Air France Flight 447

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pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

CHAPTER THREE: FOCUS bound for Paris For my understanding of the details of Air France Flight 447, I am indebted to numerous experts, including William Langewiesche, Steve Casner, Christopher Wickens, and Mica Endsley. I also drew heavily on a number of publications: William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014; Nicola Clark, “Report Cites Cockpit Confusion in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, July 6, 2012; Nicola Clark, “Experts Say Pilots Need More Air Crisis Training,” The New York Times, November 21, 2011; Kim Willsher, “Transcripts Detail the Final Moments of Flight from Rio,” Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2011; Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn It, We’re Going to Crash,’ ” The Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2012; “Air France Flight 447: When All Else Fails, You Still Have to Fly the Airplane,” Aviation Safety, March 1, 2011; “Concerns over Recovering AF447 Recorders,” Aviation Week, June 3, 2009; Flight Crew Operating Manual, Airbus 330—Systems—Maintenance System; Tim Vasquez, “Air France Flight 447: A Detailed Meteorological Analysis,” Weather Graphics, June 3, 2009, http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, “Air France Flight #447: Did Weather Play a Role in the Accident?”

I also drew heavily on a number of publications: William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014; Nicola Clark, “Report Cites Cockpit Confusion in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, July 6, 2012; Nicola Clark, “Experts Say Pilots Need More Air Crisis Training,” The New York Times, November 21, 2011; Kim Willsher, “Transcripts Detail the Final Moments of Flight from Rio,” Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2011; Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn It, We’re Going to Crash,’ ” The Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2012; “Air France Flight 447: When All Else Fails, You Still Have to Fly the Airplane,” Aviation Safety, March 1, 2011; “Concerns over Recovering AF447 Recorders,” Aviation Week, June 3, 2009; Flight Crew Operating Manual, Airbus 330—Systems—Maintenance System; Tim Vasquez, “Air France Flight 447: A Detailed Meteorological Analysis,” Weather Graphics, June 3, 2009, http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, “Air France Flight #447: Did Weather Play a Role in the Accident?” CIMSS Satellite Blog, June 1, 2009, http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/2601; Richard Woods and Matthew Campbell, “Air France 447: The Computer Crash,” The Times, June 7, 2009; “AF 447 May Have Come Apart Before Crash,” Associated Press, June 3, 2009; Wil S. Hylton, “What Happened to Air France Flight 447?” The New York Times Magazine, May 4, 2011; “Accident Description F-GZC,” Flight Safety Foundation, Web; “List of Passengers Aboard Lost Air France Flight,” Associated Press, June 4, 2009; “Air France Jet ‘Did Not Break Up in Mid-Air,’ Air France Crash: First Official Airbus A330 Report Due by Air Investigations and Analysis Office,” Sky News, July 2, 2009; Matthew Wald, “Clues Point to Speed Issues in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, June 7, 2009; Air France, “AF 447 RIO-PARIS-CDG, Pitot Probes,” October 22, 2011, http://corporate.airfrance.com/en/press/af-447-rio-paris-cdg/pitot-probes/; Edward Cody, “Airbus Recommends Airlines Replace Speed Sensors,” The Washington Post, July 31, 2009; Jeff Wise, “What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447,” Popular Mechanics, December 6, 2011; David Kaminski-Morrow, “AF447 Stalled but Crew Maintained Nose-Up Attitude,” Flight International, May 27, 2011; David Talbot, “Flight 447’s Fatal Attitude Problem,” Technology Review, May 27, 2011; Glenn Pew, “Air France 447—How Did This Happen?”

Classification: LCC BF431 .D8185 2016 | DDC 158—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2015034214 eBook ISBN 9780679645429 Illustrations by Anton Ioukhnovets randomhousebooks.com Book design by Liz Cosgrove, adapted for eBook Cover design and illustration: Anton Ioukhnovets v4.1 a CONTENTS Cover Title Page Copyright INTRODUCTION 1. MOTIVATION Reimagining Boot Camp, Nursing Home Rebellions, and the Locus of Control 2. TEAMS Psychological Safety at Google and Saturday Night Live 3. FOCUS Cognitive Tunneling, Air France Flight 447, and the Power of Mental Models 4. GOAL SETTING Smart Goals, Stretch Goals, and the Yom Kippur War 5. MANAGING OTHERS Solving a Kidnapping with Lean and Agile Thinking and a Culture of Trust 6. DECISION MAKING Forecasting the Future (and Winning at Poker) with Bayesian Psychology 7. INNOVATION How Idea Brokers and Creative Desperation Saved Disney’s Frozen 8. ABSORBING DATA Turning Information into Knowledge in Cincinnati’s Public Schools APPENDIX: A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas Dedication Acknowledgments A Note on Sources Notes By Charles Duhigg About the Author INTRODUCTION My introduction to the science of productivity began in the summer of 2011, when I asked a friend of a friend for a favor.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

Venture capitalist Albert Wenger, whose firm has funded many successful start-ups in the financial sector from Kickstarter to SigFig, likens the fate of traditional banks in the age of rich data to another image of a tempest threatening a ship—a “Spanish Galleon full of raided gold sinking in a storm.” It has access to all the capital but lacks the insight, based on information, to circumnavigate the perilous weather. – 8 – FEEDBACK EFFECTS THE AIRBUS 330 ROSE MAJESTICALLY INTO THE EVENING air on June 1, 2009, as it lifted off from Rio de Janeiro’s international airport. The 216 passengers on board Air France Flight 447 looked forward to an uneventful journey to Paris. Commercial passenger flights have achieved an amazing safety record, thanks in no small part to powerful computers and well-trained cockpit crews. Together they form an elaborate feedback system. The flight computers process huge volumes of data from dozens of sensors, keeping the plane on track (itself a feedback loop) and flying safely, while the pilots monitor the computers, examining rich data presented to them about the plane’s position, trajectory, and health.

