Blame Ambiguity in Self-Driving Car Malfunction

Tue 13th

16:00 - 16:20

Self-driving cars are predicted to be commonplace within the next few years, as they promise to make transportation easier and more comfortable- but what happens when something goes wrong? This project addresses the “blame game” in self-driving car malfunction. The issue might seem twofold: it is either the owner or the car manufacturer who is at fault when an accident occurs. However, there is a third, unexplored option, in which responsibility lies with the vehicle itself (provided it is intelligent enough to make driving decisions).

This research aims to bridge the gap between human responsibility and robot agency in the context of automated vehicles, by challenging blame intuitions through practical, testable applications. Considering the complex liability issues that are going to arise when automated vehicles take over the streets, the study gives a possible answer to the unresolved question “who is to blame in a car that has no driver?"

Katerina Manoli

Philosophy and Psychology

College of Social Sciences

I’m pretty much a figurative zombie in that I’m immensely interested in brains in a non-carnivorous fashion. I’m fascinated by the overlap of Philosophy and Psychology, and particularly the possible mapping of abstract concepts like consciousness and free will onto physical, “brainy” properties. In addition to my studies, I work for the AI department of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in the Netherlands, researching anthropomorphism of unconscious objects, agency in human-robot interaction and the safe integration of AI into society. As a Greek living in Glasgow, I compensate for the heart-wrenching lack of sun through performance art, poetry, painting and photography. I’m also involved in the Effective Altruism movement, researching causes that have the biggest possible impact on areas like global poverty, animal rights and existential risk.As I wish to further my studies in Cognitive Science and AI, I can promise that I won’t be responsible for the rise of robot overlords - or at least I’ll try not to be.