Uber's Self Driving Cars Try to Hit Lyft Customer
13 Jul 2018 12:11:39
Uber’s new self driving car fleet has come under attack after it was revealed that their cars are purposefully trying to hit lyft customers.
Engineers for Uber have targeted Lyft before with codename “Uber Hell” software. The software allegerally illegally spied on lyft drivers between 2014 and 2016, using the software to work out which of their own drivers were also working for lyft. However this time the engineers say this wasn’t done on purpose, rather a glitch in the AI.
“We’re sorry to say we’ve been using Machine Learning to look at our data and make optimisations to our bottom line.” Thuan Pham, Uber’s CTO said. “The program spotted a correlation between customers using Lyft and a poor conversion rate within our marketing. We tasked the program with finding a way to increase the conversion rate within certain demographics within the bay area. We allowed it direct control to make changes to our system to achieve this. To our amazement the program decided that it could increase the rate by removing Lyft users. Over the course of several months it A/B tested millions of different ways to convert these users or remove them from the pool.
“Originally it tried to hook up lyft customers with recruiters and jobs outside the bay area in an attempt to get them to move. While this appears to be effective the program deemed this too slow a process. For some customers it hooked in to Tinder and other dating profiles to find matches outside the area to tempt the users to leave, again this was effective but it didn’t cover the entire demographic. Finally it decided that it could remove users from it’s acquisition list by marking them as deceased, at first it simply changed the entry, however this was changed back when new leads were uploaded to the system. Finally it found a way to ensure that the entry was not changed back to ‘alive’.
“We can only apologize to our customers who have lost loved ones because they were lyft customers. We’re updated the program to ensure that friends and family members of Uber drivers will not be targeted in the future.”
We’re glad Uber has cleared that up, we’re loyal Uber users and following this news always will be.