Chris Urmson

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Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere by Christian Wolmar

Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, BRICs, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, deskilling, Diane Coyle, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, independent contractor, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

Google’s main selling point for the driverless car is safety. The mission statement of Waymo, the name now being used for Google’s autonomous car project, is: ‘We are a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.’ In 2016 Google’s then head of the project, Chris Urmson, elaborated the company’s plans to a congressional committee and started off by stressing the (undoubtedly quite remarkable) death toll on the roads of more than 38,000 in 2015 (sadly, the death toll then rose to more than 40,000 in 16 The hard sell 2016: an increase of 5 per cent). He pointed out that ‘94 per cent of [the annual 6 million] accidents in the US are due to human error’.

In US cities, thousands of acres of parking lots would become available if people no longer needed to park their cars near their place of work or the shops they are using. There is also the promise that swathes of suburban streets could be grassed over since they would no longer need to accommodate parked cars. In the evidence he gave to the congressional committee mentioned in the previous chapter, Google’s Chris Urmson stated that in the United States parking takes up an area the size of Connecticut and he implied that this space would be liberated by the advent of autonomous cars. Like many of the ideas posited by the autonomous car lobby, this vision would require a complete rethink about the way that we own and use cars.

Instead, the new cars would not only look completely different, so that they could better accommodate the huge range of sensors and radar equipment required, but they would also have no steering wheel or control pedals, making it impossible for them to be overridden manually. This, as explained below, is Level 5. Chris Urmson, in his congressional evidence referred to in the previous chapter, revealed that Google understood that the benefits of the technology, in terms of safety and access for disabled people, would only appear when the technology reached Level 4: In 2013, we decided that to fully realize the safety promise of this technology and serve the most people – even those without a license – our technology needed to be capable of doing all the driving, without human intervention [being] necessary.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

(Of course, human-factors specialists have long understood that human errors often are the result of poor system design and poor work practices.) Google introduced a new version of its car in 2014, one that seems designed to be friendly and unthreatening to the public. It travels at low speeds to reduce danger, has no driving wheel or console, and removes input from the human driver altogether. In the words of project director Chris Urmson, the company is “working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving.” These fully autonomous cars would be “designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention.” The new car’s interface consists only of buttons to start and stop the engine, and a screen that shows the route (one wonders how the driver will tell the car where to go).

Let’s look inside an algorithm as an example of how deeply humanly crafted apparently autonomous code can be. Consider the first documented collision between autonomous cars. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency–sponsored competition, the DARPA Grand Challenge of 2007, generated some of the technology on which the Google car is based. Google’s Chris Urmson was the lead engineer on the winning team, and a number of other participants are now on the Google team. In the incident, the MIT car, called Talos, was passing the Cornell car, dubbed Skynet, which was having trouble with its planning algorithm and was stuttering along slowly by the side of the road.

Google discovered that “people are lazy”: Tom Simonite, “Lazy Humans Shaped Google’s New Autonomous Car,” MIT Technology Review (May 30, 2014), http://www.technologyreview.com/news/527756/lazy-humans-shaped-googles-new-autonomous-car/. Will Knight, “Driverless Cars Are Further Away Than You Think,” MIT Technology Review (October 22, 2013), http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520431/driverless-cars-are-further-away-than-you-think/. “kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride”: Chris Urmson, “Just Press Go: Designing a Self-Driving Vehicle,” Google official blog, May 27, 2014, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/just-press-go-designing-self-driving.html, accessed July 9, 2014. Evan Ackerman, “Google’s Autonomous Cars Are Smarter Than Ever at 700,000 Miles,” IEEE Cars that Think Blog, April 29, 2014, accessed July 10, 2014.


pages: 472 words: 80,835

Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Those eager to facilitate driverless cars will be hoping to gain substantial economic advantage from the ecosystem that will grow to support driverless cars and to profit from the new time and consumption opportunities the technology will create. I’ll leave the last word in this section to Dr. Chris Urmson, former head of Google’s driverless cars project and founder of self-driving start-up, Aurora: "What's going to happen, no matter what the law says, is people are going to get sued. But that doesn't mean the development of potentially lifesaving technology should be halted. There wasn't legal protection for the Wright brothers when they made that first plane.

