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Russia's Election Meddling Backfired—big-Time
From ACM Opinion

Russia's Election Meddling Backfired—big-Time

Intelligence officers sometimes talk about "blowback," when covert actions go bad and end up damaging the country that initiated them.

Everyone Thinks That Automation Will Take Our Jobs. The Evidence Disagrees
From ACM Opinion

Everyone Thinks That Automation Will Take Our Jobs. The Evidence Disagrees

Last year, the Japanese company SoftBank opened a cell phone store in Tokyo and staffed it entirely with sales associates named Pepper. This wasn't as hard as it...

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon
From ACM Opinion

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon

We the people have always been helplessly drawn to the concept of magic: the notion that you can will something to happen by wiggling your nose, speaking special...

Why Video Games Are Obsessed With the Apocalypse
From ACM Opinion

Why Video Games Are Obsessed With the Apocalypse

Video games are, in a way, the perfect medium through which to depict the post-apocalypse. If we assume that after the collapse of civilisation everyone will revert...

Defending Tor, Gateway to the Dark Web
From ACM Opinion

Defending Tor, Gateway to the Dark Web

When Roger Dingledine talks about the dark web, he waves his hands in the air, as if not quite convinced of its existence.

End-to-End Encryption Isn't Enough Security For 'real people'
From ACM Opinion

End-to-End Encryption Isn't Enough Security For 'real people'

Government officials continue to seek technology companies' help fighting terrorism and crime. But the most commonly proposed solution would severely limit regular...

Jpl's Design For a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus
From ACM Opinion

Jpl's Design For a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

The longest amount of time that a spacecraft has survived on the surface of Venus is 127 minutes.

Tracking Terrorists Online Might Invade Your Privacy
From ACM Opinion

Tracking Terrorists Online Might Invade Your Privacy

Remember that picture you sent to your family of your children playing in the paddling pool? Or that private text you sent to someone trusted? Or when you searched...

It's Past Time For You to Ditch that Fancy Scientific Calculator
From ACM Opinion

It's Past Time For You to Ditch that Fancy Scientific Calculator

Bruce Sherwood, the author of Matter and Interactions, had a question for me when I saw him at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference not long...

Bot and Bothered
From ACM Opinion

Bot and Bothered

Facebook has been working on artificial intelligence that claims to be great at negotiating, makes up its own language and learns to lie.

Fear of a Robot Planet
From ACM Opinion

Fear of a Robot Planet

It was in the 12th century that the great brass head built by Albertus Magnus moved its mouth for the first time, breathing steam as it spoke to Magnus' young religious...

Editing Human Embryos with Crispr Is Moving Ahead; Now's the Time to Work Out the Ethics
From ACM Opinion

Editing Human Embryos with Crispr Is Moving Ahead; Now's the Time to Work Out the Ethics

The announcement by researchers in Portland, Oregon that they've successfully modified the genetic material of a human embryo took some people by surprise.

Profile of Claude Shannon, Inventor of Information Theory
From ACM Opinion

Profile of Claude Shannon, Inventor of Information Theory

Claude Shannon couldn't sit still.

If You Could 'design' Your Own Child, Would You?
From ACM Opinion

If You Could 'design' Your Own Child, Would You?

Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review.

Greetings, E.t. (please Don't Murder ­s.)
From ACM Opinion

Greetings, E.t. (please Don't Murder ­s.)

On Nov. 16, 1974, a few hundred astronomers, government officials and other dignitaries gathered in the tropical forests of Puerto Rico's northwest interior, a...

Zuckerberg and Musk Are Both Wrong About AI
From ACM Opinion

Zuckerberg and Musk Are Both Wrong About AI

Back in 2015, a group of business leaders and scientists published an "open letter" about how controlling artificial superintelligence might be the most urgent...

Metrology Is Key to Reproducing Results
From ACM Opinion

Metrology Is Key to Reproducing Results

Imagine you are a policymaker who needs to know how much carbon is stored in the South American forest.

The Observer Effect
From Communications of the ACM

The Observer Effect

Finding the balance between zero and maximum.

Deepmind's Founder Says to Build Better Computer Brains, We Need to Look at Our Own
From ACM Opinion

Deepmind's Founder Says to Build Better Computer Brains, We Need to Look at Our Own

After decades in the wilderness, AI has swaggered back onto center stage.

Quantum Teleportation Is Even Weirder Than You Think 
From ACM Opinion

Quantum Teleportation Is Even Weirder Than You Think 

A BBC headline last week, 'First object teleported to Earth's orbit', has to be one of the most fantastical you'll see this year. For once, it seems the future...
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