Conceptually, it was a huge leap to understand how machines can work independently—or, to put it in today’s words, run autonomously. It laid the groundwork for technical developments from the guidance systems of intercontinental nuclear missiles (and the Apollo moon lander) all the way to modern adaptive machine learning systems. But Wiener also looked at and worried about catastrophic failures of feedback systems that could, as the story of Air France Flight 447 highlights, be triggered by unexpected situations, or if elements of a feedback system were caught in an erroneous loop. Wiener’s concept of control in systems has also fostered the desire for control: if something can be controlled, it ought to be, and often in a centralized fashion. The mathematician had anticipated this in choosing to name the study of systems control “cybernetics.” Its Greek origin, kybernete, means “governor.”

Even if the companies supplying us with such decision-assistance systems are perfectly benign, a single point of failure embedded in the structure of data-rich markets would make them (and us) uniquely susceptible to outside attacks. It’s as though everyone were driving only one kind of car: What do we do when we discover that someone has tampered with the brake system? In the context of Air France Flight 447, all flight computers in modern Airbus airplanes exhibited the same behavior, and thus after the terrible accident, all pilots flying Airbus aircraft had to be trained to understand correctly what the stall warning was telling them and when. Homogeneity of the systems we employ amplifies their flaws and can lead to a systemic vulnerability. To avoid such a potentially catastrophic systemwide fault, participants in data-rich markets must be able to make meaningful choices from among a wide variety of decision-assisting systems, designed and maintained by a variety of providers.


pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

Newman, “Learning from a Learning Thermostat: Lessons for Intelligent Systems for the Home,” UbiComp’13, September 8–12, 2013. 158 “As systems get increasingly complex”: John Borrie, interview, April 12, 2016. 159 Air France Flight 447: “Final Report: On the accidents of 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France flight 447 Rio de Janeiro—Paris,” Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile, [English translation], 2012, http://www.bea.aero/docspa/2009/f-cp090601.en/pdf/f-cp090601.en.pdf. William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash. Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn it, We’re Going to Crash,’” The Telegraph, April 28, 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9231855/Air-France-Flight-447-Damn-it-were-going-to-crash.html. 159 Normal accident theory sheds light: In fact, Army researchers specifically cited the Three Mile Island incident as having much in common with the Patriot fratricides.

However, they will still fail sometimes and because they are more complex, accurately predicting when they will fail may be more difficult. Borrie said, “As systems get increasingly complex and increasingly self-directed, I think it’s going to get more and more difficult for human beings to be able to think ahead of time what those weak points are necessarily going to be.” When this happens in high-risk situations, the result can be catastrophic. “WE DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!” On June 1, 2009, Air France Flight 447 from Rio to Paris ran into trouble midway over the Atlantic Ocean. The incident began with a minor and insignificant instrumentation failure. Air speed probes on the wings froze due to ice crystals, a rare but non-serious problem that did not affect the flight of the aircraft. Because the airspeed indicators were no longer functioning properly, the autopilot disengaged and handed over control back to the pilots.

The complexity of the aircraft created problems of transparency that would likely not have existed on a simpler aircraft. By the time the senior pilot understood what was happening, it was too late. The plane was too low and descending too rapidly to recover. The plane crashed into the ocean, killing all 228 people on board. Unlike in the F-22 International Date Line incident or the automobile hack, the Air France Flight 447 crash was not due to a hidden vulnerability lurking within the software. In fact, the automation performed perfectly. However, it would be overly simplistic to lay the crash at the feet of human error. Certainly the pilots made mistakes, but the problem is best characterized as human-automation failure. The pilots were confused by the automation and the complexity of the system. THE PATRIOT FRATRICIDES AS NORMAL ACCIDENTS Normal accident theory sheds light on the Patriot fratricides.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

“The Volkswagen Scandal: A Mucky Business,” The Economist, September 26, 2015, http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21667918-systematic-fraud-worlds-biggest-carmaker-threatens-engulf-entire-industry-and; Brad Plumer, “Volkswagen’s Appalling Clean Diesel Scandal Explained,” Vox, September 23, 2015, http://www.vox.com/2015/9/21/9365667/volkswagen-clean-diesel-recall-passenger-cars; “Clean Air Act Diesel Engine Cases,” US Department of Justice, May 14, 2015, http://www.justice.gov/enrd/diesel-engines; Jeff Plungis and Dana Hull, “VW’s Emissions Cheating Found by Curious Clean-Air Group,” Bloomberg, September 20, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-19/volkswagen-emissions-cheating-found-by-curious-clean-air-group. 7. AUTOMATION 1. Jeff Wise, “What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447,” Popular Mechanics, December 6, 2011, http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a3115/what-really-happened-aboard-air-france-447-6611877/; William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash; “Air France Flight 447 and the Safety Paradox of Automated Cockpits,” Slate, June 25, 2015; “Children of the Magenta,” 99% Invisible (podcast), June 23, 2015, http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/. 2. William Langewiesche, speaking on “Children of the Magenta,” 99% Invisible (podcast), http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/children-of-the-magenta-automation-paradox-pt-1/. 3.

1 Copilot David Robert’s answer was less calm. “We completely lost control of the airplane, and we don’t understand anything! We tried everything!” Two of those statements were wrong. The crew were in control of the airplane. One simple course of action could have ended the crisis they were facing, and they had not tried it. But David Robert was certainly right on one count: he didn’t understand what was happening. Air France Flight 447 had begun straightforwardly enough—an on-time takeoff from Rio de Janeiro at 7:29 p.m. on May 31, 2009, bound for Paris. Hindsight suggests the three pilots had their vulnerabilities. Pierre-Cédric Bonin, thirty-two, was young and inexperienced. David Robert, thirty-seven, had more experience, but he had recently become an Air France manager and no longer flew full-time. Captain Marc Dubois, fifty-eight, had experience aplenty, but he’d been touring Rio with an off-duty flight attendant.

