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ACM Opinion

Self-Driving Cars Might Never Be Able to Drive Themselves

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Missy Cummings

The so-called deep learning that cars need to see the road around them doesn't actually learn.

Missy Cummings is the Director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory at Duke University in Durham, NC, USA.

In an interview, Missy Cummings contends that the road to truly autonomous vehicles requires a complete and fundamental change in the way companies are approaching the problem.

"It is not solvable with our current approach," Cummings says. "I can show a convolutional neural net a million images of a stop sign, and it will learn what a stop sign is from those images. But if it sees a stop sign that doesn’t match exactly those images, then it can’t recognize it. And this is a huge problem, because if a strand of kudzu leaves starts to grow across just the top 20% of a stop sign, that is enough to make that algorithm be dumb."

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