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dateMore Than a Year Ago
subjectComputers And Society
authorThe New Yorker
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Sight ­nseen (the Hows and Whys of Invisibility)
From ACM Opinion

Sight ­nseen (the Hows and Whys of Invisibility)

It is possible, according to many sources, to become invisible, but you must be patient, methodical, and willing to eat almost anything.

Germanwings Flight 9525, Technology, and the Question of Trust
From ACM Opinion

Germanwings Flight 9525, Technology, and the Question of Trust

Shortly before the dreadful crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, I happened to be reading part of "The Second Machine Age," a book by two academics at M.I.T., Erik...

To Pi and Beyond
From ACM Opinion

To Pi and Beyond

Possibly not everyone knows that March 14th is Pi Day, in honor of the symbol used to denote the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Teaching Robots to Be Moral
From ACM Opinion

Teaching Robots to Be Moral

"Chappie," the highest-grossing movie in America last weekend, is, to put it mildly, not a great film; the critics have given it a twenty-nine on Rotten Tomatoes...

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality
From ACM Opinion

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality

Today, the Federal Communications Commission, by a vote of three to two, enacted its strongest-ever rules on net neutrality, preserving an open Internet by prohibiting...

Net Neutrality: How the Government Finally Got It Right
From ACM Opinion

Net Neutrality: How the Government Finally Got It Right

For years, the federal government supported the principle of net neutrality: the idea that broadband providers should treat all Internet traffic the same.

Netflix's Secret Special Algorithm Is a Human
From ACM Opinion

Netflix's Secret Special Algorithm Is a Human

On the opening night of this year's Sundance Film Festival, two films, as usual, had their premières, gaining maximum exposure to reporters and critics.

The World Cracks Down on the Internet
From ACM Opinion

The World Cracks Down on the Internet

In September of last year, Chinese authorities announced an unorthodox standard to help them decide whether to punish people for posting online comments that are...

Will Moocs Be Flukes?
From ACM Opinion

Will Moocs Be Flukes?

On July 23rd, 1969, Geoffrey Crowther addressed the inaugural meeting of the Open University, a British institution that had just been created to provide an alternative...

The Holder of Secrets
From ACM Opinion

The Holder of Secrets

From the garden terrace of a sixth-floor walkup on a quiet Berlin street, there was a clear view to the TV Tower, in Alexanderplatz.

The Planning Machine
From ACM Opinion

The Planning Machine

In June, 1972, Ángel Parra, Chile’s leading folksinger, wrote a song titled "Litany for a Computer and a Baby About to Be Born."

The Hazards of Going on Autopilot
From ACM Opinion

The Hazards of Going on Autopilot

At 9:18 P.M. on February 12, 2009, Continental Connection Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, took off from Newark International Airport.

Google Bets a Billion Dollars on Twitch
From ACM Opinion

Google Bets a Billion Dollars on Twitch

Video gaming differentiates itself from the older forms of escapism—literature, theatre, film, television—with interactivity.

Being a Better Online Reader
From ACM Opinion

Being a Better Online Reader

Soon after Maryanne Wolf published "Proust and the Squid," a history of the science and the development of the reading brain from antiquity to the twenty-first...

Will Computers Ever Replace Teachers?
From ACM Opinion

Will Computers Ever Replace Teachers?

The classroom looked like a call center.

What Your Cell Phone Can't Tell the Police
From ACM Opinion

What Your Cell Phone Can't Tell the Police

On May 28th, Lisa Marie Roberts, of Portland, Oregon, was released from prison after serving nine and a half years for a murder she didn't commit.

What Comes After the Turing Test?
From ACM Opinion

What Comes After the Turing Test?

Over the weekend, the news broke that a "supercomputer" program called "Eugene Goostman"—an impersonation of a wisecracking, thirteen-year-old Ukranian boy—had...

Do We Really Need to Learn to Code?
From ACM Opinion

Do We Really Need to Learn to Code?

"Learn to Code!" This imperative to program seems to be everywhere these days. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg recently donated ten million dollars to Code.org,...

Spy vs. Spy
From ACM Opinion

Spy vs. Spy

Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the United States was charging members of the Chinese military with economic espionage.

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark
From ACM Opinion

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

In July of 2008, Dylan Breves, then a seventeen-year-old student from New York City, made a mundane edit to a Wikipedia entry on the coati.
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