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Cartoon Brew Pick

‘The Trolley Problem’ by Eoin Duffy

An exploration of The Trolley Problem, a popular thought experiment in ethics first created by Philippa Foot.

Film by Eoin Duffy produced for Ted-ED:

At first it appears most would sacrifice one person to save five. But the Trolley Problem shows that not all decisions in morality are set in black and white. The manner in how the sacrificed person is killed, the sex of the participants, the mindset of the participants—all weigh in to blur the boundaries of a seemingly straight forward decision. This is bad news for new technologies, such as self driving cars and military drones, that require clear predetermined guidelines when weighing the value of human life. So highlighting these obstacles via the Trolley Problem is helping researchers and philosophers address the complex problem of programming ethics into machines.

TOOLS
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CREDITS
Directed by Eoin Duffy
Writer: Eleanor Nelsen
Audio: David Kamp
Animation: Eoin Duffy, Tyler Morgan, Super Dasil, Mahesh, Hovsepyan Karen, Cooper Custom, Pranavjit Virdi
Narrator: Addison Anderson

  • nick miller

    In version two of the trolley problem, the option of throwing YOURSELF off the bridge to stop the trolley is not offered. This is therefore an unfairly weighted argument designed to force one outcome above others. Still a good animation, though.