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Older people less scared of driverless cars.

Older people less scared of driverless cars.

Simon Haddad is a junior IT analyst in Sydney. He was the only interviewee who agreed to be photographed. Photo: Evan Williams

Evan Williams, 11.05.2018

Street interviews have shown that while most Aussies don’t trust driverless cars, younger people are far more scared of the risks of advanced AI.

Aussies say that the technology is not safe in its current form and that driverless cars are not advanced enough yet to safely navigate the roads.

21-year-old junior IT Analyst, Simon Haddad, said that he “wouldn’t trust the safety of driverless cars, not for another ten to twenty years.”

“Because the AI is still so new and there is so little field experience that it’s too unstable of a technology for me to risk my life riding,” he said.

Other young people talked about their suspicions of advanced artificial intelligence controlling aspects of our lives and expressed both concern and fear for such an eventuality.

“I don’t trust AI. I don’t believe that they will follow humans because they might gain consciousness and want to do their own thing” said Grace Huo, an 18-year-old student at the University of Sydney.

Another 18-year-old university student, who wanted to go by Lily, expressed very similar fears to Grace and Simon.

“They are interesting. The concept is a little bit scary mainly because I saw this one Doctor Who episode,” she said.

“I mean, they are cool, but it would be very hard to make them work because in order for them to work properly you would have to make most of the other cars driverless.”

Older Australian’s, however, are more sceptical and less fearful of driverless cars. Many of them questioning more the viability of such a technology truly working, rather than the safety concerns inhibited.

Kathryn Williams, a 50-year-old researcher at the University of Wollongong, said that “they sound dodgy.”

“It sounds to me like there are a lot of things that could go wrong,” she said.

“But then again, having worked in transport research there are a lot of things that could go wrong with humans behind the wheel too.

“If you have a human behind the wheel then I guess they have an opportunity to see a situation and respond to it. I guess that is what you want.”