INDEX The page numbers in this index refer to the printed version of this book. The link provided will take you to the beginning of that print page. You may need to scroll forward from that location to find the corresponding reference on your e-reader. Abrahamson, Eric, 236 Academy of Management Journal, 157 Adderley, Cannonball, 96 African Americans, 226 Aiden, Erez Lieberman, 23–26, 28, 97n Air France Flight 447, 177–86, 195, 197, 199 AirAsia Flight 8501, 183n Aldrich, Howard, 53 Algorithms, 10–12, 32, 55, 141, 167n, 254 dating, 243–51 Eno and, 15, 19–29, 48 failures of, 190–95 Allergan, 141 Alomar, Carlos, 9, 19, 20, 31–32 Alsup, William, 190 “Am I Wasting Time Organizing Email?” (Whittaker), 240 Amazon, 124–27, 136–41 Ambulance response time, 159–61, 170–71 Anderson, Laurie, 17n Andreessen, Marc, 242, 243 Anechoic chambers, 75 Annealing, simulated, 10–11 Another Green World (Eno album), 9, 16 Apgar score, 153–55, 157 Apple (company and products), 63, 69, 139 Aquinas, Thomas, 93 Architecture, 68 modernist, 61–63, 72 playground, 269–70, 273 workplace, 70–73, 80, 85 Architecture of Happiness, The (de Botton), 62 Argentina, 216 Ariely, Dan, 248, 255, 256 Armitage, Simon, 31 Artificial intelligence, 252 Asch, Solomon, 47–48, 272n16 Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 18 Attentional filters, 17 Australia, 55, 68–69, 192, 207 Automation, 177–204, 258 disasters caused by, 177–86 human overreliance on, 192–98 unreliability of, 186–92 See also Computers Autonomy in childhood, 264 in workplace, 67–68, 80–84, 87–89 Avalanches, 165–66, 169 Aztec Empire, 34 Baar, Roland, 33 Bahns, Angela, 53–54 Bali, 190 Ball, David, 262 Banking regulations, 161–67, 169–74 Bardeen, John, 26 Barnes & Noble, 136–39 Basel Accords, 161–65, 169–70 Beagle (ship), 27 Beatles, 98 Beckmann, Johann Gottlieb, 150–53, 191, 205, 206 Belew, Adrien, 20–22, 97 Bentham, Jeremy, 170, 171 Beranek, Leo, 75–76 Berger, Warren, 71 Berkowitz, Aaron, 275n23 Berlin Wall, 8 Bevan, Gwyn, 172 Bezos, Jeff, 124–27, 129, 132, 136–41, 143–44, 146, 264 BHP Billiton, 68–69, 86 Big Sort, The (Bishop and Cushing), 217 Biodiversity, 155, 157, 206 Birmingham (England), 213–14 University of, 156 Bishop, Bill, 217 Blair, Tony, 149–50, 152, 155, 159, 170, 172, 173 Blaser, Martin, 208–9 Bletchley Park (England), 147 Blitzkrieg, 128 Blyton, Enid, 45 Bohlin, Peter, 63 Bolt, Beranek and Newman, 75–76, 78 Bombardier Inc., 51 Bonding, 36–39, 41, 57, 60 Bonin, Pierre-Cédric, 178–82, 185–86, 199 Borges, Jorge Luis, 234–39 Bose Corporation, 76, 78 Bösendorfer piano, 1–2 Boston, Route 128 technology cluster in, 214–15 Boston Attention and Learning Lab, 16 Boulder (Col.), 46–47 Bowie, David, 7–9, 16, 17n, 20, 25, 28 Boy Scouts, 42 Boyd, John, 132–35, 137, 140, 144, 264 “Boys Keep Swinging” (Bowie), 21, 22 Bradley, Sarah, 92 Brailsford, Dave, 58 Brand, Stewart, 79 Brandes, Vera, 1–3, 5 Braun, Allen, 99–100 Bridging, 38–39, 41, 57 Brin, Sergey, 81 Britain.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Their captain, fifty-eight-year-old Marc Debois, was off duty back in the cabin. They had to waste precious attention to summon him. Even though the aircraft was flying straight and level when the computers tripped off, the pilots struggled to make sense of the bad air data. One man pulled back, the other pushed forward on his control stick. They continued straight and level for about a minute, then lost control. On June 1, 2009, Air France flight 447 spiraled into the ocean, killing more than two hundred passengers and crew. It disappeared below the waves, nearly without a trace. In the global, interconnected system of international aviation, it is unacceptable for an airliner to simply disappear. A massive, coordinated search followed. In just a few days traces of flight 447 were located on the ocean’s surface. Finding the bulk of the wreckage, however, and the black box data recorders that held the keys to the accident’s causes, required hunting across a vast seafloor, and proved frustratingly slow.

In the 1930s, Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) began to replace the terms “pilot” and “copilot” with “captain” and “first officer,” and gave them the now-familiar maritime-inspired uniforms to suggest confidence and authority based on established social roles. More recently, these terms morphed into “pilot flying” and “pilot not flying,” because the captain might not always be the person flying (or, as on Air France flight 447, the captain may not even be in the room). Now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recommended these terms be changed to “pilot flying” and “pilot monitoring” to give positive designation to their actions, showing both pilots are engaged in flying the plane regardless of which has a hand on the controls. (In these conversations “flying” often still refers to hands on the controls, even though “flying” overall encompasses many other activities.)

