The Death of Accidents

Anna Salamon presents an idea that an increase in intelligence will dwindle our accident rate toward a vanishing point. She defines accidents as unexpected, unwanted, or undefined properties that are “bundled” with desired properties that are the consequence of some engineering or other effort. We design, engineer, manufacture and operate automobiles in order to obtain a specific set of outcome properties. These desired properties do not include crashes, but it still is possible for a car to crash. Our cars go faster every year, but are increasingly safer. Consider this: while numbers for population, cars, drivers and miles traveled continue to increase, the percentage of fatalities is steadily decreasing.

With an increase in intelligence and the ability to predict, comes a decrease in the unexpected, or at least an increase in the ability to avoid the unexpected. That means fewer accidents and an increased ability to handle accidents that could not be prevented or even that could not be predicted.

Survival in the Margins of the Singularity? – Anna Salamon [UKH+] – []

Anna Salamon is a Research Fellow at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Her work centers on analytical modeling of artificial intelligence risks, probabilistic forecasting, and strategies for human survival. Previously, she conducted machine learning research at NASA Ames, and applied mathematics research at the Rohwer Phage Metagenomics lab.

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