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The Vulnerabilities of Our Voting Machines
From ACM Opinion

The Vulnerabilities of Our Voting Machines

A few weeks ago computer scientist J. Alex Halderman rolled an electronic voting machine onto a Massachusetts Institute of Technology stage and demonstrated how...

Why Do Computers Use So Much Energy?
From ACM Opinion

Why Do Computers Use So Much Energy?

Microsoft is currently running an interesting set of hardware experiments.

Clicks, Lies and Videotape
From ACM Opinion

Clicks, Lies and Videotape

This past April a new video of Barack Obama surfaced on the Internet. Against a backdrop that included both the American and presidential flags, it looked like...

Will L.A.'s Anti-Terrorist Subway Scanners Be Adopted Everywhere?
From ACM Opinion

Will L.A.'s Anti-Terrorist Subway Scanners Be Adopted Everywhere?

In mid-August the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Transportation Security Administration announced Metro has paid $100,000 each...

What Worries People about Future Science and Tech Innovations?
From ACM Opinion

What Worries People about Future Science and Tech Innovations?

Many Americans see the future crowding into the present and some of the innovations ahead unnerve them, especially as they reshape ideas about human dominion.

Are We Ready for the Future of Warfare?
From ACM Opinion

Are We Ready for the Future of Warfare?

Warfare has always been about exerting political will.

Are Blockchains the Answer for Secure Elections? Probably Not
From ACM Opinion

Are Blockchains the Answer for Secure Elections? Probably Not

With the U.S. heading into a pivotal midterm election, little progress has been made on ensuring the integrity of voting systems—a concern that retook the spotlight...

Google's Duplex AI Scares Some People, but I Can't Wait for It to Become a Thing
From ACM Opinion

Google's Duplex AI Scares Some People, but I Can't Wait for It to Become a Thing

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote. That line must have zoomed through 5,000 audience brains...

A Conversation With the Only Scientist in Congress
From ACM Opinion

A Conversation With the Only Scientist in Congress

How does it feel to be the only scientist in Congress? Lonely.

China's Scientific Revolution
From ACM Opinion

China's Scientific Revolution

An old Chinese proverb says: "If you're planning for the year, cultivate rice; if you're planning for the decade, cultivate trees; if you're planning for the century...

The Erosion of Reality
From ACM Opinion

The Erosion of Reality

Let me say this upfront: I'm not convinced that 'superintelligent' AI are the most pressing threat from coming generations of deep learning machines.

What Is Consciousness?
From ACM Opinion

What Is Consciousness?

Consciousness is everything you experience.

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?
From ACM Opinion

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?

The race is on to build the world's first meaningful quantum computer—one that can deliver the technology's long-promised ability to help scientists do things like...

So, Umm, Google Duplex's Chatter Is Not Quite Human
From ACM Opinion

So, Umm, Google Duplex's Chatter Is Not Quite Human

Google's Duplex voice assistant drew applause last week at the company's annual I/O developer conference after CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated the artificially intelligent...

Alexa, How Do We Take Our Relationship to the Next Level?
From ACM Opinion

Alexa, How Do We Take Our Relationship to the Next Level?

As useful as it would be to interact with smartphones and other gadgets by chatting casually with them, the technology to enable such a simple but meaningful back...

The Facebook Controversy: Privacy Is Not the Issue
From ACM Opinion

The Facebook Controversy: Privacy Is Not the Issue

Cambridge Analytica's wholesale scraping of Facebook user data is familiar news by now, and we are all "shocked" that personal data are being shared and traded...

If (Virtual) Reality Feels Almost Right, It's Exactly Wrong
From ACM Opinion

If (Virtual) Reality Feels Almost Right, It's Exactly Wrong

We can all remember the crisply beveled edges of our cheery-yellow No. 2 pencil, the cool, smooth feel of a chalk-powdered blackboard, the gritty red bricks of...

What the History of Math Can Teach Us About the Future of AI
From ACM Opinion

What the History of Math Can Teach Us About the Future of AI

Whenever an impressive new technology comes along, people rush to imagine the havoc it could wreak on society, and they overreact. Today we see this happening with...

Intelligent to a Fault: When AI Screws Up, You Might Still Be to Blame
From ACM Opinion

Intelligent to a Fault: When AI Screws Up, You Might Still Be to Blame

Artificial intelligence is already making significant inroads in taking over mundane, time-consuming tasks many humans would rather not do.

Supreme Court Skeptical of Microsoft's Ireland E-Mail Privacy Claims
From ACM Opinion

Supreme Court Skeptical of Microsoft's Ireland E-Mail Privacy Claims

It is not unusual for tech companies to spar with law enforcement over access to customer data. Most cases, however, do not go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court...
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