Abbott, Kathy, 75–76 ABE (autonomous benthic explorer), 54, 191–96 acoustic communications and, 195–96 geological mapping by, 192–93, 194 loss of, 191–92 nature of autonomy of, 194–97 original mission of, 192 acoustic communications, and AUVs, 195–96 acoustic transponder networks, for navigation, 29 Afghanistan, 139 Airbus, 86–87 A-310, 82 Flight QF32, 71–72, 77 aircraft/aviation, 69–111, 226–29 adding unmanned automation technology to, 215–18 Automated Labor In-cockpit System (ALIAS), 217–18 drones (See drones) FAA survey of technology and pilot skill, 2013, 75–76 future of, 110–11 heads-up display (HUD) and, 88–108, 225 history of, 77–84 landings and, 84–88 optionally piloted aircraft (OPAs), 213–15 pilots role in flying modern aircraft, 69–72, 75–77 synthetic vision and, 108–9, 225 technological change and increasing automation, effect of, 72–75 unmanned helicopters, 210–13 Air France Flight 447, 1–2, 1–4, 69–70, 72, 73, 81, 162, 196 Akers, Thomas, 170, 171–72 Alaska Airlines, 92 Alvin (deep-sea submersible), 26–30, 33–34, 35, 45–51, 57, 59–66, 176, 194, 197, 225 ABE’s geological mapping and, 192–93, 194 acoustic navigation system of, 29 arguments and justifications for new, 63–65 hydrogen bomb recovery effort using, 27 Jason, differences between and rivalry with, 59–62 plate tectonics evidence gathered by, 28–29 Titanic wreck and, 45–51 Amber, 126 amphoras, 23–24 AMUVS (Advanced Maneuverable Underwater Vehicle System), 43–44 ANGUS (Acoustically Navigated Geologic Underwater Survey System), 30–34 Apollo missions, 225 Apollo 11, 159–61 Apollo 13, 72 Apollo 15, 178 Apollo 17, 177, 179 field geology and, 176–79 Argo (tethered sled), 35–36, 41–43 Armstrong, Neil, 77, 78, 159–61, 221 Asiana Airlines, 106–7 Flight 214, 72, 106 Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), 219 Atlantis II (research vessel), 45 Aurora Flight Sciences, 211, 214, 217 Automated Labor In-cockpit System (ALIAS), 217–18 automatic landing systems (autoland) Apollo landings and, 159–61 in commercial aviation, 86–88, 94, 97 space shuttles and, 161–63 automation, 4–6, 10, 11 automation bias, 74 automation dependency, 74 automation surprise, 74 automobiles, driverless.


pages: 296 words: 78,631

Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms by Hannah Fry

23andMe, 3D printing, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Brixton riot, chief data officer, computer vision, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Firefox, Google Chrome, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, ransomware, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web of trust, William Langewiesche

The company baby Among the pilots at Air France, Pierre-Cédric Bonin was known as a ‘company baby’.40 He had joined the airline at the tender age of 26, with only a few hundred hours of flying time under his belt, and had grown up in the airline’s fleet of Airbuses. By the time he stepped aboard the fated flight of AF447, aged 32, he had managed to clock up a respectable 2,936 hours in the air, although that still made him by far the least experienced of the three pilots on board.41 None the less, it was Bonin who sat at the controls of Air France flight 447 on 31 May 2009, as took it off from the tarmac of Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport and headed home to Paris.42 This was an Airbus A330, one of the most sophisticated commercial aircraft ever built. Its autopilot system was so advanced that it was practically capable of completing an entire flight unaided, apart from take-off and landing. And even when the pilot was in control, it had a variety of built-in safety features to minimize the risk of ­human error.

But there’s a hidden danger in building an automated system that can safely handle virtually every issue its designers can anticipate. If a pilot is only expected to take over in exceptional circumstances, they’ll no longer maintain the skills they need to operate the system themselves. So they’ll have very little experience to draw on to meet the challenge of an unanticipated emergency. And that’s what happened with Air France flight 447. Although Bonin had accumulated thousands of hours in an Airbus cockpit, his actual experience of flying an A330 by hand was minimal. His role as a pilot had mostly been to monitor the automatic system. It meant that when the autopilot disengaged during that evening’s flight, Bonin didn’t know how to fly the plane safely.43 The trouble started when ice crystals began to form inside the air-speed sensors built into the fuselage.

You’d be most unfamiliar with the road at precisely the moment you need to know it best; add in the lack of practice, and you’ll be as poorly equipped as you could be to deal with the situations demanding the highest level of skill. It’s a fact that has also been borne out in experiments with driverless car simulations. One study, which let people read a book or play on their phones while the car drove itself, found that it took up to 40 seconds after an alarm sounded for them to regain proper control of the vehicle.59 That’s exactly what happened with Air France flight 447. Captain Dubois, who should have been easily capable of saving the plane, took around one minute too long to realize what was happening and come up with the simple solution that would have solved the problem.60 Ironically, the better self-driving technology gets, the worse these problems become. A sloppy autopilot that sets off an alarm every 15 minutes will keep a driver continually engaged and in regular practice.


pages: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

To gain experience about all your customers, you may sometimes need to degrade the product for those customers in order to get feedback that will benefit everyone. Humans Also Need Experience The scarcity of experience becomes even more salient when you consider the experience of your human resources. If the machines get the experience, then the humans might not. Recently, some expressed concern that automation could result in the deskilling of humans. Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic on route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009. The crisis began with bad weather, but escalated when the plane’s autopilot disengaged. At the helm during that time, unlike Sully in the US Airways plane, a relatively inexperienced pilot poorly handled the situation, according to reports. When a more experienced pilot took over (he had been asleep), he was unable to properly assess the situation.14 The experienced pilot had slept little the night before.

