Author Archives: Marchelewska Karolina

The trolley problem of self-driving cars

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The infamous trolley problem is constantly in our lives. Imagine that you are standing next to some tram tracks and you see a train speeding straight towards five people who are tied to the track. However, you can change the direction of trolley by pushing the lever but there is one person tied to track. What do you do?

It may or not surprise you that the answer differs according to nationality, gender, age and whether the decision is just hypothetical or actually involves real lives. So, would you pull the lever, leading to one death but saving five? 

A famous ethical dilemma was recently applied by MIT researchers to the self-driving cars world. In 2014 they created an experiment called Moral Machine. 

The idea was to create a game-like platform that would crowdsource people’s decisions on how self-driving cars should prioritize lives in different variations of the “trolley problem.” In the process, the data generated would provide insight into the collective ethical priorities of different cultures.

After four years they got millions of answers and they did not expect such major feedback. The analysis of collected data can be found in new paper ’Nature’.

If autonomous vehicles will become our day to day reality, society will have to deal with brand new issue about which lives to prioritize in case of a crash. The Moral Machine tested different variants similar to trolley problem: humans or pets, more lives or fewer, pedestrians or passengers, young or old, fit or sickly, women or men, higher social status person or lower.

How the decision is affected by the cultural background of decision-making person?

Studies showed that countries in which the culture is more individualistic are more likely to spare young over old. For example, people from countries like Taiwan and China. Participants in Latin America countries, were more likely to spare the young, the fit and the higher status individuals. Across the globe were few trends which are repeatable, save humans over animals, more lives over fewer. 

In the last few years more people had thought about the ethics of AI. It can lead to various consequences on different cultural groups. Of course there is no „correct” answer to the given question. However, it is undoubtedly problem in self-driving cars and crashes. What are your thoughts about it? How would you solve this dilemmas?





Future Circular Collider

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The Large Hardon Collider, based at CERN, is the strongest particle accelerator in the world. Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire plans to build bright new one with better efficiency. 

New model is expected to be 10 times more powerful and 4 times longer than the current one. The Large Hardon Collider is placed in tunnel which has length of 27 km, on territories of Switzerland and France. For now it is the most complex machine ever built by humans. Inside of machine particles are colliding in speed almost the same as speed of light.

Successor to LHC, if became reality, would allow scientists to discover and create variety of new possibilities, alongside with answering some of the bothering humanity questions. The aim of Future Circular Collider would be to explore and seek new subatomic particles. The project forsees first tests to 2050. 85% of universe is called by us as ‚dark’ made of particles that we are unable to see. Thanks to the new electron-positron collider we could implement Higgs bosons into ‚dark’ matter which could result in some breakthrough discoveries.

“The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment. It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society”- CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti

Critics emphasizes that the money spent for building the accelerator could be dedicated to other aims, for example hunger problem or fight with global warming. Supporters claim it will have major influence on developing new technologies and widening the knowledge of primary physics. Meanwhile China plans to open their accelerator, Circular Electron–Positron Collider (CEPC) till the 2030s. There is no guarantee that FCC will be build because convincing stakeholders to invest in it will be surely hard as its predecessor has not lived up to expectations beside discover of Higgs Bosons.

Without new accelerator we will stop exploring universe and what comes next is, we stop to evolve. If we do not evolve we are going to die sooner or later. Looking from this point developing a Future Circular Collider is necessary for ours survival but is it safe? What if our desire to posses answers to all the question will result in end of humanity? What are your thoughts about this ?


Racing with Artificial Intelligence

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Formula E which is officially called ABB FIA Formula Championship is a class of auto racing that is based only on electric-powered cars. It first launched in September 2014 in Beijing. It is the future of electric car racing. Ten teams each with two drivers compete in the identically set-up cars powered by electric batteries. 

Formula E races takes place in big agglomerations like Paris, New York, Zurich and Hong Kong. As they race in identical cars the races are more fierce and competitive than F1. Formula E is also more engaging as it is shorter, you are closer to action and you can even be involved by fanboost where you vote for your favorite driver and thanks to this they can get 5 seconds power boost. 

Currently new innovation has been implemented inside this league in Envision Virgin Racing Team.  EVR team hopes to wins thanks to its newest partnership with Genpact, a professional company that offers AI and analytical platform. The cooperation was presented in AI Summit in New York City. Thanks to this partnership team’s decision making at high speed is considered to be improved.

