Uber’s Death Car and the Cracks in Liberal Culture

Video of Uber’s self-driving car killing Elaine Herzberg is available on YouTube. It will–or at least should–produce shock waves in the culture. The Silicon Valley cult of Artificial Intelligence (AI) — and the related cult of brain science — is a main source of today’s cultural despair. If the brain is merely a machine that white-coated lab techs can measure and manipulate like any other machine, and if machines can be programmed to emulate the human brain, then human existence has no purpose. Our destiny is fixed in the same way that the paths of the planets and the orbits of electrons are fixed, and our free will, moral responsibility, devotion to the past and regard for the future are the random effluvia of a deterministic process.