The bet is possible because of technological advances in privacy-protecting data analysis, especially Cynthia Dwork’s invention of differential privacy: Cynthia Dwork, “Differential Privacy: A Survey of Results,” in M. Agrawal, D. Du, Z. Duan, and A. Li (eds), Theory and Applications of Models of Computation. TAMC 2008. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4978 (Berlin: Springer, 2008), https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-79228-4_1. 14. William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/business/2014/10/air-france-flight-447-crash. 15. Tim Harford, “How Computers Are Setting Us Up for Disaster,” The Guardian, October 11, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/crash-how-computers-are-setting-us-up-disaster. Chapter 18 1. L. Sweeney, “Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery,” Communications of the ACM 56, no. 5 (2013): 44–54, https://dataprivacylab.org/projects/onlineads/. 2. Ibid. 3. “Racism Is Poisoning Online Ad Delivery, Says Harvard Professor,” MIT Technology Review, February 4, 2013, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/510646/racism-is-poisoning-online-ad-delivery-says-harvard-professor/. 4.

Index accounts payable, 123–124, 162 action, in decision making, 74–76 Ada Support 90–91, 174 Adobe, 190 adoption, timing of, 17 adversarial machine learning, 187–188 advertising, 174–176 biases in, 195–198 effectiveness of, 198–199 gender discrimination and, 196–198 quality of, 198–199 AI. See artificial intelligence (AI) AI canvas, 134–139 AI-first strategy, 179–182 AI Insight, 14 AI moment, 7–8 AI neuroscience, 197–198 Air France Flight 447, 192 airline industry, 168–169, 170 airline pilots, 184–185, 192 airplanes, performance of, 182–183 airport lounges, 105–106 AI winter, 32 Alabama, hybrid corn adoption in, 158–160, 181 Alexa, 1, 2–3 Alibaba, 217, 218 Alipay, 219 AliveCor, 44 Allied bombing raids, WWII, 100–102 AlphaGo, 8, 187, 222 Amazon, 215 AI asset acquisition by, 217 Alexa, 1, 2–3 anticipatory shipping strategy, 16–17, 156–157 Echo, 220 fulfillment at, 105, 143, 144–145 Machine Learning, 203 Picking Challenge, 144 privacy policy, 190 The Americans (TV show), 103 analogies, 99 anticipatory shipping, 16–17, 156–157 Apple, 189–190, 217 Apple Watch, 44–45, 46, 48–49 application ranking, 127–129 artificial intelligence (AI), 31–32.See also tools, AI automation vs., 112 biases in, 195–198 cost reductions in, 7–20 diversity in machines for, 201–202 economics of, 8–9 general, or strong, 133, 221–223 limitations of, 133 machine learning as, 38–40 as magical, 8–9 superintelligent, 221–223 trade-offs with, 4 when to deploy, 184–187 arts, 117 Asimov, Isaac, 115 Atomwise, 134–138 AT&T, 215 autocorrect, 130 automatic teller machines (ATMs), 171–173 automation AI vs., 112 fulfillment and, 105, 143–145 job loss and, 210–212 job redesign and, 141–151 legal requirements for humans with, 115–117 in mining, 112–114 when not to use, 117–118 when to use, 114–117 work flow analysis and, 123–131, 142–145 automobile industry, 169–170, 171.


pages: 313 words: 91,098

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, attribution theory, bitcoin, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, combinatorial explosion, computer age, crowdsourcing, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Flynn Effect, Hernando de Soto, hindsight bias, hive mind, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

If it stalls, the airplane essentially falls from the sky. A good way to recover from a stall is to point the nose of the plane down and increase engine power until the plane’s airspeed generates sufficient lift to keep the plane aloft. Stall recovery is one of most basic skills that prospective pilots master in flight school. This is why investigators were shocked when they recovered the black box from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the ocean in 2009, killing 228 people. The Airbus A330 had entered a stall and was falling from the sky. The copilot inexplicably tried to push the nose of the plane up rather than down. How could this happen? A report commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2013 concluded that pilots have become too reliant on automation and lack basic manual flying skills, leaving them unable to cope in unusual circumstances.

The link provided will take you to the beginning of that print page. You may need to scroll forward from that location to find the corresponding reference on your e-reader. 9/11 attacks, 32–33 abortion, 183, 184 adult and infant with a bucket example of shared intentionality, 116 advertising, 239–40, 241–42 affirmation of the consequent, 54–55 Affordable Care Act, 171–72, 197 Air France Flight 447 example of safety and the automation paradox, 142–43 airplane example of complexity, 28 AJ (memory case study), 38–40, 96 Alba, Joe, 168 anagram example of intuition vs. deliberation, 76–77 animals vs. plants, 40–42. See also specific species Anthony, Susan B., 196 arbitrary associations, 50–51 area of expertise example of division of cognitive labor, 120 Aristotle, 77 arithmetic body-based counting example of body-brain cooperation, 102–03 Brazilian street sellers’ abilities, 215–16 artificial intelligence (AI).

