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subjectComputers And Society
authorScientific American

Electronic Contracts and the Illusion of Consent
From ACM Opinion

Electronic Contracts and the Illusion of Consent

Q: What do you do when you see a little button on a webpage or app screen that says I agree?

Is the ­.S. Lagging in the Quest for Quantum Computing?
From ACM Opinion

Is the ­.S. Lagging in the Quest for Quantum Computing?

A quantum computer capable of breaking the strongest codes protecting online communications and computer data is highly unlikely to appear within the next decade...

Clicks, Lies and Videotape
From ACM Opinion

Clicks, Lies and Videotape

This past April a new video of Barack Obama surfaced on the Internet. Against a backdrop that included both the American and presidential flags, it looked like...

Will L.A.'s Anti-Terrorist Subway Scanners Be Adopted Everywhere?
From ACM Opinion

Will L.A.'s Anti-Terrorist Subway Scanners Be Adopted Everywhere?

In mid-August the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Transportation Security Administration announced Metro has paid $100,000 each...

What Worries People about Future Science and Tech Innovations?
From ACM Opinion

What Worries People about Future Science and Tech Innovations?

Many Americans see the future crowding into the present and some of the innovations ahead unnerve them, especially as they reshape ideas about human dominion.

Are We Ready for the Future of Warfare?
From ACM Opinion

Are We Ready for the Future of Warfare?

Warfare has always been about exerting political will.

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...

China's Scientific Revolution
From ACM Opinion

China's Scientific Revolution

An old Chinese proverb says: "If you're planning for the year, cultivate rice; if you're planning for the decade, cultivate trees; if you're planning for the century...

The Erosion of Reality
From ACM Opinion

The Erosion of Reality

Let me say this upfront: I'm not convinced that 'superintelligent' AI are the most pressing threat from coming generations of deep learning machines.

The Facebook Controversy: Privacy Is Not the Issue
From ACM Opinion

The Facebook Controversy: Privacy Is Not the Issue

Cambridge Analytica's wholesale scraping of Facebook user data is familiar news by now, and we are all "shocked" that personal data are being shared and traded...

What the History of Math Can Teach ­s About the Future of AI
From ACM Opinion

What the History of Math Can Teach ­s About the Future of AI

Whenever an impressive new technology comes along, people rush to imagine the havoc it could wreak on society, and they overreact. Today we see this happening with...

What China's Frightening Digital Strategy Portends For America's Future
From ACM Opinion

What China's Frightening Digital Strategy Portends For America's Future

If we were given the capacity to track and feel one another's emotions, would we behave better?

I Am a Roboticist in a Cheese Factory
From ACM Opinion

I Am a Roboticist in a Cheese Factory

Most people think about robots as autonomous machines guided by artificial intelligence.

Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?
From ACM Opinion

Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?

In 2015 I was watching a dress rehearsal for a play about love, loss and aging. In a climactic scene, the lead actress gesticulated and shouted, while her co-star...

Beyond Bitcoin: How Technology Could Help Fix Our Broken Financial System
From ACM Opinion

Beyond Bitcoin: How Technology Could Help Fix Our Broken Financial System

On a spring day more than 5,000 years ago in the Mesopotamian city of Ur, a foreign merchant sold his wares in exchange for a large bundle of silver.

Do We Need Brain Implants to Keep ­p with Robots?
From ACM Opinion

Do We Need Brain Implants to Keep ­p with Robots?

Pundits have been fretting a lot lately about robots leaving humans behind, taking our jobs and possibly a lot more, as in The Matrix and Terminator films.

Let's ­se the Government's Massive Databases to Make Better Policy
From ACM Opinion

Let's ­se the Government's Massive Databases to Make Better Policy

Members of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking appear before Congress this week to present their final report (pdf). 

What We Know About the Climate Change-Hurricane Connection
From ACM Opinion

What We Know About the Climate Change-Hurricane Connection

With Texas just beginning to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey and the Southeastern U.S. preparing for Hurricane Irma's iminent arrival, people...

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...

Preserving the Right to Cognitive Liberty
From ACM Opinion

Preserving the Right to Cognitive Liberty

The idea of the human mind as the domain of absolute protection from external intrusion has persisted for centuries.
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