Yesterday I needed to back up my car. Only one problem: A delivery van’s
driver had stopped and put a traffic cone in my way. It was an easy fix. I got
out of the car, moved the orange traffic cone and went on my way. The delivery
guy apologized for putting it there in the first place and all of 30 seconds
later, the world was back to normal. Well, maybe it’s not quite that easy for
some situations! What seems like a simple fix can be a disaster for AI. This is
where humans excel: Dealing with unfamiliar situations, after all, we did not
get to be the planet’s apex thinkers by not putting our minds together in the
first place. They say “come doom’s day” that only cock roaches will
be alive. I beg to differ. Humans have lived through everything so far
including our own stupidity. We simply adjust.
AI, on the other hand, has come a long way. Many people think that AI will
one day leave human ingenuity in the dust bin of history. But not so fast.
A recent story about one of Waymo’s autonomous vans is a good reminder that,
in some cases, the technology still has some gaps. This is the case when one of
the vans got into a conflict with a traffic cone and had a meltdown.