never-ending fall into a world where privacy does not exist (we're mostly there already, even if not everyone realizes it).


Autonomous vehicles will soon be everywhere. Trucks are already driving across Europe, Uber is deploying its own fleet, and numerous companies are testing vehicles.

We’re told autonomous vehicles have the potential to make everything cheaper, safer, and faster. But the introduction of autonomous vehicles comes with major hazards for humanity: widespread transformation to employment, changes in city planning, and, perhaps most frightening of all, the potential for security exploits on the vehicles themselves.

Paul Fenwick examines the impact of autonomous vehicles, focusing on some of the most difficult questions relating to machine ethics and world economies.

Photo of Paul Fenwick

Paul Fenwick

Perl Training Australia

Paul Fenwick is an internationally acclaimed public speaker, developer, and science educator. He is well known for presenting on a diverse range of topics including privacy, neuroscience, and neuroethics, Klingon programming, open source, depression and mental health, advancements in science, diversity, autonomous agents, and minesweeper automation. His dynamic presentation style and quirky humor has delighted audiences worldwide. Paul was awarded the 2013 O’Reilly Open Source award and the 2010 White Camel award, both for outstanding contributions to the open source community. As a freedom-loving scientist, Paul’s goal is to learn everything he can, do amazing things with that knowledge, and give them away for free. (Photograph by Joshua Button)

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Sarah Ford |
04/18/2017 2:54am CDT

Will you address the legal implications of self-driving cars? In accidents with self-driving cars, who is the responsible party if both cars are self-driving? Is it the company or the owner of the car? Additionally, should companies allow drivers to take over the car? Who is responsible in this situation?