Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Chairman.  2017.03.02. Some of these YouTube sections are a must-watch. More here at Washington Post.
Few people in the auto industry (even fewer in the press) are as straight about automation as is Ghosn.
Quotes:
  • “Cars are emotional objects” (=> ownership remains a big draw)
  • “Cars (AVs) will turn over faster” (=> don’t worry about auto sector slowing down)
  • “Artificial intelligence is still way below the creativity of the human brain” (=> full autonomy is currently eluding us)
  • investment in ride sharing is “experimentation”.  “We are not sure what is going to happen.” See my counter.
Video highlights
  • AVs: 15:00-21:45
  • ridesharing: 41:36 – 43:10
  • cybersecurity: 46:53
  • Jobs 54:20-56:30
The control-tower-take-control idea (in the AV section of the video) is an admission of the current failure to date to deliver the dreamy, carefree, Jetson’s promise and I think explains why you and I will not be buying beyond Level 3 for a long time, yet. Sure Level 4 for robo-taxi. But, sorry, not as a family car. You will need to stay in the vehicle. You will not be sending it off on errands on its own for a long while yet.
…but the wait will not be forever.  Consider Ghosan’s comment says: “Artificial intelligence is still way below the creativity of the human brain”. Of course it is. According to Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity (machine intelligence matches then surpasses human intelligence) arrives circa 2045 (not all agree). Moore’s Law (that Kurzweil relies on) projects compute capability doubles every two years. If that holds, it means 14 more doublings from 2017 to 2045, which suggests that if Kurzweil is right, today’s AV is about 1/16384th as smart as a human or as it might be by 2045.** An AV could figure its way past a construction site by then.

** But this is just the machine, and that does NOT predict that our infrastructure will be ready or that human societies will respond rationally. Sadly, we are very excited about engineers building machines and very unenthusiastic about understanding how cities and its inhabitants will respond.

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