The Risks of Marrying ‘Smart’ Technology With ‘Dumb’ Machines

Investigators probing two deadly crashes of Boeing Co. 737 MAX airliners are grappling with a hybrid of old and new technology, where a complex piece of software controls hydraulic pumps and motors similar to those used when Lyndon Johnson was president. … “There’s a bigger temptation not to test things when you’re just making a little change by adding automation,” said Justin Cappos, a professor of computer science at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. With every adaptation, the potential for problems might accumulate without anyone noticing. “You’re kind of boiling the frog,” he said.