See also specific species Plato, 78 Pledge of Allegiance example of comprehension, 217–18 polarization of society regarding politics, 16, 173–75 policy position example of the Illusion of Explanatory Depth (IoED), 175–81 politics abortion, 183, 184 Affordable Care Act, 171–72 assisted suicide, 183, 184 ballot measures, 189–91 bias, 188–89 complexity of, 16 gay marriage, 186 groupthink, 173–75 health care, 184–85 individuals as the face of political movements, 196–97 Iranian attitudes about nuclear capabilities, 185–86 Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 186–87 leaders, qualities of strong, 192–93 people’s strengths of positions on policy issues, 175–81, 182–84, 192 political discourse, importance of, 187–88 representative democracy, argument for, 191–92 power of thinking as a community, 80, 200, 206–14 prediction market, 149 predictive reasoning, 58–60 Proposition 13, 190–91 propositional logic, 54–56 protest movements “golden rice” field destruction, 155 James Inhofe’s argument against climate change, 154 Luddites’ destruction of industrial machinery, 153–54 Ned Ludd smashes his knitting machine, 153 Second Luddite Congress of 1996, 154 vaccination opposition, 155–56, 159, 168 public opinion Affordable Care Act, 171–72 food labeling, 172 military intervention in the Ukraine, 172 “Purple Haze” example of comprehension, 218 Rabheru, Avin, 211 racetrack betting example of intelligence, 205 radiation Castle Bravo thermonuclear fusion bomb (“Shrimp”), 1–3, 5–6 Slotin’s “tickling the dragon’s tail” experiment, 19–20 Ranney, Michael, 169–70 rats and arbitrary associations, 51 recklessness, 20 reflection, human ability of, 145–46 robotics Brooks, Rodney, 90–93 embodied intelligence, 91–93 Roomba vacuum cleaner, 92 subsumption architecture, 92–93 Rogers, Todd, 121 rolling coin example of causal reasoning, 71–72 Roomba vacuum cleaner, 92 Royal Majesty example of safety and the automation paradox, 143–44 Rozenblit, Leon, 21–23 Rumsfeld, Donald, 32 Russell, Bertrand, 172 safety and the automation paradox Air France Flight 447 example, 142–43 GPS (Global Positioning System) software, 143 Royal Majesty example, 143–44 Saint Joan (Shaw), 126–27 Scerri, Eric, 199 science attitudes about, 157–70 Bodmer Report, 156–59 deficit model, 157–60 economics of, 227–28 expressing desire to learn that which is unknown, 221 food irradiation, 167–68 genetic engineering, 154–55, 165–67 global warming, 169–70 having faith in other scientists’ work, 223–24 individuals as heroes, 198–200 Jane Doe example, 224–25 National Research Council (NRC), 222 National Science Board’s measure of public understanding, 157–58 periodic table of the elements, 199–200 role of the scientist, 224–25 simultaneous discoveries, 199–200 taking responsibility for negligence, 225 teaching, 222, 225–32 vaccination opposition, 155–56, 159, 168 “Science Mike” (Mike McHargue), 160–62 Scott, Robert, 263 sea sponge, capabilities of a, 41–42 self-confidence necessary in exploration, 263 senator and lobbyist example of causal reasoning, 54, 58 sewer and shower example of causal reasoning, 55 shared intentionality, 115–18 adult and infant with a bucket example, 116 GPS (Global Positioning System) software, 139–40, 143 machines’ lack of collaborative ability, 139–42 Tomasello, Michael, 116 Vygotsky, Lev, 115–16 Shaw, George Bernard, 126–27 “Shrimp” thermonuclear fusion bomb (“Castle Bravo”), 1–3, 5–6 Simmel, Marianne, 64 Simon, Theodore, 203 The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Kurzweil), 132 skills and knowledge, 258 skin care example of explanation foes and fiends, 239–40 Sloman, Steven, 49–50, 121–22, 261–62 Slotin, Louis, 19–20 social brain hypothesis, 112–13 social situations making accurate inferences in, 75 Socrates, 173, 198 Soll, Jack, 235 somatic markers, 103–05 Spanish history example of education’s purpose, 220 Speth, John, 109 Sphinx example of knowledge placeholders, 125–26 storytelling, 62–67 alternative worlds, imagining, 64–65 biblical, 63–64 Boston Tea Party example, 66–67 community beliefs relayed through, 66–67 graffiti example, 63 Heider, Fritz, 64 purposes and advantages of, 65–66 Simmel, Marianne, 64 subsumption architecture, 92–93 Sunstein, Cass, 247 superintelligence, 132–33, 146 Tattersall, Ian, 133 team efforts vs. individuality, 17–18, 118–21, 212.


pages: 301 words: 85,126

AIQ: How People and Machines Are Smarter Together by Nick Polson, James Scott

Air France Flight 447, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, basic income, Bayesian statistics, business cycle, Cepheid variable, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Charles Pickering, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Flash crash, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index fund, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, late fees, low earth orbit, Lyft, Magellanic Cloud, mass incarceration, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Moravec's paradox, more computing power than Apollo, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, North Sea oil, p-value, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, survivorship bias, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

If you’re hoping to find the next Warren Buffett, you will only have a marketing pitch to go by—early in a stock picker’s career, the performance data is almost useless. So tread carefully, or you’ll end up backing the manager with the silver tongue, rather than the golden edge. Postscript We first met Bayes’s rule as a principle for finding a lost submarine, and today Bayesian search is a small industry, with entire companies that consult on search-and-rescue operations.18 For example, you might recall the tragedy of Air France Flight 447, which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, in June of 2009. By late 2011, the search for the wreckage had been going on for two fruitless years. Then a Bayesian search firm was hired, a map of probabilities was drawn up, and the plane was found within one week of undersea search.19 Moreover, the main idea of Bayes’s rule—updating your prior knowledge in light of new evidence—applies everywhere, not least behind the wheel of a self-driving car.

See Great Andromeda Nebula anomaly detection averaging bias (type of anomaly) coin clipping and Formula 1 racing and fraud and importance of variability law enforcement and Moneyball NBA and overdispersion (type of anomaly) Patriots coin toss record and simulated coin toss record smart cities and square-root rule (de Moivre’s equation) and Trial of the Pyx (Royal Mint fraud protection) Apple data storage iPhone market dominance pattern-recognition system Aristophanes: The Frogs artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and anxieties regarding assumptions and bias in, bias out contraception and criminal justice system and democratization of diffusion and dissemination of enabling technological trends image classification image recognition model rust models versus reality Moravec paradox policy rage to conclude bias robot cars salaries SLAM problem (simultaneous localization and mapping) speech recognition talent and workforce twenty questions game and See also anomaly detection; Bayes’s rule; health care and medicine; natural language processing (NLP); pattern recognition; personalization; prediction rules assumptions astronomy Alpha Centauri Bayes’s rule and Great Andromeda Nebula Leavitt’s original equation Leavitt’s prediction rule data measuring stars Milky Way nebulae oscillation of a pulsating star parallax pulsating stars statistics and Athey, Alex automation. See also robotics autonomous cars. See robot cars availability heuristic Baidu base-rate neglect Bayes’s rule coin flips and discovery of as an equation investing and mammograms and medical diagnostics and robot cars and search for Air France Flight 447 and search for USS Scorpion and usefulness of Bayesian search essential steps of posterior probabilities prior beliefs and revised beliefs prior beliefs and search for USS Scorpion prior probabilities Bel Geddes, Norman Belichick, Bill Bell Labs BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos Berglund Scherwitzl, Elina Bernoulli, Johann big data. See data science; data sets birth control. See contraception and birth control bisphosphonates Black Lives Matter Borges, Jorge Luis: “The Library of Babel” Bornn, Luke brachistochrone curve Brooklyn Nets Buffett, Warren cancer bisphosphonates and breast cancer colorectal cancer esophageal cancer lymphoma medical imaging skin cancer surgery targeted therapy car accidents Cardwell, Chris Carnegie Mellon University cars.