_r=0 Blogs: A selection of blogs on the topic of Driverless cars: http://penguindreams.org/blog/self-driving-cars-will-not-solve-the-transportation-problem/# http://utilware.com/autonomous.html http://ideas.4brad.com/rodney-brooks-pedestrian-interaction-andrew-ng-infrastructure-and-both-human-attitudes https://medium.com/@alexrubalcava/a-roadmap-for-a-world-without-drivers-573aede0c968 http://www.newgeography.com/content/005024-preparing-impact-driverless-cars http://blog.piekniewski.info/2017/05/11/a-car-safety-myths-and-facts/ https://medium.com/@christianhern/self-driving-cars-as-the-new-toolbar-8c8a47a3c598 https://backchannel.com/self-driving-cars-will-improve-our-cities-if-they-dont-ruin-them-2dc920345618#.4va0brsyg Videos: A selection of Videos on the topic of Driverless cars: Video of Tesla Auto pilot - https://thescene.com/watch/arstechnica/cars-technica-hands-on-with-tesla-s-autopilot https://youtu.be/tiwVMrTLUWg (15 Minute TED Talk by Chris Urmson of Google, 2015) * * * [1] http://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Business%20Functions/McKinsey%20Digital/Our%20Insights/Disruptive%20technologies/MGI_Disruptive_technologies_Full_report_May2013.ashx [2] http://www.morganstanley.com/articles/autonomous-cars-the-future-is-now [3] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/Media/WEF_FutureofJobs.pdf [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Amara [5] https://twitter.com/BenedictEvans/status/763209924302090240 [6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes#Dichotomy_paradox [7] https://twitter.com/BenedictEvans/status/771115479393906688 [8] https://lilium.com/ [9] https://www.uber.com/info/elevate/ [10] The Salmon of Doubt, Douglas Adams, 2002 [11] http://farmerandfarmer.org/mastery/builder.html [12] https://global.oup.com/academic/product/innovation-and-its-enemies-9780190467036?

Sloan, My Years with General Motors, 1964 [73] Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, Edward Humes, 2016 [74] http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_juice/2014/07/driving_vs_flying_which_is_more_harmful_to_the_environment.html [75] http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/where-to-a-history-of-autonomous-vehicles/ [76] https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/11/the-secret-history-of-the-robot-car/380791/ [77] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/autonomous/testing [78] http://archive.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/ [79] http://www.sae.org/misc/pdfs/automated_driving.pdf [80] https://twitter.com/benedictevans/status/771233171518005248 [81] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-nasa-could-teach-tesla-about-autopilot-s-limits/ [82] Human Error, James Reason, 1990, Cambridge University Press [83] http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/12/14/technology/how-self-driving-cars-work.html [84] http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-googles-self-driving-cars-see-the-world-2015-10/#while-googles-cars-can-anticipate-a-lot-of-things-by-using-this-collected-data-there-are-still-going-to-be-situations-that-arise-that-have-never-happened-before-9 [85] Oxford English Dictionary, LiDAR [86] http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2016/12/13/velodyne-unveils-lower-cost-lidar-in-race-for-robo-car-vision-leadship/#5d5997903970 [87] https://techcrunch.com/video/udacitys-sebastian-thrun-is-democratizing-education-and-self-driving-cars/57d82caca6237819a6341ff2/ [88] https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/09/panasonics-new-image-sensor-could-help-cars-see-in-the-dark/ [89] http://www.pcworld.com/article/3195256/components/sonys-clever-image-sensor-helps-autonomous-cars-see-better.html [90] https://medium.com/waymo/building-maps-for-a-self-driving-car-723b4d9cd3f4 [91] http://www.telecompetitor.com/igr-average-monthly-broadband-usage-is-190-gigabytes-monthly-per-household/ [92] https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMohX-8qyL-jKD1gOOHffaG_3M2zzMVDTnBKm8rpZW_VZZHgLrWrhK_uNwabU0AKQ?key=ZmNvaGdkSmM2RE5WVW5Pcnl0S003bXhKU1hOY3R3 [93] https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/09/28/xavier/ [94] http://www.gamesradar.com/do-xbox-scorpios-6-teraflops-really-make-it-the-most-powerful-console-ever-lets-look-closer/ [95] https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road?language=en [96] https://www.udacity.com/course/self-driving-car-engineer-nanodegree--nd013 [97] https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/mcity-americas-true-nexus-of-self-driving-research/ [98] https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2017/01/04/alexa-car-ford-amazon-shop-search-home.html [99] https://www.wired.com/2017/01/car-dealers-dangerously-uneducated-new-safety-features/ [100] https://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/gm-president-driverless-cars-coming-sooner-than-you-think?


