Racist Self-Driving Cars Concerns Are (Well-Intentioned) Clickbait

Bias in artificial intelligence is a real problem, but self-driving cars running over people of color isn't.

Originally published at The Drive

I investigated a rash of headlines claiming that self-driving cars could be biased toward hitting darker-skinned pedestrians and find that the underlying research misses some fairly important points.

by Courtney Ehrlichman

Recently, a series of disturbing headlines about a study out of Georgia Tech have suggested a shocking possibility: self-driving vehicles, specifically the machine-learning they use for perception, pose a risk to people of color. The idea of racist self-driving cars is such an intoxicating cocktail of hot-button issues that it seems like an episode of Black Mirror come to life. But, as so often seems to be the case with such impossibly provocative stories, even a cursory investigation suggests that these headlines were designed more to generate traffic than cast light on a meaningful issue.

Selfie at 2019 Micromobility California Summit

Is Micromobility A Movement, Or Just An Investment?

To unlock the revolutionary potential of small electric vehicles, the micromobility movement needs more diverse voices.

Originally published at The Drive

by Courtney Ehrlichman

“Equity is not just about your cap table,” the MC reminded the audience at last week’s Micromobility California Summit, held across the bay from San Francisco in Richmond, California's Craneway Building.  More than 600 attendees had poured into what was once the largest Ford factory on the west coast to take stock of the fastest-growing trend in mobility.  We were gathered together under Horace Dediu - the analyst who predicted the explosion of the iPhone - to celebrate his next forecast: the disruption of the transportation system by the new wave of micromobility and with it, the market for miles (see Niedermeyer’s excellent wrap up of the event here).  

But let’s not talk about miles, let’s talk about people.