October 22, 2021

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The guy who taught Uber how to say sorry

The guy who taught Uber how to say sorry
By David EdmondsBBC World ServicePublishedduration4 days agoimage copyrightUniversity of ChicagoWhen the Uber he'd hired went to the wrong destination, one professor took his complaint to the very top - and then learned something valuable about the science of apologising.In January 2017, John List was due to give a keynote speech at a prestigious gathering of…

By David Edmonds

BBC World Service


image copyright University of Chicago

When the Uber he ‘d worked with went to the incorrect destination, one teacher took his problem to the extremely top – and then found out something important about the science of apologising.

image copyright Reuters

image caption Travis Kalanick had to make a series of apologies himself, prior to resigning in 2017

No doubt the task is generously remunerated, however for John Note it has another appeal; for data geeks, cars and truck apps are like gold mines – in the US alone, before the pandemic, there were two million Uber motorists, making 10s of millions of journeys each week.

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image copyright Getty Images

We are not used to the idea of machines making ethical decisions, but the day when they will consistently do this – by themselves – is fast approaching.