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Grading the Presidential Candidates on Science
From ACM Opinion

Grading the Presidential Candidates on Science

Two weeks ago, Scientific American asked for your help in grading the presidential candidates on their answers to 20 questions about various aspects of scientific...

20 Big Questions About the Future of Humanity
From ACM Opinion

20 Big Questions About the Future of Humanity

1. Does humanity have a future beyond Earth?

Americans Are Wary About Body-Enhancement Technologies
From ACM Opinion

Americans Are Wary About Body-Enhancement Technologies

Emerging technologies that draw from biomedical technology, nanotechnology, information technology and other fields are developing at a rapid pace and may lead...

Rise of the Ag-Bots Will Not Sow Seeds of ­nemployment
From ACM Opinion

Rise of the Ag-Bots Will Not Sow Seeds of ­nemployment

Larry Stap's fifth-generation family dairy farm has come a long way since his great grandfather established it in Lynden, Wash., in 1910.

How the Computer Beat the Go Player
From ACM Opinion

How the Computer Beat the Go Player

The victory in March of the computer program AlphaGo over one of the world's top handful of go players marks the highest accomplishment to date for the burgeoning...

Machines that Talk to ­S May Soon Sense Our Feelings, Too
From ACM Opinion

Machines that Talk to ­S May Soon Sense Our Feelings, Too

After great promise in the 1960s that machines would soon think like humans, progress stalled for decades. Only in the past 10 years or so has research picked up...

Scott Aaronson Answers Every Ridiculously Big Question I Throw at Him
From ACM Opinion

Scott Aaronson Answers Every Ridiculously Big Question I Throw at Him

Scott Aaronson has one of the highest intelligence/pretension ratios I’ve ever encountered.

Who's Responsible When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?
From ACM Opinion

Who's Responsible When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Valentine's Day was a bummer in Mountain View, Calif. For the first time, one of Google's self-driving cars, a modified Lexus SUV, caused a crash.

The Internet Archive, Bricks and Mortar Version
From ACM Opinion

The Internet Archive, Bricks and Mortar Version

A heavily rusted cast iron ring sits on a bookshelf inside a neoclassical church a few blocks north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The ring is about an inch...

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight Over Biotech's Big Breakthrough
From ACM Opinion

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight Over Biotech's Big Breakthrough

A defining moment in modern biology occurred on July 24, 1978, when biotechnology pioneer Robert Swanson, who had recently co-founded Genentech, brought two young...

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?
From ACM Opinion

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?

Sooner or later everything seems to go online. Newspapers. TV. Radio. Shopping. Banking. Dating.

Wikipedia Turns 15
From ACM Opinion

Wikipedia Turns 15

It must be difficult for the roughly half a billion people who visit Wikipedia every month to remember a world without the free online encyclopedia.

If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?
From ACM Opinion

If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?

Physicist Enrico Fermi famously asked the question "Where are they?" to express his surprise over the absence of any signs for the existence of other intelligent...

Better Than Sci-Fi
From ACM Opinion

Better Than Sci-Fi

Science fiction has imagined some pretty wild ideas about the universe and our place in it.

Oh the Places We Won't Go: Humans Will Settle Mars, and Nowhere Else
From ACM Opinion

Oh the Places We Won't Go: Humans Will Settle Mars, and Nowhere Else

Humans will become a multi-planet species by making it to Mars, but no farther.

Searching For Life in Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky
From ACM Opinion

Searching For Life in Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky

NASA scientists announced today the best evidence yet that Mars, once thought dry, sterile and dead, may yet have life in it: Liquid water still flows on at least...

Do We Need to Prepare For the Robot ­prising?
From ACM Opinion

Do We Need to Prepare For the Robot ­prising?

For most of my life, I've been disappointed in robots.

Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers
From ACM Opinion

Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers

There was a time when neuroscientists could only dream of having such a problem.

Move Over, Siri—the Next Generation of Virtual Assistants Is Almost Here
From ACM Opinion

Move Over, Siri—the Next Generation of Virtual Assistants Is Almost Here

Virtual voice-controlled assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now are magical.

Will Artificial Intelligence Surpass Our Own?
From ACM Opinion

Will Artificial Intelligence Surpass Our Own?

Famed science-fiction writer Fredric Brown (1906–1972) delighted in creating the shortest of short stories. "Answer," published in 1954, encapsulated a prescient...
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