What happens when we endow an autonomous vehicle with a personality? It sounds like a good idea-witty banter, friendly advice, and encouragement from your car. But science fiction writers predicted this technology and both the good and bad scenarios that could arise. A brief sample of some of these situations from American television and film is enlightening but suggests that granting a personality to an auto is ill-advised. This theme issue explores the state and potential benefits and ethical dilemmas of connected and autonomous vehicles. While fully autonomous vehicles are already experimentally deployed, they will become ubiquitous within a few years. Soon after we should see an experimental deployment of vehicles that have a level of artificial intelligence such that they could be considered sentient (self-aware) or even anthropomorphic (human-like). These vehicles could do much more than self-drive or give us driving advice, travel information, and various forms of infotainment. They could also remind us of important stops to be made, listen to our complaints about traffic and other drivers, and even provide us with soothing advice. And this advice could be given with the benefit of an artificial personality-one that could be formal, friendly, or even replicates that of a famous person, celebrity, or a loved one.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Hardware and Architecture
- Computer Science Applications