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Welcome to the Age of Privacy Nihilism
From ACM Opinion

Welcome to the Age of Privacy Nihilism

A barista gets burned at work, buys first-aid cream at Target, and later that day sees a Facebook ad for the same product.

Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?
From ACM Opinion

Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?

Faster, more powerful computing has the potential to revolutionize fields from drug delivery to freight transportation.

Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore
From ACM Opinion

Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore

The telephone swept into Americans' lives in the first decades of the 20th century.

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...

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete
From ACM Opinion

The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete

The scientific paper—the actual form of it—was one of the enabling inventions of modernity. Before it was developed in the 1600s, results were communicated privately...

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...

My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data
From ACM Opinion

My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data

For a spell during 2010 and 2011, I was a virtual rancher of clickable cattle on Facebook.

Ancient DNA Is Rewriting Human (and Neanderthal) History
From ACM Opinion

Ancient DNA Is Rewriting Human (and Neanderthal) History

Geneticist David Reich used to study the living, but now he studies the dead.

Retweets Are Trash
From ACM Opinion

Retweets Are Trash

A couple of months ago, I made a small tweak to my Twitter account that has changed my experience of the platform.

Russia's Troll Operation Was Not That Sophisticated
From ACM Opinion

Russia's Troll Operation Was Not That Sophisticated

It might be nice for Democrats and #NeverTrumpers to believe that Russia's troll factory brought Donald Trump the 2016 Presidential Election.

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.

My Pacemaker Is Tracking Me from Inside My Body
From ACM Opinion

My Pacemaker Is Tracking Me from Inside My Body

A month before turning 34, I received an unexpected birthday gift: a cloud-connected pacemaker.

The New Way Your Computer Can Be Attacked
From ACM Opinion

The New Way Your Computer Can Be Attacked

On January 3, the world learned about a series of major security vulnerabilities in modern microprocessors. Called Spectre and Meltdown, these vulnerabilities were...

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...

A Unified Theory of Meme Death
From ACM Opinion

A Unified Theory of Meme Death

Memes aren't built to last. This is an accepted fact of online life.

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...
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