AI screw-up results in man being fined $400 for scratching his head

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Young Charles Xavier spotted using his psychic talents while driving.


It’s a Vulcan mind meld exercise.

“My mind to my mind. My thoughts to my thoughts. My mind is merging, my mind is becoming one. AHA! Now I remember where I left those keys.”


so… lobot wasn’t included in the training set?

it’s okiedokie spiffy fine if you’re distracted with a cell-phone which is linked to the car’s system, but if you’re using it directly then that’s what’s bad? (“ten and two at all times even during an argument over the phone”)


Same thing happened to me, but it was a human who “saw me using a phone”.


He was scratching his head wrong.


Yeah, optimistic interpretation about the hands-free laws are that they’re trying to prevent people from physically looking at the device when driving. In theory you could answer a call and hold the phone in your hand without looking at it, but that seems like a pretty minor edge case.


Why base the conviction on a single still image? A 5 second video would immediately tell what was actually happening.


Well, OK, when I look at this indistinct image, I can’t really tell if there’s a phone there or not. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on this image.

One of the things that came out in the immediate aftermath of Jan6 is that the phone company can tell what phones are “in contact’ with what phone towers. I would venture a guess that the phone company can supply information about whether his phone was in communication with the tower that would handle a call from that location. Now, it could be that his phone was taking a message. In that case he has probably saved all his message records so he can show them in court. I know I would.

Thank goodness we don’t have to rely on the training dataset, the algorithms, or the human filters, -the high tech Mr. Hansen, who knows all about this sort of thing, says we really MUST have, and yes, SHOULD ALREADY HAVE, in place, if anyone wants to prove him guilty. I think he’s full of it, that is, of course, I mean he has plenty of information. About tech stuff.

But we don’t have to rely on what I think either.

Either he was on the phone or he wasn’t, and there are records.

Or else the jury will decide that he’s very very cute and his accent is adorbs!


I don’t know, I have had some persistent itches.


His passenger was using the phone, while he scratched his head.
He was using the phone legally hands free, while he scratched his head.
He was listening to a podcast with data turned off, not scratching his head.

Neither the image, nor the image + cell data are enough.
If you want the driver to prove his innocence, or miss a day of work to go to court, they AI company better be paying him the same hourly equivalent rate that they pay their CEO.


Oh, c’mon, he’s totally holding a phone to his head

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Training these sorts of image detection models on movies takes much more than training them on still images. So they’re trained on stills and given stills to evaluate. Sure it gives worse results, but if they actually cared about getting it right, they wouldn’t have used machine learning in the first place.


My favorite example of “your AI model is actually not looking at what you think it is looking at” was a group was seeing if they could use AI detect pneumonia in chest X-rays, and it turned out that the model was at least partially relying on artifacts from the model of X-ray scanner used. It turns out the AI was “cheating” by recognizing the images from the portable X-ray scanner (used in the ER when you have good cause to think a patient really does have pneumonia) as opposed to fixed clinic X-ray machine.


@ someguy Yes. Exactly. We can’t make any determination based on the information thus far supplied. I actually think it looks like there’s a phone there. I think there is a lot of information that the phone company and other sources might supply-will someone come forward and say “Yes I was using his phone” and open themselves up to possible jail time if they are just covering for him? I would encourage the writer here-pesco-to follow this because it is so very interesting. What will result here? If you’ve ever used a phone while driving, well, it’s of interest to ya. I hope to hear a follow-up!

10 Reasons you are scratching your head wrong. #6 will shock you!


We have similar AI detection in our town and await for someone to be fined for picking their nose at the lights.

I also wonder what would happen if I wall papered my dashboard with prints of people using phones. Or wore a hat with extra faces on it.


@pesco Your Oddity Central link isn’t working (for me).

A month after the event and this driver remembered he was scratching his head? I can absolutely understand why a human accepted the AI’s verdict, wonder how many are rejected?

Maybe he should stop scratching his head with his novelty phone-shaped headscratcher.

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… busted again


The fact that this guy is an ML engineer is borderline Black Mirror stuff.

I secretly love this.