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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...

How Technology Can Make Valentine's Day Much, Much Better
From ACM Opinion

How Technology Can Make Valentine's Day Much, Much Better

Every February I agonize over the Valentine's Day Dilemma. How can I show my girlfriend, whom I'll call Emily, how much I love her?

What China's Frightening Digital Strategy Portends For America's Future
From ACM Opinion

What China's Frightening Digital Strategy Portends For America's Future

If we were given the capacity to track and feel one another's emotions, would we behave better?

For AI to Get Creative, It Must Learn the Rules, Then How to Break 'em
From ACM Opinion

For AI to Get Creative, It Must Learn the Rules, Then How to Break 'em

American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Every artist was first an amateur." He likely never thought those words would apply to machines.

I Am a Roboticist in a Cheese Factory
From ACM Opinion

I Am a Roboticist in a Cheese Factory

Most people think about robots as autonomous machines guided by artificial intelligence.

Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?
From ACM Opinion

Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?

In 2015 I was watching a dress rehearsal for a play about love, loss and aging. In a climactic scene, the lead actress gesticulated and shouted, while her co-star...

Meltdown and Spectre Expose the Dark Side of Superfast Computers
From ACM Opinion

Meltdown and Spectre Expose the Dark Side of Superfast Computers

Hundreds of gadget makers and software companies at this week's annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are staking the success of their newest products...
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