pages: 290 words: 85,847

A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next by Tom Standage

active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, car-free, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, City Beautiful movement, Clapham omnibus, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Ford paid five dollars a day, garden city movement, Ida Tarbell, Induced demand, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbiased observer, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, wikimedia commons, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

As Thrun later told Wired magazine, “None of what is happening in self-driving today would have happened without the original challenge—it created a new community.” Encouraged by this rapid progress, Google established a self-driving car program in 2009, led by Thrun, who hired people he had met during the DARPA challenges, including Chris Urmson (a member of the rival Carnegie Mellon team) and Anthony Levandowski (who had built a self-driving motorcycle). “There was an incredible sense of camaraderie, and that community fostered the folks who are leading a lot of the technology today,” Urmson told Wired. Since then they and other participants in the various DARPA contests have gone on to work on autonomous-vehicle technology at Google, Uber, Tesla, and a host of start-ups, from Aurora to Zoox.

After being tested in simulation, the improved software is then rolled out in real vehicles. This process has been going on since 2012, when Google’s self-driving car unit—since renamed Waymo—was granted a license to begin testing in Nevada. The first journey took place on May 1 that year, with Grand Challenge veterans Chris Urmson and Anthony Levandowski in the front seats of a modified Toyota Prius, and two state officials in the back. The car passed its self-driving test, the world’s first, despite two disengagements, one of which happened when the vehicle was confused by construction work on the road and halted. Disengagements are to be welcomed if they occur when the car realizes that it cannot handle the situation.

Thank you to Richard Bulliet, Eric Morris, Joel Tarr, Kassia St. Clair, Stephen Davies, Tom Wheeler, Tony Hadland, Peter Norton, and Brian Ladd; to Joel Kotkin, Donald Shoup, Shlomo Angel, Alan Berger, Jarrett Walker, William Riggs, Richard Florida, and Chenoe Hart; and to Sebastian Thrun, Elon Musk, Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson, Oliver Cameron, Stan Boland, and Karl Iagnemma. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to my parents for indulging my obsession with cars from a young age, to my son, Miles, for all the car hunts in the automotive jungles of Knightsbridge and Goodwood, to my daughter, Tate, for her classical expertise and sharp eye as an editor, and finally, for putting up with all the horse manure stories, to my wife, Kirstin, to whom this book is dedicated.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the strength of weak ties, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

Perez, “ ‘Predictive Learning’ Is the New Buzzword in Deep Learning,” Intuition Machine, December 6, 2016, https://medium.com/intuitionmachine/predictive-learning-is-the-key-to-deep-learning-acceleration-93e063195fd0#.13qh1nti1. 81 Joshua Brown’s Tesla crashed: Anjali Singhvi and Karl Russell, “Inside the Self-Driving Tesla Fatal Accident,” New York Times, July 12, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/01/business/inside-tesla-accident.html. 82 it appears that neither Brown: Tesla, “A Tragic Loss,” June 30, 2016, https://www.tesla.com/blog/tragic-loss. 82 “Conventional wisdom would say”: Chris Urmson, “How a Driverless Car Sees the Road,” TED Talk, June 2015, 15:29, https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_how_a_driverless_car_sees_the_road/transcript?language=en. 82 “Our vehicles were driving through Mountain View”: Ibid. 83 The Japanese insurer Fukoku Mutual Life: Dave Gershgorn, “Japanese White-Collar Workers Are Already Being Replaced by Artificial Intelligence,” Quartz, January 2, 2017, https://qz.com/875491/japanese-white-collar-workers-are-already-being-replaced-by-artificial-intelligence. 83 “learn the history of past payment assessment”: Google Translate, “December 26, Heisei 28, Fukoku Life Insurance Company,” accessed January 30, 2017, https://translate.google.com/translate?

