A matter of life or death

December 2016

What drives decisions by autonomous vehicles in dire situations?

Despite dramatic reductions in accident-related fatalities, injuries and damages, as well as significant improvements in transportation efficiency and safety, consumers aren’t as excited about the promise of autonomous vehicles as the auto industry is. Research shows that people are nervous about life-and-death driving decisions being made by algorithms rather than by humans. Who determines the ethics of the algorithms?

Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., said recently that these ethics must be derived from “deep and meaningful conversations” among the public, the auto industry, the government, universities and ethicists.

Azim Shariff, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, and his colleagues­ – Iyad Rahwan, Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass., and Jean-Francois Bonnefon, a Research Director at the Toulouse School of Economics in France – have created an online survey platform called the Moral Machine to help promote that discussion.

Launched in May, it has already drawn more than 2.5 million participants from over 160 countries.

Oakley named Social Ecology's 2017 Lauds and Laurels recipient

December 2016

Eloy Ortiz Oakley ’96, MBA ’99 is Social Ecology's Distinguished Alumnus for 2017 and will be honored at the 47th annual Lauds and Laurels ceremony. Mr. Oakley is the Chancellor for California Community Colleges, the first Latino to do so. He has been president of Long Beach City College since 2007, the only University of California regent to have headed a community college, and in December took the helm as Chancellor of the state’s 113-school community college system – comprising more than 2.1 million students. 

The Lauds and Laurels award ceremony will be held on March 30, 2017.

Q&A with Professor Charis Kubrin

December 2016

Charis Kubrin, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society is interviewed in the Zócalo green room, prior to being a part of the Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation event, "How Do You Fix a 'Bad' Neighborhood?" She elaborates as to what contributes to her interest in immigration, in addition to her surprising connection to a classic '80s movie.

From Zócalo: In the Green Room: