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What Is a 'computer' Anymore?
From ACM Opinion

What Is a 'computer' Anymore?

People used to be computers.

Beware the Listening Machines
From ACM Opinion

Beware the Listening Machines

One of my great pleasures in life is attending conferences on fields I'm intrigued by, but know nothing about.

Immortal But Damned to Hell on Earth
From ACM Opinion

Immortal But Damned to Hell on Earth

Imagine a supercomputer so advanced that it could hold the contents of a human brain.

Hacking the Brain
From ACM Opinion

Hacking the Brain

The perfectibility of the human mind is a theme that has captured our imagination for centuries—the notion that, with the right tools, the right approach, the right...

The Robot That Knows When to Swipe Right
From ACM Opinion

The Robot That Knows When to Swipe Right

I have come to think of Tinder as a sort algorithm for the mind.

The Voice-Activated Video Game
From ACM Opinion

The Voice-Activated Video Game

When he was in grad school, the roboticist Daniel Wilson installed 150 binary sensors in his house.

The Eccentric Genius Whose Time May Have Finally Come (again)
From ACM Opinion

The Eccentric Genius Whose Time May Have Finally Come (again)

I've been preoccupied lately with thoughts of marauding broomsticks, genies in bottles, and monkey's paws.

How Darpa's Augmented Reality Software Works
From ACM Opinion

How Darpa's Augmented Reality Software Works

Six years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) decided that they had a new dream. The agency wanted a system that would overlay digital tactical...

The Not-So-Distant Future When We Can All Upgrade Our Brains
From ACM Opinion

The Not-So-Distant Future When We Can All Upgrade Our Brains

In a decade, cognitive enhancement may have gone mainstream.

If the Robots Kill Us, It's Because It's Their Job
From ACM Opinion

If the Robots Kill Us, It's Because It's Their Job

In the movie Transcendence, which opens in theaters on Friday, a sentient computer program embarks on a relentless quest for power, nearly destroying humanity in...

Captchas Are Becoming Security Theater
From ACM Opinion

Captchas Are Becoming Security Theater

CAPTCHAs are a time-worn way for humans to tell computers that we are human.

Google Wants to Make 'science Fiction' a Reality—and That's Limiting Their Imagination
From ACM Opinion

Google Wants to Make 'science Fiction' a Reality—and That's Limiting Their Imagination

Self-driving cars, extreme life extension, and global wifi provided by weather balloons: Google makes projects that sound like science fiction into reality at its...

The Dream of Intelligent Robot Friends
From ACM Opinion

The Dream of Intelligent Robot Friends

Karotz is an Internet-enabled console in the shape of an abstracted rabbit.

What If Your Autonomous Car Keeps Routing You Past Krispy Kreme?
From ACM Opinion

What If Your Autonomous Car Keeps Routing You Past Krispy Kreme?

On a future road trip, your robot car decides to take a new route, driving you past a Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop.

Why Google Bought Nest: A Theory
From ACM Opinion

Why Google Bought Nest: A Theory

Google is acquiring Nest, makers of a smart thermostat, for a reported $3.2 billion.

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines
From ACM Opinion

All Can Be Lost: The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines

On the evening of February 12, 2009, a Continental Connection commuter flight made its way through blustery weather between Newark, New Jersey, and Buffalo, New...

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think
From ACM Opinion

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

"It depends on what you mean by artificial intelligence."

How to Think About Drones
From ACM Opinion

How to Think About Drones

Consider David. The shepherd lad steps up to face in single combat the Philistine giant Goliath.

What the Digital Brains of the Future Might Be Like
From ACM Opinion

What the Digital Brains of the Future Might Be Like

It is the rare entrepreneur who hits it truly big twice. Those who do—such as Ev Williams, Ted Turner, and Elon Musk—tend to stay within the original industry that...

Time and Navigation: How We Found Our Way in the World
From ACM Opinion

Time and Navigation: How We Found Our Way in the World

Type an address into your phone, and up will pop a step-by-step route from where you are to where you want to be. This is, in its way, magic—magic that has, at...
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