Through 'smart solutions', technology has delivered everyday life with a bounty of small miracles, especially in communication. But the train problems are a reminder that we still need to include possibility for human agency in our world. Otherwise, we are in danger of being out-smarted and out of control. Develop the technology certainly, but also we also need to maintain the professional responsibility of those who need to deploy it.
Friday, 9 February 2007
Melbourne commuters have been tested over recent weeks by problems with the train fleet, particularly the braking devices. In the Siemens trains, there are a number of sophisticated overrides built into the software that are designed to remove opportunity for human error. It seems one of the issues is the inability of drivers to override these systems in an emergency. This has apparently been rectified and according to a representative Mr Annells, 'In layman's terms we are adjusting the smarts on the train.' (The Age 8/2/07)