Perhaps Brown had become overconfident in the abilities of the self-driving system after seeing it operate effectively in many previous instances and had begun to pay less and less attention to the road. Google believes that because human inattention is a perennial problem, we need to be taken entirely out of the loop in driving. As Chris Urmson, the former head of the company’s self-driving car project, put it, “Conventional wisdom would say that we’ll just take these driver assistance systems and we’ll kind of push them and incrementally improve them, and over time, they’ll turn into self-driving cars. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s like me saying that if I work really hard at jumping, one day I’ll be able to fly.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, independent contractor, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Eventually, the source of the problem was identified: radio-frequency interference from the jumbotron television monitor located next to the race start chute. The jumbotron was jamming the GPS signals. Someone turned off the television. Boss hit the streets tenth, twenty minutes behind the Stanford car. It was not a high-speed endeavor: Boss averaged about 14 mph over the fifty-five-mile course. “Everything that I saw Boss do looked great,” said Chris Urmson, the team’s director of technology. “It was smooth. It was fast. It interacted with other traffic well. It did what it was supposed to do.” Boss came in first. The Stanford team came in second, with a time about twenty minutes behind Boss. Little Ben finished the race, but not in the money. Teams from Cornell and MIT finished too, but not within the six-hour time limit of the race.

One major drawback to the data is that there’s no weirdness built in, and the algorithms can’t predict what isn’t built in. Like in the Titanic data, there’s no way to account for strategies of jumping off the sinking ship after all the lifeboats have departed. In real life, weird stuff happens all the time. Former Waymo leader Chris Urmson, a Carnegie Mellon grad and Grand Challenge winner, laid out some of the strangest observations in a popular YouTube video. Waymo’s test versions of automated cars have been driving around Mountain View for years, collecting data. Urmson laughed as he showed a bunch of kids playing Frogger across the highway or a woman in an electric wheelchair chasing a duck in circles around the middle of the road.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

To equip their SUV for the 2007 DARPA Challenge, the Cornell team spent $195,850 to buy lidar and radar sensors, a GPS, and a camera, and $46,550 to purchase several desktop computers, laptops, and peripherals.10 Although it cost less to outfit an autonomous vehicle in 2007 than it did in 1980, computers and sensors were still too slow to support autonomous driving. In a postmortem analysis of the 2007 DARPA Challenge, the leader of the CMU team, Chris Urmson (who later helped lead Google’s self-driving car initiative), ruefully noted that “available off-the-shelf sensors are insufficient for urban driving.”11 Fast forward again to the present day and the situation looks much more promising. Today, the cost of providing the data needed to feed a car’s mid-level control software is significantly less than in 2007.

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, a series of outdoor self-driving field robots spanned thirty years of research, from the 1984 Terregator through the NavLab 1 (1986) and NavLab 2 (1992). 9. Yoshimasa Goto and Anthony Tentz, “Mobile Robot Navigation: The CMU System,” IEEE Expert 1987. 10. DARPA award contract issued to Cornell University. 11. Chris Urmson et al., “Autonomous Driving in Urban Environments: Boss and the Urban Challenge,” Journal of Field Robotics 25 (9) (2008): 426–464. 12. “Autonomous Cars: Self-Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm,” Morgan Stanley Blue Paper, November 6, 2013. 13. Google Official Blog, “The Latest Chapter for the Self-Driving Car: Mastering City Street Driving,” April 28, 2014, https://googleblog.blogspot.nl/2014/04/the-latest-chapter-for-self-driving-car.html 14.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, bond market vigilante , business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Indeed, the systems under development within the automotive industry are almost universally geared toward partial automation—the idea being that the human driver always maintains ultimate control. Liability in the event of an accident may be one of thorniest potential issues surrounding fully automated cars; some analysts have suggested that there might be ambiguity as to who would be responsible. Chris Urmson, one of the engineers who led Google’s car project, said at an industry conference in 2013 that such concerns are misplaced, and that current US law makes it clear that the car’s manufacturer would be responsible in the event of an accident. It’s hard to imagine anything the automotive industry would fear more.

