Technological Stagnation

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Into Darkness, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    You do it every time you go outside your house, every time you take a medicine, every time you switch on a house appliance, etc. You are not thinking this through very much, aren't you. :p
     
  2. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

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    All those goods and products on the back of a driverless truck? bandits will have a field day.
     
  3. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, because truck drivers are known to fend off rabid attackers on the wild roads of the radioactive wastelands.
     
  4. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stagnated? Don't think so.

    Look at the world in 1900. Now look at the world in 2000. Think we did pretty well in the technological/scientific progress game, don't you? I'm gonna guess that 2100 is going to look just as alien to us as 2000 would to someone from 1900.
     
  5. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Well, I would imagine truck drivers might not like the idea of putting out of a job.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Late back to the thread, but yeah. Driverless cars would not have to communicate with other cars on the road to work. People would still be able to drive their classic cars.

    As far as automated trucking, yeah, if unmanned, I could see people environmentally hacking them to stop in order to steal cargo. (manikins in the road, etc.) Thieves always find ways to exploit a system.
     
  7. Into Darkness

    Into Darkness Captain Captain

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    Yes there has been many discoveries and advances between 1900 and 2000, but in the latter part of the 20th century nothing much new came about, and since then, for pretty much all the 21st century, what has there been that's been of any significance? it's all just "updates" on existing technology from the 20th century.

    I'm talking about new technology. Breakthroughs. Something like the discovery of the wheel or the successful test flight of the first plane. There isn't anything new, it's all just current technology getting a little better.
     
  8. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you see it that way, there hasn't been any technological progress for thousands of years. Da Vinci already proposed rockets and airplanes. Technology only got "updated" to the point where they could be made for real. And an airplane is just a windmill on steroids.

    The fact that you question the significance of recent inventions on an internet message board is hilarious. Probably writing it on a TFT monitor with LED backlighting. Or from a smartphone with touchscreen. With wireless internet access.
     
  9. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    You're talking like incremental technological improvements are unusual rather than typical. Huge breakthroughs don't happen all the time and they never did. They're infrequent and occasional and depend on a lot of factors.

    Your original post said that we've "stagnated." Now you're saying we're improving, just slowly.

    If you don't believe there's any interesting research and development going on, google the following:

    * Nanomedicine
    * Graphene
    * Quantum computing
    * Photonics
    * Genomics
     
  10. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Driverless tech wouldn't necessarily put them out of a job. Someone still has to help unload the trucks and I'd imagine they would still monitor the road.
     
  11. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That is usually how science and technology works by developing and building from what has been done before.
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    I imagine it will be a long while before driverless actually means driverless, i.e. no one occupying the vehicle at all. I don't think drivers help unload, though. There are people at the endpoint who do that.
     
  13. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I think a practical system is going to need a combination of approaches. At the end of the day, for safety reasons (and hack protection) cars will need to make decisions locally. There's nothing stopping them from warning each other what they're about to do, but they need to be smart enough not to rely on other vehicles doing what they claim, and recognize quickly when a given vehicle is "untrusted".
     
  14. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    The fate of driverless cars rests in the hands of future juries, who will decide whether an automotive company is <i>liable</i>, to the tune of millions of dollars, for accidents that will inevitably happen and have no other clear explanation.

    Recall that the US light plane industry (Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft) was at one point virtually dead because they kept losing massive lawsuits after their customers would crash. In many of those cases they were held liable just because their aircraft's design contributed to pilot error. I recall one case my former coworkers had defended a claim that even though the crash was caused by carburetor icing (because the pilot forgot to apply carb heat on approach) in an airplane built in the 1930's, the crash wouldn't have happened if the company had later provided an upgrade to a fuel-injected engine. My best friend works as a professional engineering witness in vehicle crashes. If there's a way to blame some flaw in the vehicle and convince a jury that the manufacturer is liable, they will so vote.

    Generally the profit on a vehicle is a few thousand dollars, sometimes as low as a few hundred, so losing one multi-million dollar lawsuit can wipe out the gains from building a thousand or more cars. Thus manufacturers take great pains to avoid causing such lawsuits, and really try not to lose the ones they do face.

    So even though driverless cars may drop the rate of vehicle fatalities tenfold, what's more important is whether they up the number of successful multi-million dollar damage awards against the manufacturers by a significant degree. To hedge against that, manufacturers will take on much more insurance, adding it to the price of the vehicle, and possibly designing very defensively regarding the technology, such that if all the sensors aren't in top condition (dirty camera lenses, etc), the vehicle might refuse to proceed. Another approach they might take is use all the vehicles sensors to indict the driver ("and here she is, sipping a slurpy and reading the paper through a residential neighborhood filled with small children").
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps in some cases yes, in the majority I'm going to say not. For example at shops/supermarkets in some cases those shop workers aren't allowed to touch the cage until it's come of the tailgate.
     
  16. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Whhile I was driving to work this morning I was thinking, what would be the biggest technological challenges to a driverless car. And in most driving situations I think a computer can navigate. However there are some situations where humans anticpate a problem may lay ahead.

    For example, if I see a car drifting out of its lane 3 cars ahead I'm aware of that as a potential hazard - the computer however cannot anticipate that as a hazard?

    Another example,

    If I see a pedestrian 1/4 mile ahead who's standing at the curb but appears as though they may dart across the road based on their body language, I slow down.

    A computer cannot anticipate where hazards are whereas we can.
     
  17. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    Possibly true. Don't underestimate computers, though. They're getting pretty good at stuff like that.
     
  18. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The concept of automated cars isn't feasable. On highways, perhaps. In cities, never.

    There will ALWAYS be situations a computer cannot cope with, and the human needs to take over. But that human will be playing chess or masturbating inside his car in the meantime, his situational awareness is gone. That problem cannot be solved and that's why it will not work.
     
  19. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Complete nonsense.

    Please provide examples of problems a computer could not respond to.
     
  20. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    i'd imagine accidents with driverless cars will happen when the car fails to anticipate how irrational us humans can be sometimes - especially while driving.