pages: 309 words: 95,495

Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe by Greg Ip

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, air freight, airport security, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double helix, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, savings glut, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transaction costs, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, value at risk, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

The Deepwater Horizon had one of the best safety records in BP’s fleet of drilling rigs; indeed, some of the company’s executives were on it one night in April 2010 to learn more about that record. The rig’s safety record turned out to owe more to luck than to BP’s culture; that night, its luck ran out. It was destroyed by an explosion, killing eleven and triggering one of the worst oil spills in history. In 2009, Air France flight 447, with 228 passengers and crew aboard en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, passed through a region of intense thunderstorms, then abruptly disappeared. When investigators finally recovered the black boxes two years later, they learned that the copilot had tried to climb too sharply, causing the Airbus A330 to stall and rapidly lose altitude. Exactly why remains a mystery, but one theory of investigators fingers the safeguards built into jetliners that have helped make aviation so safe.

Comparisons between commercial aviation and automobile fatalities are based on fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, three-year averages. The data are from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation. 33 Fly-by-wire, as this became known: A great history of the technology is by William Langewiesche, Fly by Wire (New York: Picador, 2009). 34 Shortly after the autopilot: Details of the events leading up to the crash of Air France Flight 447 are from Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation Civile, “Final Report on the accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro–Paris,” 2012, 173. 35 pilots had never trained: Ibid., 204. 36 he may have ignored the stall warning: Ibid., 180. “He [the pilot then flying the aircraft] may therefore have embraced the common belief that the aeroplane could not stall, and in this context a stall warning was inconsistent.” 37 “Airbus said their aircraft”: Andy Pasztor, “Air France Crash Report Likely to Alter Pilot Training,” Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2011, available at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053111904800304576474234278567542. 38 later told Congress: U.S.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

We transfer that agency into the machine’s workings, where it lies concealed until something goes awry. Computers break down. They have bugs. They get hacked. And when let loose in the world, they face situations that their programmers didn’t prepare them for. They work perfectly until they don’t. Many disasters blamed on human error actually involve chains of events that are initiated or aggravated by technological failures. Consider the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447 as it flew from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. While passing through a storm over the Atlantic, the plane’s airspeed sensors iced over. Without the velocity data, the autopilot couldn’t perform its calculations. It shut down, abruptly shifting control to the pilots. Taken by surprise in a stressful situation, the aviators made mistakes. The plane, with 228 passengers and crew, plunged into the ocean.

Abbas ibn Firnas, 329, 341 Abedin, Huma, 315 Abercrombie & Fitch, 244–45 accessibility, 99–100, 199–200, 268 instantaneous, 57, 232, 241, 264, 267 of music, 293 Adams, John, 325 Adderall, 304 Addiction by Design (Schüll), 218–19 Adorno, Theodor, 153–54 advertising, 15, 31, 168, 255, 258, 264 edginess in, 10–11 as pervasive, 64 search-linked, 279–80 in social media, 53–54 in virtual world, 27 see also marketing Advisory Council on the Right to Be Forgotten, 194 AdWords, 279 aesthetic emotions, 249–50 Against Intellectual Monopoly (Levine), 276 Agar, Nicholas, 339 Agarwal, Anant, 133 air disasters, 322–23 Air France Flight 447, 322 Akamai Technologies, 205 “Alastor” (Shelley), 88 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 272 algorithms, 113, 136, 145, 167, 174, 190–94, 237, 238, 242, 257, 258 allusion, cultural nuances of, 86–89 alphabet, ideograms vs., 234 Altamont concert, 42 AltaVista, 67 amateurs, 33 creativity of, 49 internet hegemony of, 4–8 media production by, 81 Amazon, 31, 37–38, 92, 142, 256, 277, 288 ambient overload, 90–92 America Online, 279–80 “Amorality of Web 2.0, The” (Carr), xxi–xii Amtrak derailment, 323 analog resources, 148–50 Anders, Günther, 321 Anderson, Chris, 68 Andreessen, Marc, xvii Andrews, James, 134 Android phones, 156, 283 anticonsumerism, 83–85 anxiety, 186, 304 Apple, 125 Apple Corps, 71 Apple II, 76–77 archiving, cultural memory and, 325–28 Arendt, Hannah, 310–11 Aristotle, 174, 307–9 art: allusion in, 89 bundling of musical tracks as, 42–43 by-number, 71–72 digitalization of, 223 emotional response to, 249–50 “free” vs.


pages: 175 words: 54,028

Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche

Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, Bernard Ziegler, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, crew resource management, New Journalism, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

On October 7, 2008, for instance, an Australian A330 that was cruising in good weather suffered a computer failure, and reacted by pitching down so violently (at nearly −1 G) that twelve occupants were seriously injured. A computer failure should not have had that effect, but it did. The captain regained control after losing 650 feet, experienced another pitch-down five minutes later, regained control again, diverted to an airport, and made a safe emergency landing. More recent is the mysterious case of Air France Flight 447, which plummeted into the Atlantic on the night of June 1, 2009, when flying from Brazil to France. It was an Airbus A330 with 288 people aboard, all of whom died. Because it crashed into deep waters and its recorders have not been found, very little is known about what happened. There was no bomb. There was no missile. Whatever went wrong, the disaster took a while to unfold, but the pilots remained silent on the radio.


