I cant agree more to the write-up. in view of the lethal nature of significant system failure, it is necessary to schedule regular recovery reheresal for critical components and that should be pursued much more frequent than the annual BCP drill.

Posted: 8 January 2015 at 05:11

George Battye When technology Fails to Fail

In the example above, the failsafe failing is a catastrophic general failure. Up until that point, the technology outperforms a human on practically every measure. Then the catastrophic failure happens and we get pretty judgmental about the tech. But what about with a human? If a pilot suffers a catastrophic failure, which would probably be a heart-attack or stroke, we accept it and see it as a tragedy rather than a failing of the general technology of type "human".
Posted: 8 January 2015 at 09:07

Doug Vining When technology Fails to Fail

Good point George! It's just that we're probably more prepared for a human failure - I'm sure that's what the co-pilot trains for. But if we are over-reliant on the tech (which as you point out is generally superior) how well prepared are we for a catastrophic collapse of the system?
Posted: 8 January 2015 at 10:32

Doug Vining Failing tech

Here's a long form essay that almost precisely echoes the insight of our MindBullet from January 2015.

When we've come to rely on technology, that never fails, we are often unprepared to deal with the unusual circumstance, when it DOES fail. Over time, computers can diminish our skills!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Failing tech") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 12 October 2016 at 14:10

Erick Scholtz Failing tech

Good point Doug!!

A very simple example, when I was young ( before mobile phones) I had all my family and friends telephone numbers in my head.
If my mobile phone would go on the blink now, I will not be able to phone my wife from any phone. We surely are victims of our own technology, my skills have be diminished.
Posted: 19 October 2016 at 13:35

Doug Vining When driverless cars can't cut it

I spent Christmas in Canada, and besides being an awesome White Christmas experience, it was unusually cold, with heaps of snow. After driving from Montreal to Toronto in what was a times a light blizzard, it struck me that driverless cars and trucks are absolutely useless in those conditions. Yet human drivers cope quite well.

On a busy highway, crammed with trucks and cars, and patrolled by snow ploughs, people managed to navigate mostly in safety for over six hours, and at productive speeds. There were only a couple of accidents, and in over 600km I counted only three vehicles that had slid off the road, despite the fact that for most of the journey, the lane markings were covered in snow, and visibility was poor.

There's no way that current autonomous car tech could do that journey without failing over to manual. Which means that in anything other than clear roads and fine weather, driverless cars will always need a human driver, alert and ready to take over, when the autopilot kicks out.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "When driverless cars can't cut it") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 8 January 2018 at 09:45

Doug Vining When driverless cars can't cut it

And here's a report that suggests driverless cars are not advancing fast enough to take on all kinds of conditions. Have we reached the limits of current autonomous technology? Perhaps we'll need to wait for the next AI advance to make a breakthrough.
Posted: 9 February 2018 at 14:40

Doug Vining Tech failure needs a plan that works

"We have never had anything like this before," a Eurocontrol spokesman told the AFP news agency.

It was only the second failure in 20 years. Luckily, or perhaps by design, the failover worked, and although there were disruptions, no catastrophes. That's the problem with something that never fails - when it does, can your systems handle it?
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Tech failure needs a plan that works") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here:
Posted: 4 April 2018 at 18:07
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