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Have Aliens Found ­s? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object 'Oumuamua
From ACM Opinion

Have Aliens Found ­s? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object 'Oumuamua

On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as "a red...

Automated Health Care Offers Freedom from Shame, But Is It What Patients Need?
From ACM Opinion

Automated Health Care Offers Freedom from Shame, But Is It What Patients Need?

A few years ago, Timothy Bickmore, a computer scientist at Northeastern University, developed an artificial-intelligence program to help low-income patients at...

Free Will, Video Games, and the Most Profound Quantum Mystery
From ACM Opinion

Free Will, Video Games, and the Most Profound Quantum Mystery

The word "predictable" first entered the English language two centuries ago.

How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.?
From ACM Opinion

How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.?

Precisely how and when will our curiosity kill us?

'2001: A Space Odyssey': What It Means, and How It Was Made
From ACM Opinion

'2001: A Space Odyssey': What It Means, and How It Was Made

Fifty years ago this spring, Stanley Kubrick's confounding sci-fi masterpiece, "2001: A Space Odyssey," had its premières across the country.

Remembering Lotfi Zadeh, the Inventor of Fuzzy Logic
From ACM Careers

Remembering Lotfi Zadeh, the Inventor of Fuzzy Logic

One night in July, 1964, the logician Lotfi Zadeh found himself alone in his parents' New York apartment, his dinner plans cancelled.

The Fake-News Fallacy
From ACM Opinion

The Fake-News Fallacy

On the evening of October 30, 1938, a seventy-six-year-old millworker in Grover's Mill, New Jersey, named Bill Dock heard something terrifying on the radio.

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made
From ACM Opinion

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made

We inhabit a small planet orbiting a medium-sized star about two-thirds of the way out from the center of the Milky Way galaxy—around where Track 2 on an LP record...

Better Business Through Sci-Fi
From ACM Opinion

Better Business Through Sci-Fi

About five years ago, Ari Popper enrolled in a course on science-fiction writing at the University of California, Los Angeles, hoping to distract himself from the...

How to Call B.s. on Big Data: A Practical Guide
From ACM Opinion

How to Call B.s. on Big Data: A Practical Guide

"Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you," the Oxford philosophy professor John Alexander Smith told...

There's Nowhere to Hide on the Internet
From ACM Opinion

There's Nowhere to Hide on the Internet

Sometime before dawn on March 29th, not too many hours after Congress approved legislation that allows Internet-service providers to sell your browsing historyInternet...

What If We Had Perfect Robot Referees
From ACM Opinion

What If We Had Perfect Robot Referees

Last month, Mark Clattenburg, who is generally regarded as one of the finest referees in professional soccer, left England's Premier League for a better-paying...

Reality Bites: Learning the Future of V.r. at Sundance
From ACM Opinion

Reality Bites: Learning the Future of V.r. at Sundance

Standing in a pink desert landscape, I looked down and realized I'd become a robot, with skinny metal legs and pincers for hands.

Nasa's Overlooked Duty to Look Inward
From ACM Opinion

Nasa's Overlooked Duty to Look Inward

In 1942, not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the poet Archibald MacLeish wrote an essay called "The Image of Victory," in which he asked what winning the...

Two Friends Who Changed How We Think About How We Think
From ACM Opinion

Two Friends Who Changed How We Think About How We Think

In 2003, we reviewed "Moneyball," Michael Lewis's book about Billy Beane and the Oakland A's

The Hype, and Hope, of Artificial Intelligence
From ACM Opinion

The Hype, and Hope, of Artificial Intelligence

Earlier this month, on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver skewered media companies' desperate search for clicks.

Space, Climate Change, and the Real Meaning of Theory
From ACM Opinion

Space, Climate Change, and the Real Meaning of Theory

I used to be an astronaut, a spacewalker on the International Space Station.

Could Brain Training Prevent Dementia?
From ACM Opinion

Could Brain Training Prevent Dementia?

It's been a lousy couple of years for researchers who study the effects of computerized brain training.

Waiting For Gödel
From ACM Opinion

Waiting For Gödel

In June of 1975, the Office of the White House Press Secretary announced President Gerald R. Ford’s picks for the National Medal of Science. One went to the Austrian...

For the Golden State Warriors, Brain-Zapping Could Provide an Edge
From ACM Opinion

For the Golden State Warriors, Brain-Zapping Could Provide an Edge

Back in March, James Michael McAdoo, the power forward for the Golden State Warriors, tweeted out a photo of himself in the training room, sporting a pair of slick...
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