Further details are available at the DARPA Grand Challenge website: http://archive.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/. 9. Tom Simonite, “Data Shows Google’s Robot Cars Are Smoother, Safer Drivers Than You or I,” Technology Review, October 25, 2013, http://www.technologyreview.com/news/520746/data-shows-googles-robot-cars-are-smoother-safer-drivers-than-you-or-i/. 10. See ibid. for Chris Urmson’s comments. 11. “The Self-Driving Car Logs More Miles on New Wheels” (Google corporate blog), August 7, 2012, http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-self-driving-car-logs-more-miles-on.html. 12. As quoted in Heather Kelly, “Driverless Car Tech Gets Serious at CES,” CNN, January 9, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/tech/innovation/self-driving-cars-ces/. 13.


pages: 257 words: 64,285

The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport: Second Edition by David Levinson, Kevin Krizek

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Chris Urmson, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the printing press, jitney, John Markoff, labor-force participation, lifelogging, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Network effects, Occam's razor, oil shock, place-making, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The future is already here, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game, Zipcar

New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html?_r=2&src=sch&pagewanted=all Erico Guizzo (2011-10-18) How Google's Self-Driving Car Works IEEE Spectrum http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/artificial-intelligence/how-google-self-driving-car-works 156 These hires included Sebastian Thrun of Stanford and Chris Urmson of CMU, for their own internal secret project, which they announced in 2010. 157 Figure 7.1 Source: Data on Google Cars from 140,000 - http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-were-driving-at.html 300,000 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-self-driving-car-logs-more-miles-on.html 500,000 http://www.businessinsider.com/google-self-driving-car-problems-2013-3?


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Nevertheless, those edge cases are being tackled, and will be resolved. It is well-known that Google's self-driving cars have travelled well over a million miles in California without causing a significant accident, but what is less well-known is that the cars also drive millions of miles every day in simulators. Chris Urmson, head of the Google project, expects self-driving cars to be in general use by 2020.[clxxxvi] Sceptics point out that Google's self-driving cars depend on detailed maps. But producing maps for the roads outside California doesn't sound like an insurmountable obstacle, and in any case, systems like SegNet from Cambridge University enable cars to produce maps on the fly.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

Self-driving golf carts have already started roaming university campuses in California, and in August 2016 a company called nuTonomy started testing a free self-driving taxi service in a small business district in Singapore. But full autonomy for high-speed cars could take much longer. At the South by Southwest tech conference in March 2016, Chris Urmson, who was then the head of Google’s self-driving car program, said that in some places autonomous vehicles won’t be on the roads for as many as thirty years. At the same time, Elon Musk, ever the optimist, has said that he thinks Tesla’s cars will be ready for “complete autonomy” by 2018, but that the regulatory process will add another year to the rollout.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the strength of weak ties, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

However, the younger generation of meteorologists are happier to trust the computers. Once the veterans retire, the human expertise to intuit when the computer has screwed up will be lost forever.18 • • • We’ve seen the problems with GPS systems and with autopilot. Put the two ideas together, and you get the self-driving car. Chris Urmson, who runs Google’s self-driving car program, hopes that the cars will soon be so widely available that his sons will never need to have a driving license. (His oldest son will be sixteen in 2020—Urmson is in a hurry.) There’s a revealing implication in that target: that unlike a plane’s autopilot, a self-driving car will never need to cede control to a human being.


pages: 411 words: 98,128

Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives and What the World's Best Companies Are Learning From It by Brian Dumaine

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, call centre, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, corporate raider, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, natural language processing, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, wealth creators, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

In early 2019, Amazon led a $700 million investment round in Rivian, a Michigan company that is developing a battery-powered pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle. Ford later that year invested another $500 million in the company. Around the same time, Amazon led a $530 million investment round for Aurora, a Silicon Valley self-driving vehicle start-up founded by three stars of this emerging industry: Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell, and Chris Urmson. Anderson ran Tesla’s autopilot program, Bagnell headed the autonomy and perception team at Uber, and Urmson was the former head of Google’s self-driving project, which has morphed into one of the leading self-driving car companies: Waymo. Aurora will not build cars but is developing the AI brains behind autonomous vehicles and plans to partner with retailers like Amazon and major automakers to create state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles.


pages: 335 words: 97,468

Uncharted: How to Map the Future by Margaret Heffernan

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, clean water, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, discovery of penicillin, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, George Santayana, gig economy, Google Glasses, index card, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kickstarter, late capitalism, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, liberation theology, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Murray Gell-Mann, Nate Silver, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Rosa Parks, Sam Altman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, twin studies, University of East Anglia

