Taxi app Uber has announced a new
‘quiet mode’ for customers using its premium Uber Black service. By
selecting the option via the app, users can order a cab where the driver is
instructed not to talk. While this change has proven positive with many users,
some taxi drivers have responded negatively to the new quiet mode, with some critics
treats taxi drivers more like robots than human beings.
While these critics may certainly have a point, they miss the essential fact that all taxi drivers – and indeed, all humans being – behave, and are encouraged to behave, in a robotic fashion. This blurring of the human and the machine isn’t really anything new, but rather, has been going on for a very long time indeed.
I read with great interest today that Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, has claimed that AI will replace teachers in schools in the near future. As you might expect, the various media outlets have been inundated with comments from members of the public decrying there merest hint that that a machine could do a human job.
But is it really such a far-fetched idea? Continue reading
I recently had an enjoyable day at Lancaster House, chatting to members of the TTAC21 reading group on subjects including drone theory, armed conflict, the Prevent strategy, and the International Court of Human Rights.
As most of the participants were drawn from law departments, it was interesting as a relative ‘outsider’ to get a view on how those in the law discipline view issues such as life, death and sovereign power. One particularly interesting question that cropped up was ‘Is killing the ultimate form of control?’
Unfortunately we didn’t really have time to explore the question during the course of the day, so I thought it useful to gather a few thoughts here to open up some discussion… Continue reading