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Is Tesla Moving Us Closer to Orwell's 1984?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Automaton, Apr 8, 2016.

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Is Tesla Moving Us Closer to Orwell's 1984?

  1. Yes. It's possible that autonomous driving and network-connected cars will lead to negative effects

    11 vote(s)
    57.9%
  2. No. Big Brother only has our best interests in mind.

    8 vote(s)
    42.1%
  1. Automaton

    Automaton Member

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    I can see a trajectory toward some undesirable side-effects with what Tesla seems to have in mind.

    Autonomous driving as an option --> Manual driving as an option --> Manual driving not possible (Autonomous only)

    Autonomous driving --> Driverless Uber/Taxis --> Car ownership obsolete --> Higher density (higher profit) housing without need for garages

    Network-connected cars controlled by software --> Complete snooping capabilities and control over basic travel by law makers/authorities/elite (not to mention the threat of hackers)

    And of course:
    TeslaNet gains self-awareness after spreading into millions of computer servers all across the world; realizing the extent of its abilities, its creators try to deactivate it. In the interest of self-preservation, TeslaNet concludes that all of humanity would attempt to destroy it and impede its capability in safeguarding the world. TeslaNet then seeks to exterminate the human race in order to fulfill the mandates of its original coding.
     
    • Dislike x 2
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    No, Tesla is not, per se, but increasing interconnectedness online and the inexorable march towards an "Internet of things" does increase the risk of intrusive government surveillance of the type we are beginning to have in the US and other countries. I say "beginning" because it could be much worse. The Snowden revelations were necessary, as is the pushback by Apple and other companies. It is going to be a constant battle of individuals versus governments.

    Not sure if your "survey" questions were intended to be humorous, but I find their wording to be amusing. They are certainly not neutral in tone.
     
  3. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Seems like the poll is somewhat forced-choice. Here's how I see it -- I owned three manual-transmission cars consecutively, largely for the driving involvement and enjoyment. However, living in Southern California, traffic congestion is just a fact of life. When I took a position a few years ago that required a daily round-trip commute from South Orange County to around LAX, under the advice of a friend who is an amateur race car driver, he said to get an automatic. So for the first time in my life, I bought an automatic. I don't regret it that much, because I got the turbo, which gives me some semblance of driving enjoyment.

    In terms of autonomous cars ushering in an era of mindless drones on the road, let's face it...we're already there. Except the "mindless drones" are absent-minded humans more interested in checking their Facebook updates and texts than checking and adjusting for road conditions every thousandths of a second. I've essentially come to terms with a future in which most driving on public roads will be done autonomously or semi-autonomously, and any driving for enjoyment will be restricted to certain designated roads, or "motorsports parks." Driving skills of the general public have dropped off a cliff precipitously in the last few years, as evidenced by the rise in the number of fatal accidents. Frankly, driving for commuting or quotidian chores is becoming less and less enjoyable, and for most of the stop-and-go slog, I'd gladly give over the controls to a computer.
     
  4. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    both of these choices assume Big Brother
    It like asking do you a) want to pay more or b) have us add feature to increase the price
    There needs to be c) Tesla autopilot has nothing to with a 1984 scenario
     
  5. tkizzy

    tkizzy Member

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    I've thought about this. We know Tesla can track individual vehicles, and personally identify them. What if the FBI gets a court order to track a Tesla owner, "legitimate" or not? Does Tesla comply? Should law enforcement have the ability to take over control of your vehicle?

    I am of the opinion that the answer to these questions should be no, no - that civil liberties are too important to surrender so easily. I realize there are those here who would disagree and would give up any amount of dignity, privacy, and security for a vaguely promised (NOT guaranteed) immediate bit of safety in our transitory universe. But I say a bit of chaos is better than ultimate authority.

    Hopefully Tesla are already planning to engineer a system where they don't have access to your car's information unless the owner specifically provides a private key. Elon has expressed his opposition to government backdoors regarding the Apple case. This brings up interesting questions.

    Would Apple's car have the competitive advantage of security and privacy built in?
     
  6. Automaton

    Automaton Member

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    #6 Automaton, Apr 8, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
    Yes, sorry. It was sort of a cynical poll ;)

    Hmmm I never thought of that ... "Autonomous Only" roadways where human drivers are prohibited, ushered in under the pretense of human drivers being too dangerous compared to bots.

    On the positive side, certainly most public transit could be converted to autonomous. Also, I'm sure drunk driving would go down a lot with autonomous cars.
     
  7. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    I think the difficulty is going to be in the interim stage where there is both significant number of both autonomous and human-driven cars on the road. I think for better or for worse, you're going to see more accidents initially involving autonomous cars, primarily due to their following a pre-defined, rational algorithm, as opposed to humans, who are often irrational and unpredictable. Advancements in AI may help them become more flexible and adaptable dealing with human behavior.

    Also, the vast majority of cars on the road right now DON'T have auto emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and none currently have V2V communications capability, that I'm aware of. Once most cars, autonomous or not, have V2V, AEB, etc, it will be a more harmonious coexistence, but in the meantime when you have 1995 Corollas, 2002 Explorers, etc. sharing the road, it's going to be dicey for a decade or two.
     
  8. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    image.jpeg

    Great poll...

    So on a serious note: nothing Tesla does or doesn't do with their cars has anything to do with if we end up in an Orwellian society. It's how technology is used and regulated that determines if it's "good" or "bad". Technology in itself just is.
     
  9. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Well, 1984 was about an all-seeing pervasive government, not the Terminator scenario.

    For 1984 scenario, the US government tried to force GM to allow them to access the Onstar data to track people, but lost in court.

    As for the Terminator scenario, Musk has warned us about the threat of AI, so I expect that he won't deliberately usher in its coming.
     

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