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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...

How Nasa's Search For Et Relies on Advanced AI
From ACM Opinion

How Nasa's Search For Et Relies on Advanced AI

The biggest knock against sending robots to explore the solar system for signs of life has always been their inability to make intuitive, even creative decisions...

Beyond Bitcoin: How Technology Could Help Fix Our Broken Financial System
From ACM Opinion

Beyond Bitcoin: How Technology Could Help Fix Our Broken Financial System

On a spring day more than 5,000 years ago in the Mesopotamian city of Ur, a foreign merchant sold his wares in exchange for a large bundle of silver.

Do We Need Brain Implants to Keep Up with Robots?
From ACM Opinion

Do We Need Brain Implants to Keep Up with Robots?

Pundits have been fretting a lot lately about robots leaving humans behind, taking our jobs and possibly a lot more, as in The Matrix and Terminator films.

Let's Use the Government's Massive Databases to Make Better Policy
From ACM Opinion

Let's Use the Government's Massive Databases to Make Better Policy

Members of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking appear before Congress this week to present their final report (pdf). 

What We Know About the Climate Change-Hurricane Connection
From ACM Opinion

What We Know About the Climate Change-Hurricane Connection

With Texas just beginning to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey and the Southeastern U.S. preparing for Hurricane Irma's iminent arrival, people...

Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?
From ACM Opinion

Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

Two weeks ago it was cyberattacks on the Irish power grid. Last month it was a digital assault on U.S. energy companies, including a nuclear power plant. Back in...

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon
From ACM Opinion

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon

We the people have always been helplessly drawn to the concept of magic: the notion that you can will something to happen by wiggling your nose, speaking special...
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