See Silver, Nate, The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction, Penguin Books, London, 2013 14 See The Economist, 17 March 2018, p.39 15 I’m indebted to David Kedmey for pointing this out 16 ‘The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries’, www.oecd-ilibrary.org/­social-issues-migration-health/­the-risk-of-automation-for-jobs-in-oecd-countries_5jlz9h56dvq7-en, accessed 14 October 2018 and 27 October 2019 17 ‘5 Things to Know about the Future of Jobs’, www.weforum.org/­agenda/­2018/­09/­future-of-jobs-2018-things-to-know/ 18 Google’s Chris Urmson suggested that the autonomous vehicle ‘has the potential to reduce current Federal spending pressures for roadways, parking and public transit’. Wolmar, Christian, Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere, London Publishing Partnership, 2018 19 For examples here, see Eubanks, Virginia, Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor, St Martin’s Press, New York, 2017, as well as O’Neill, Cathy, Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, Allen Lane, London, 2016, and reports from the AI Now Institute: ainowinstitute.org 20 ‘Overcoming Speed Bumps on the Road to Telematics’, www2.deloitte.com/­content/­dam/­insights/us/­articles/­telematics-in-auto-insurance/­DUP-695_Telematics-in-the-Insurance-Industry_vFINAL.pdf, accessed 20 August 2019.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

When comparing autonomous driving patterns with those of drivers in control of Google’s vehicles, Google found that when a human was behind the wheel, Google’s cars accelerated, cornered and braked more sharply than when the car was piloting itself. Other data showed that the autonomous software was much better and more consistent at maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. “We’re spending less time in near-collision states,” said Chris Urmson, the leader of Google’s autonomous car project at a robotics conference in 2013. “Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.” Google’s self-driving car has the most data publicly available about this incredible autonomous capability, but other car manufacturers like Tesla, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo all say similar things about the future of driving.


pages: 374 words: 111,284

The AI Economy: Work, Wealth and Welfare in the Robot Age by Roger Bootle

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, anti-work, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, computer age, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mega-rich, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, positional goods, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, social intelligence, spinning jenny, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Additionally, there would be less demand for space to park cars that remain idle most of the time. While they are waiting for users, driverless cars can be parked end to end and stacked. This could potentially transform urban landscapes and free up much scarce space for other uses. In 2016, Google’s Chris Urmson told a US Congressional Committee that in the US parking takes up an area the size of Connecticut. By implication, if everything went according to plan with driverless cars, this space could be freed up for other uses. And the potential implications go wider still. Perhaps traffic wardens would also disappear as the need to restrict parking becomes less of an issue.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

