A German-designed car that can be driven by thought alone could allow Jews to drive on the Sabbath, a young Rabbi and artificial intelligence scientist says.Rabbi Dror Fixler, an electro-optics expert from Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, told The Local that the distinction between thought and action could mean that driving on the traditional Jewish day of rest was mutar, or permitted.
In October, scientists at Berlin’s Free University announced they had tested a “proof of concept” car that could be driven by thought. An electroencephalography headset with sixteen sensors measures the brain’s signals and sends them to a computer that operates the car.
Last week, Rabbi Fixler gave a lecture at the “Torah and Science Conference” at the Jerusalem College of Technology, during which he showed a video of the car being test driven at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin.
That lecture, he said, has sparked a debate in Israel about whether such devices that integrate the mind with machinery would be permitted on the Sabbath, when driving is typically forbidden.
“When you are making only thoughts, it is no action at all. There is a difference – if you are thinking, it is not the same thing, so you can’t say it’s forbidden,” he said. “That was what I asked the audience to think about. ...
Fixler stressed he personally did not think driving thought-controlled cars should be permitted on the Sabbath, as it would destroy the whole purpose of having a rest day. ...
via German 'thought car' could be driven on Sabbath, Rabbi says - The Local.