Tesla Crash And Self-Driving Cars: Solution Or Problem?

Tesla Crash And Self-Driving Cars: Solution Or Problem?

New technologies can bring both solutions and problems.
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With the constant introduction of new stuff into our everyday lives, it’s easy to get excited about new technologies and opportunities without thinking about the possible flaws or problems that come along with these new technologies.

One of the most recent technological advances are semi-autonomous cars -- or cars who drive themselves. Recently, there was a car accident that the auto industry knew was bound to happen, but feared. On May 7, Joshua D. Brown died in an accident in Williston, Fla. He was driving a Tesla Model "S" and using it in semi-autonomous, or "autopilot," mode. The car's cameras failed to differentiate the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a bright, light colored sky and didn’t activate its brakes. Brown didn’t activate the breaks either.

Automakers and analysts have spoken about the need to be cautious when introducing more semi-autonomous features, like automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. It’s easy for people to quickly become dependent on these features and assume they work better than they actually do. The developers and workers in this particular auto industry were always concerned about the possibility of an accident like Brown’s.

Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of Southern Carolina and expert on autonomous driving issues spoke about the understanding of these new technologies. “For years people have been saying that the technology is ready and it’s one of my pet peeves, because no it’s not,” he said.

Tesla has stressed the newness of the autopilot system, declaring that drivers have to manually enable it and “must maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while the system is in use. Tesla released a statement saying, “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, spoke about the consequences of this accident for Tesla’s reputation. “They have been touting their safety and they have been touting their advanced technology. This situation flies in the face of both,” he said.

There is still much skepticism regarding semi-autonomous and autonomous driving, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Walker Smith spoke about the inevitability of a car crash involving these self-driving technologies. This accident can help to bring forward a necessary discussion of regulations on this technology and its future limitations. Smith also said that it would be unfortunate if this accident turned the public’s opinion to be against driver-less cars and the potential for these cars to save lives.

When it comes to new technologies, it’s important to be somewhat cautious about them but to also remain open minded. The potential of these driver-less cars to save lives is amazing, and the public should not become closed-minded to this technology because of this accident, but rather maintain awareness of its limitations. Technology will never be perfect and we cannot depend and rely on it to be. Smith summarized his thoughts by saying, “Driving today is dangerous... Every solution creates its own set of problems."

Cover Image Credit: http://fortune.com/2016/01/12/tesla-nissan-self-parking/

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Pantene's New Search Engine Promises To Remove Gender Biases

Pantene recently released a campaign for a new search engine tool, called "S.H.E." which removes gender stereotypes from search engine results.

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Pantene announced a few days ago, as part of its "Power to Transform" campaign via two Youtube videos, that they created a new search engine tool that is designed to work without gender biases. According to the campaign, popular search engines like Google or Safari, have algorithms built to generate answers according to societal stereotypes. S.H.E. or the Search Human Equalizer aims to remove biases and promote woman as equals. For example, when a Safari user searches "greatest artist", a woman is the eighth result. After Aretha Franklin, there is not another woman until Madonna at eleven and the Supremes at 34.

Searching for the greatest artist on Safari will generate six white males before it generates a person of color. It generates seven men before a woman, Aretha Franklin.

Search results appear to greatly favor white men. When searching "greatest athlete," Serena Williams, who places sixth, is the only woman in the top 35 results. The campaign also highlights the sexualization of women. Searching for a school girl will generate results of young woman wearing revealing Halloween costumes. Clicking the video tab reveals that a YouPorn video is the first result.

Greatest athlete results on Safari and Google disproportionately reflect males. Serena Williams is the only female athlete among Safari's top 35 athletes.

Searching school girl shows the societal acceptance of sexualizing children and young woman.

Search engines also reflect other biases like race and age. Searching "beautiful woman" will generate dozens of young, white women. An entire page of image results will have only a few sprinkles of young women of color.

According to Google, beauty is only for those young and white.

Popular search engine algorithms generate results based on page clicks, user history, and geography. However, even with a cleared internet history, these biased results remained the same. Having search engines that don't intervene in their results can be harmful. According to a study by the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, internet users trust and choose search engine results. Unfortunately, these results reinforce biases. In Pantene's YouTube ad for S.H.E., they called their campaign an open invitation for other search engines to follow suit.

S.H.E. is a Google Chrome extension. It can be turned on to modify Google's search results. There are currently only 22 users but the extension has "five stars." When searching on Google, "S.H.E." will automatically load different results. Clicking the "S.H.E." icon will tell users that the results have been equalized. When searching for something that S.H.E. has not been able to equalize yet, the user has the option to flag the search.

S.H.E. will let users know that results have been equalized.

If results have not been equalized, users will have the option to flag results.

The specific terms that Pantene's promotion video used like "schoolgirl", have all had their results equalized. However, it seems that nothing I could find outside of that has been "equalized." This means that I will get Google's normal search results but I can flag the search for future improvement.

The Google extension has a lot of potential and is certainly much-needed. I am pleasantly surprised that such a groundbreaking tech extension came from a shampoo company. It has a lot of room for growth but adding more users, which will lead to more flags, will help to increase the amount of equalized results. Only time will tell if Pantene follows through and changes flagged results. Regardless, it sheds awareness on how gender biases are in every corner of our daily lives, unbeknownst to its users and I applaud Pantene for taking a leap forward in gender equality.

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