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Whose Life Should A Self-Driving Car Save?13:56

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Massachusetts is moving toward providing a regulatory framework for testing autonomous vehicles in the state. Pictured: A row of Google self-driving Lexus cars at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. (Eric Risberg/ AP)closemore
Massachusetts is moving toward providing a regulatory framework for testing autonomous vehicles in the state. Pictured: A row of Google self-driving Lexus cars at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. (Eric Risberg/ AP)

When you get behind the wheel, you make hundreds of conscious and unconscious decisions as you drive like, how fast to go, when to swerve missing a squirrel or a cyclist, or when to change lanes.

But in the case of self-driving cars, it's an algorithm that makes those kinds of decisions. And those algorithms are programmed by humans who consider this fundamental question: In the case of an unavoidable accident, whose life should your car save?

Guest

Iyad Rahwan, Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. He tweets @iyadrahwan.

This segment aired on January 9, 2017.

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