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How the Enlightenment Ends
From ACM Opinion

How the Enlightenment Ends

Three years ago, at a conference on transatlantic issues, the subject of artificial intelligence appeared on the agenda. I was on the verge of skipping that session—it...

The Era of Fake Video Begins
From ACM Opinion

The Era of Fake Video Begins

In a dank corner of the internet, it is possible to find actresses from Game of Thrones or Harry Potter engaged in all manner of sex acts. Or at least to the world...

Enough With the Trolley Problem
From ACM Opinion

Enough With the Trolley Problem

You know the drill by now: A runaway trolley is careening down a track. There are five workers ahead, sure to be killed if the trolley reaches them.

The Man With the Most Valuable Work Experience in the World
From ACM Opinion

The Man With the Most Valuable Work Experience in the World

Chris Urmson led Google's self-driving car team from its early days all the way until the company shed its Google skin and emerged under the Alphabet umbrella as...

China's Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious
From ACM Opinion

China's Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious

For all the particularities of life in China, its big cities offer a familiar cosmopolitanism.

19th-Century Paleontology Was at the Forefront of Big Data
From ACM Opinion

19th-Century Paleontology Was at the Forefront of Big Data

In 1981, when I was 9 years old, my father took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark.

8 Overly Confident, Mostly Pessimistic Predictions About Tech in 2018
From ACM Opinion

8 Overly Confident, Mostly Pessimistic Predictions About Tech in 2018

It was a very strange year for technology companies. They have become a "bipartisan whipping boy," a new sexist institution, responsible for the muddying of the...

Driverless Cars Could Make Transportation Free For Everyone, With a Catch
From ACM Opinion

Driverless Cars Could Make Transportation Free For Everyone, With a Catch

As self-driving cars inch closer to everyday reality, journalists, futurists, economists, and ethicists have weighed in with numerous predictions about autonomous...

How Driverless Cars Will Change the Feel of Cities
From ACM Opinion

How Driverless Cars Will Change the Feel of Cities

It's 6 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona and pitch-black outside. I'm standing in the middle of a five-lane thoroughfare, among a group of people too numerous for the narrow...

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer
From ACM Opinion

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer

Suddenly, everything is a computer. Phones, of course, and televisions. Also toasters and door locks, baby monitors and juicers, doorbells and gas grills. Even ...

The Privacy Problem with Digital Assistants
From ACM Opinion

The Privacy Problem with Digital Assistants

For the last century, we've imagined a future where we're surrounded by robotic butlers that are classy, smart, and discreet.

How Self-Driving Cars Will Threaten Privacy
From ACM Opinion

How Self-Driving Cars Will Threaten Privacy

Allow me to join you, if I may, on your morning commute sometime in the indeterminate future.

Toward the End of Pilots
From ACM Opinion

Toward the End of Pilots

A memory that’s stayed with me from my stint in the military nearly 50 years ago is a sign that my supply sergeant kept on his desk: "We’ve been working with less...

Can Google's Driverless Car Project Survive a Fatal Accident?
From ACM Opinion

Can Google's Driverless Car Project Survive a Fatal Accident?

Everybody knew this day would come.

How to Build an Unbeatable Poker-Playing Robot
From ACM Opinion

How to Build an Unbeatable Poker-Playing Robot

Each summer, the computer-science researchers behind the world's best poker-playing robots bring their creations together for a tournament.

Driverless Cars Are Like Elevators
From ACM Opinion

Driverless Cars Are Like Elevators

One of the challenges in describing the potential of self-driving cars is that they promise to do so much.

What Science-Fiction Gadget Would Be Most Valuable in Real Life?
From ACM Opinion

What Science-Fiction Gadget Would Be Most Valuable in Real Life?

Nicole Perlman, screenwriter, Guardians of the Galaxy: As someone who’s both accident-prone and constantly putting her foot in her mouth, my first thought is the...

Mark Zuckerberg and the End of Language
From ACM Opinion

Mark Zuckerberg and the End of Language

Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg hosted an online Q&A session on his personal Facebook page.

Humans, Not Robots, Are the Real Reason Artificial Intelligence Is Scary
From ACM Opinion

Humans, Not Robots, Are the Real Reason Artificial Intelligence Is Scary

Unfortunately, much of the recent outcry against artificial-intelligence weapons has been confused, conjuring robot takeovers of mankind.

What Is a 'computer' Anymore?
From ACM Opinion

What Is a 'computer' Anymore?

People used to be computers.
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