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Who Needs Democracy When You Have Data?
From ACM Opinion

Who Needs Democracy When You Have Data?

In 1955, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov published a short story about an experiment in "electronic democracy," in which a single citizen, selected to represent...

Billion-Dollar Telescopes Could End Up Beyond the Reach of US Astronomers
From ACM Opinion

Billion-Dollar Telescopes Could End Up Beyond the Reach of US Astronomers

Every ten years, US astronomers set research priorities for the following decade.

Are Blockchains the Answer for Secure Elections? Probably Not
From ACM Opinion

Are Blockchains the Answer for Secure Elections? Probably Not

With the U.S. heading into a pivotal midterm election, little progress has been made on ensuring the integrity of voting systems—a concern that retook the spotlight...

Honoring the '80s, Def Con's Badge Is also a Text Adventure
From ACM Opinion

Honoring the '80s, Def Con's Badge Is also a Text Adventure

Nearly 30,000 people came to Las Vegas last week for the 26th edition of DEF CON, the iconic security conference. And no small amount of the mental energy of that...

To Win the AI Race, We Need More Humans
From ACM Opinion

To Win the AI Race, We Need More Humans

The United States is trying to develop a national strategy on artificial intelligence (AI) but is ignoring its single greatest advantage: many of the world's brightest...

We Are Merging With Robots. That's a Good Thing.
From ACM Opinion

We Are Merging With Robots. That's a Good Thing.

Here are some things that are true today:

Google Tracks You Even If Location History's Off. Here's How to Stop It
From ACM Opinion

Google Tracks You Even If Location History's Off. Here's How to Stop It

If, like most people, you thought Google stopped tracking your location once you turned off Location History in your account settings, you were wrong.

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake News
From ACM Opinion

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Believing Fake News

Sitting in front of a computer not long ago, a tenured history professor faced a challenge that billions of us do every day: deciding whether to believe something...

AI for Cybersecurity Is a Hot New Thing, and a Dangerous Gamble
From ACM Opinion

AI for Cybersecurity Is a Hot New Thing, and a Dangerous Gamble

When I walked around the exhibition floor at this week's massive Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas, I was struck by the number of companies boasting...

There Will Never Be an Age of Artificial Intimacy
From ACM Opinion

There Will Never Be an Age of Artificial Intimacy

Years ago I spoke with a 16-year-old girl who was considering the idea of having a computer companion in the future, and she described the upside to me.

Google's China Plan Isn't Just Evil, It's Bad for Business
From ACM Opinion

Google's China Plan Isn't Just Evil, It's Bad for Business

Google is proposing a new Faustian bargain with the Chinese government that isn't just morally wrong; it's also terrible for business. Experience has shown that...

What America Must Do to Remain the World's High-Tech Leader
From ACM Opinion

What America Must Do to Remain the World's High-Tech Leader

Artificial intelligence (AI) often is erroneously identified as an emerging technology.

Programmers Need Ethics When Designing the Technologies that Influence People's Lives
From ACM Opinion

Programmers Need Ethics When Designing the Technologies that Influence People's Lives

Computing professionals are on the front lines of almost every aspect of the modern world.

Why Apple Is the Future of Capitalism
From ACM Opinion

Why Apple Is the Future of Capitalism

With Apple Inc. now exceeding $1 trillion in market capitalization, it's tempting to understand this moment in terms of the dominance of all-too-large companies...

Google's Duplex AI Scares Some People, but I Can't Wait for It to Become a Thing
From ACM Opinion

Google's Duplex AI Scares Some People, but I Can't Wait for It to Become a Thing

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote. That line must have zoomed through 5,000 audience brains...

Brains Keep Temporary Molecular Records Before Making a Lasting Memory 
From ACM Opinion

Brains Keep Temporary Molecular Records Before Making a Lasting Memory 

The first dance at my wedding lasted exactly four minutes and 52 seconds, but I'll probably remember it for decades.

Online Hate Is Rampant. Here's How to Keep It From Spreading
From ACM Opinion

Online Hate Is Rampant. Here's How to Keep It From Spreading

Back in the last presidential campaign season, reporters on the tech and politics beats began noticing a rise in far-right memes that supported Trump. Memes being...

Mars Is Frigid, Rusty and Haunted. We Can’t Stop Looking at It.
From ACM Opinion

Mars Is Frigid, Rusty and Haunted. We Can’t Stop Looking at It.

There it was: Glowering red on the dashboard of the sky like an astrological warning light next to the full Blood Moon Friday. Mars.

China's Numbers Force Google to Recalculate Its Morals
From ACM Opinion

China's Numbers Force Google to Recalculate Its Morals

In 2010, Google made a moral calculus. The company had been censoring search results in China at the behest of the Communist government since launching there in...
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