pages: 269 words: 74,955

The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World's Most Mysterious Air Disasters by Christine Negroni

Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, computer age, crew resource management, crowdsourcing, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Richard Feynman, South China Sea, Tenerife airport disaster, Thomas Bayes, US Airways Flight 1549

Ministry of Transportation, 153 Air Botswana, 201 Airbus A35, 185–86 Airbus A300, 8, 47 Airbus A320, 222, 236, 247 Airbus A321, 99, 130 Airbus A330, 55 Airbus A380, 136, 190, 211, 239–40, 243, 246–47, 253–55 Air Canada Flight 143, 223–26, 234–35, 240–43, 249–50, 255–56 Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), 20, 41, 45–46, 55, 57 air data inertial reference unit (ADIRU), 235–36 Air France Flight 447, 53, 55–58 Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), 110, 171, 176, 216 Air New Zealand Flight 901, x, 117–31 Antarctic Experience flights, 118, 125, 128–29 Air Registration Board, United Kingdom, 150, 154 air traffic control (ATC) and accident investigation process, 82 and Air New Zealand Flight 901 crash, 120, 127 and Albertina crash, 89 and ANA Flight 692, 168 and Arrow Air crash, 108 and cockpit resource management, 220 and Comet crashes, 155 communications with hypoxic crew, 11, 13, 32–33 and complexity of air safety system, 260 and flight simulations, 252 and Helios Flight 522, 41 and human factors, 198–99, 201 and MH-370, 20–22, 62 and Northwest Flight 188, 227 and Qantas engine loss incident, 247 and radio navigation, 51 and Tenerife runway collision, 214–16 and United Flight 553, 84–85 Airline Training Center Arizona (ATCA), 198 Aizawa, Takeo, 193 Albertina (DC-6), 87, 89, 92–96 All Nippon Airways (ANA), 166–69, 181–82, 187, 192 Allen, A.


pages: 231 words: 75,147

438 Days: An Extraordinary True Story of Survival at Sea by Jonathan Franklin

Air France Flight 447, Skype

Long before these nascent storms are tracked by anxious governments in Southeast Asia, thirty-foot waves and 80 mph winds churn the open ocean. Alvarenga had ample time to study the anvil-shaped cloud formations that exploded on the horizon. Intracloud lightning illuminated the innards of these towers of clouds that rise so high commercial jets flying at 36,000 feet regularly alter their course to avoid contact. Air France flight 447, which crashed off the coast of Brazil in 2009, attempted to negotiate a bank of these clouds in the Atlantic Ocean and fatally underestimated the power of these equatorial storm cells. One sailor navigating the area described “dark gray menacing clouds coming toward us like something straight out of a horror movie.” Alvarenga looked at the rapidly rising clouds and remembered his years in El Salvador as a baker.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

The problem with split responsibility is that, ultimately, both people involved in completing the task may feel it’s safe to drop the ball, assuming the other person will pick up the slack. If neither party dives in to the rescue, the result is mission failure. If humans and machines are given split responsibility for driving, the results could be disastrous. Even as he champions machine and human partnerships, Mindell himself describes a harrowing example of split responsibility between man and machine in the plight of air France Flight 447, which, in 2009, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, tragically killing all 228 people on board. Later analysis of the plane’s black box revealed that the cause of the crash was not terrorism or a mechanical malfunction. What went wrong was the handoff from automated flight mode to the team of human pilots. While in flight, the plane’s auto-pilot software became covered in ice and unexpectedly shut down.


pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business cycle, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

The same can be said of the debacle of Fukushima: one can safely say that it made us aware of the problem with nuclear reactors (and small probabilities) and prevented larger catastrophes. (Note that the errors of naive stress testing and reliance on risk models were quite obvious at the time; as with the economic crisis, nobody wanted to listen.) Every plane crash brings us closer to safety, improves the system, and makes the next flight safer—those who perish contribute to the overall safety of others. Swiss flight 111, TWA flight 800, and Air France flight 447 allowed the improvement of the system. But these systems learn because they are antifragile and set up to exploit small errors; the same cannot be said of economic crashes, since the economic system is not antifragile the way it is presently built. Why? There are hundreds of thousands of plane flights every year, and a crash in one plane does not involve others, so errors remain confined and highly epistemic—whereas globalized economic systems operate as one: errors spread and compound.


pages: 719 words: 181,090

Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy

Air France Flight 447, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, database schema, defense in depth, DevOps, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Flash crash, George Santayana, Google Chrome, Google Earth, information asymmetry, job automation, job satisfaction, Kubernetes, linear programming, load shedding, loose coupling, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, six sigma, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, trickle-down economics, web application, zero day

However, note that our description contains some nuances that might be useful to keep in mind while reading the rest of the chapter. 2 The expertise acquired in building such automation is also valuable in itself; engineers both deeply understand the existing processes they have automated and can later automate novel processes more quickly. 3 See the following XKCD cartoon: http://xkcd.com/1205/. 4 See, for example, http://blog.engineyard.com/2014/pets-vs-cattle. 5 Of course, not every system that needs to be managed actually provides callable APIs for management—forcing some tooling to use, e.g., CLI invocations or automated website clicks. 6 We have compressed and simplified this history to aid understanding. 7 As in a small, unchanging number. 8 See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447. 9 See, e.g., [Bai83] and [Sar97]. 10 This is yet another good reason for regular practice drills; see “Disaster Role Playing”. Chapter 8. Release Engineering Written by Dinah McNutt Edited by Betsy Beyer and Tim Harvey Release engineering is a relatively new and fast-growing discipline of software engineering that can be concisely described as building and delivering software [McN14a].