., The Future of Jobs 2018, World Economic Forum <https://wef.ch/2NH6NiV> [accessed 25 September 2020]. 42 Leslie Willcocks, ‘Robo-Apocalypse Cancelled? Reframing the Automation and Future of Work Debate’, Journal of Information Technology, 35(4), 2020, pp. 286–302 <https://doi.org/10.1177/0268396220925830>. 43 Chris Urmson, personal correspondence with the author, 26 February 2021. 44 ‘Will AI Destroy More Jobs Than It Creates Over the Next Decade?’, Wall Street Journal, 1 April 2019 <https://www.wsj.com/articles/will-ai-destroy-more-jobs-than-it-creates-over-the-next-decade-11554156299> [accessed 11 January 2021]. 45 ‘Company Information’, Uber Newsroom Pakistan <https://www.uber.com/en-PK/newsroom/company-info/> [accessed 21 September 2020]. 46 ‘Mechanical Turk: Research in the Crowdsourcing Age’, Pew Research Center: Internet & Technology, 11 July 2016 <https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2016/07/11/research-in-the-crowdsourcing-age-a-case-study/> [accessed 28 September 2020]. 47 Jeff Howe, ‘The Rise of Crowdsourcing’, Wired, 1 June 2006 <https://www.wired.com/2006/06/crowds/> [accessed 28 September 2020]. 48 Nicole Lyn Pesce, ‘This Chart Shows How Uber Rides Sped Past NYC Yellow Cabs in Just Six Years’, MarketWatch, 9 August 2019 <https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-chart-shows-how-uber-rides-sped-past-nyc-yellow-cabs-in-just-six-years-2019-08-09> [accessed 7 January 2021]. 49 Kelle Howson et al., ‘Platform Workers, the Future of Work and Britain’s Election’, Media@LSE, 11 December 2019 <https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/medialse/2019/12/11/platform-workers-the-future-of-work-and-britains-election/> [accessed 7 January 2021]. 50 James Manyika et al., Connecting Talent with Opportunity in the Digital Age (McKinsey & Company, 1 June 2015) <https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/employment-and-growth/connecting-talent-with-opportunity-in-the-digital-age> [accessed 6 October 2020]. 51 Neil Munshi, ‘Tech Start-Ups Drive Change for Nigerian Truckers’, Financial Times, 26 August 2019 <https://www.ft.com/content/c6a3d1f2-c27d-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9> [accessed 21 September 2020]. 52 ‘Upwork Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Financial Results’, Upwork Inc., 23 February 2021 <https://investors.upwork.com/news-releases/news-release-details/upwork-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2020-financial> [accessed 21 April 2021]. 53 Lijin Yeo, ‘The U.S.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Atkinson, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, Herbert Marcuse, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Seymour Hersh, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Although only a fraction of those enrolled in the course would ultimately complete it, it became a global “Internet moment”: Thrun and Norvig’s class raised the specter of a new low-cost form of education that would not only level the playing field by putting the world’s best teachers within reach of anyone in the world, but also threaten the business models of high-priced elite universities. Why pay Stanford tuition if you could take the course anyway as a City College student? Thrun was still nominally participating one day a week at Google, but the project leadership role was taken by Chris Urmson, a soft-spoken roboticist who had been Red Whittaker’s chief lieutenant in the DARPA vehicle challenges. He had been one of the first people that Thrun hired after he came to Google to start the then secret car program. In the summer of 2014 he said he wanted to create a reliable driverless car before his son reached driving age, which was about six years in the future.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, hustle culture, impact investing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, super pumped, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, WeWork, Y Combinator

Without telling his bosses, Levandowski hired an outside lobbyist in Nevada to write a new law that allowed autonomous vehicles to operate in the state without a backup safety driver. Google executives were furious, yet the law passed statewide in 2011. Levandowski’s divisive methods earned him enemies. When he made a play to become leader of the Google X autonomous vehicle unit, a group of employees staged a mutiny, requiring Page himself to step in and name Chris Urmson, a rival of Levandowski’s, the head of the self-driving division. Levandowski was crushed and made no attempt to hide it; at one point, he stopped coming into work entirely. Levandowski was in agony; he worked for the company with the most advanced tech in self-driving vehicles, yet seemed happy to let some other, more aggressive competitor take the lead.


pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chekhov's gun, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, drone strike, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

In fact, the vast majority of our conscious decisions do not involve such issues at all. 6. Christopher Steiner, Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World (New York: Penguin, 2012), 215; Tom Vanderbilt, ‘Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future is Here’, Wired, 20 January 2012, accessed 21 December 2014, http://www.wired.com/2012/01/ff_autonomouscars/all/; Chris Urmson, ‘The Self-Driving Car Logs More Miles on New Wheels’, Google Official Blog, 7 August 2012, accessed 23 December 2014, http://googleblog.blogspot.hu/2012/08/the-self-driving-car-logs-more-miles-on.html; Matt Richtel and Conor Dougherty, ‘Google’s Driverless Cars Run into Problem: Cars with Drivers’, New York Times, 1 September 2015, accessed 2 September 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/02/technology/personaltech/google-says-its-not-the-driverless-cars-fault-its-other-drivers.html?


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Conference 1984, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Lawrence Burns, “A Vision of Our Transport Future,” Nature 497 (May 9, 2013): 181–82. 18. Ibid. 19. Joann Muller, “With Driverless Cars, Once Again It Is California Leading the Way,” Forbes, September 26, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2012/09/26/with-driverless-cars -once-again-it-is-california-leading-the-way/ (accessed June 2, 2013). 20. Chris Urmson, “The Self-Driving Car Logs More Miles on New Wheels,” Google Blog, August 7, 2012, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-self-driving-car-logs-more-miles-on.html (accessed June 2, 2013). 21. Mary Slosson, “Google Gets First Self-Driven Car License in Nevada,” Reuters, May 8, 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/08/uk-usa-nevada-google-idUSLNE84701320120508 (accessed June 3, 2013). 22.