Ehline Law Blog about Technology

Dec 19, 2019

How Machine Learning May Reshape Our Roads

Reducing Accidents on Our Roads? The future is here. At least that's what I'm reading. For all of the talk of self driving cars not living up to the hype, here's a tech that actually works. For better or worse. The use of artificial intelligence to police different aspects of life is a scary or lifesaving process, depending how you look at it. Toolbox Tech has a really neat article on the subject. In fact, it is one of my favorite to study. Whether we like it or not, the tech is coming on rapidly. In addition, state and federal governments are rapidly considering how to use it for future legislation. The crux is the idea of new AI as a constant surveillance. Police and government officials can't keep track of every person, every road. Of course, the implications are far wider than the effects on roads, but for the sake of our focus area, that's what we'll focus on here. Simply put, scanners placed on roads connected to powerful computers are the wave of the future. Some states use similar methods. Massachusetts' highway system is able to calculate the speed of drivers between exits and ticket them for speeding-- even without a radar gun. Furthermore, machine learning offers law enforcement sweeping new powers to match up license plates to traffic infractions. Even more amazing, this will likely be used to match drivers' faces, as well. Current tech can't quite do this yet, but the possibility may mean that unlicensed or suspended drivers may face immediate legal penalties for getting behind the wheel. At What Cost? From a legal perspective, it's a major double edged sword. Of course, on the one hand it could lead to reduced traffic deaths. In the next decade, AI is likely going to be powerful enough to target and track drunk drivers. On the other hand, this represents a move towards a surveillance state that our Founders warned against. The jury is still out for me (forgive the pun). However, I'd like to read more about how the tech is being applied before passing more judgement. Keep it tuned here for more info.