Nowadays team’s are equipped with informations from pre-track conditions to detailed data from every important system in car.The newly implemented technology is very complicated but extremely useful.

The technology identifies patterns, builds predictions, and makes recommendations about energy management, speed, or passing strategies using all available data—and does all of this aster than the team can, enhancing the work of the strategists and engineers.

This result in more accurate pre-race strategies. Through constantly changing conditions, AI aims to help in taking more accurate decisions. Envision Virgin Racing Team added genpact to become more engaged winner and thanks to AI it enables to connect people and processes to adapt better to each possible scenario. Thanks to this EVR team becomes first instinctively working racing team. AI is constantly developing and may become an important factor in improving abilities of high-performing teams which will enable them to compete better and win more effectively.

What are your thoughts about it? Do you think AI is the future of racing? Or maybe implementing this technology was a mistake that price will be to paid later? Let me know in comments.

Machine Learning fighting cryptocurrency frauds

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Internet gives us infinitely many opportunities and benefits but it is also the home for various threats. Online frauds are continuously more creative and becoming more and more popular, spreading on the new levels. With constantly growing capabilities of internet this has become major problem for financial sector. Alongside with increasing number of global online transactions the number of dangers rises. 

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are relatively new in financial sector but they are exposed on the same level to the scams that were performed on paper market and even some new ones.The most common variety of scam are so-called pump-and-dump. But what are they ? 

“Pump and dump” (P&D) is a form of securities fraud that involves artificially inflating the price of an owned stock through false and misleading positive statements, in order to sell the cheaply purchased stock at a higher price.

As Bitcoin has a huge market capitalization so it would be hard to manipulate the price but the smaller altcoins are very vulnerable for this type of fraud.

Machine learning facing online frauds

Now the machine learning and artificial intelligence can face the online frauds and help with fighting against them. Machine learning algorithm has been developed by Jiahua Xu and Benjamin Livshits who studied cryptocurrency pump and dump schemes and published the work about details of given scam. 

After studying more than 260 pump and dump frauds, they came to the conclusion that very often this scams had been preceded with unusual activity in given currency. Thanks to the fact they started to look for an unexpected trades in order to spot next targets. To confirm their theory, they developed a machine learning algorithm and trained it to look for signs proving that scam is about to occur. The machine learning algorithm was right in 5 of 6 cases which is quite good outcome.


The criminality in internet is constantly rising but thanks to this kind of algorithms we have a chance to fight with them. This two researchers emphasize that their algorithm will not eliminate the pump and dump schemes it will only allow to weaken it.

Xu and Livshits say that on average there are two pump-and-dump scams every day and that these generate about $7 million worth of trading volume a month. This shows how big the issue is. I personally think that machine learning and AI can be a major benefit in terms of reducing all kinds of cybercrime and thanks to them we will be able to implement a lot more efficient and secure online systems. What are your thoughts about it? Do you think AI and machine learning will be a breakthrough in cybersecurity or criminals will find a way to omit these systems? 


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IKEA going into industry of self-driving cars

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What comes to yours mind when you think about IKEA? A worldwide network of shops with scandinavian furniture, which are almost in every house, probably. Was it autonomic self-driving car? Probably not. Ikea is constantly growing, now even more than earlier, the company changes its purpose and from only furniture seller broadens its horizons on the other industries, changing itself into innovative and technologically advanced company. 

Fully autonomous vehicles are becoming more and more advanced and are near to becoming common on daily basis. Once cars will be driving itself people will have great amount of time to use. With the solution to this comes the newest project of IKEA developed in their Space10 lab, it is called „Space on Wheels”. It changes the perspective of thinking about a car as only mean of transport. 

They provide different variants of using vehicle as an office, medical or coffee point. The research lab came up with various shapes and interior design for this autonomous cars. Till know it consists of 7 different solutions. Interior design is without major changes, it is typically minimalistic as the concept of IKEA .

IKEA car office would allow you to work during your journey. Not only it would save time but what is more it would increased efficiency of working during the day. For many people it could simplify their lives as many of them is working far away from home and spends approximately 60 minutes in traffics. 

Medical Center car could simplify doing periodic reviews. Moreover, it would increase effectiveness of transporting professionals to people in need, which would allow to save more lives without concerning extra help, as the car drives itself. 

However IKEA does not plan to construct the car itself, it mainly focuses only on design inside of it. The concept of interior will be constantly developed as with every minute we are a step closer to fully autonomous vehicles. Whether this cars will be our reality someday or not, for now we can only imagine the comfortability it would gave us.


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