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.