Self-driving cars are incredibly cool, but also incredibly scary, in that ‘Oh god, the robot uprising will kill us all’ sort of a way. Which is exactly why I’ve reacted with deep existential dread to the news that lunatic researchers are using Grand Theft Auto V to try and teach self-driving cars how to navigate the roads.
Now, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not sure running over grannies and maxing out your Wanted level is exactly what we want from our terrifying vehicular robot overlords. Human drivers are scary enough, but at least they’re not programmed to look for sweet jumps and try high-speed U-turns in an 18-wheeler on the freeway ‘just to see what happens’.
Sure, the researchers insist they’re just using the game as a shortcut to help the machine-learning algorithm recognize the difference between, say, a pedestrian and a mailbox, but we’re just one intern goofing around on a lunch-break away from killer GTA robo-cars.
Just one more reason to never leave the house again.