A runaway trolley is hurtling toward five unsuspecting rail workers. If it hits them, it will surely kill them. You happen to be standing next to a switch that could divert the train onto a separate track, where only one rail worker is standing. If you flip the switch, the five workers will be spared and the single worker will be killed. Would you flip the switch? This is the classic trolley problem, and though it's 50 years old, it's becoming even more important with the spread of artificial intelligence.
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Trains on the Brain
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Key Facts In This Video
The trolley problem asks if you would pull a switch to redirect a train from hitting five people to hitting one person. 00:09
Researchers have found that the brain responds differently to impersonal and personal dilemmas. 02:35
Psychopaths seem to respond the same way to personal and impersonal dilemmas. 03:57
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