Investigations into the causes of the two Boeing 737 Max crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, have focused on software — and the possibility that it was autonomously pointing the planes' noses downward, acting without the pilots' consent.
It's a nightmare scenario. It's also a reminder that software is everywhere, sometimes doing things we don't expect.
This sank in for a lot of people four years ago, during the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. It turned out that software inside the cars had been quietly running the engines in such a way as to cheat on emissions tests.