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subjectComputer Applications
authorScientific American

How the Computer Beat the Go Player
From ACM Opinion

How the Computer Beat the Go Player

The victory in March of the computer program AlphaGo over one of the world's top handful of go players marks the highest accomplishment to date for the burgeoning...

Can Starshot Work?
From ACM Opinion

Can Starshot Work?

A couple of weeks ago the world heard about the most seriously funded (and perhaps the most serious) effort yet for starting us on the pathway to interstellar travel...

Who's Responsible When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?
From ACM Opinion

Who's Responsible When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Valentine's Day was a bummer in Mountain View, Calif. For the first time, one of Google's self-driving cars, a modified Lexus SUV, caused a crash.

The Internet Archive, Bricks and Mortar Version
From ACM Opinion

The Internet Archive, Bricks and Mortar Version

A heavily rusted cast iron ring sits on a bookshelf inside a neoclassical church a few blocks north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The ring is about an inch...

Why We Love the Games That Enrage ­S Most
From ACM Opinion

Why We Love the Games That Enrage ­S Most

One afternoon last fall a Reddit user with the handle "FranktheShank1" was enjoying a new video game on his PlayStation 4.

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight Over Biotech's Big Breakthrough
From ACM Opinion

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight Over Biotech's Big Breakthrough

A defining moment in modern biology occurred on July 24, 1978, when biotechnology pioneer Robert Swanson, who had recently co-founded Genentech, brought two young...

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?
From ACM Opinion

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?

Sooner or later everything seems to go online. Newspapers. TV. Radio. Shopping. Banking. Dating.

Psa: Do Not ­se the New Prime Number For Rsa Encryption
From ACM Opinion

Psa: Do Not ­se the New Prime Number For Rsa Encryption

You may have heard that there’s a new largest prime number in town.

What Will It Take For Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?
From ACM Opinion

What Will It Take For Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?

The idea that humans will eventually travel to and inhabit other parts of our galaxy was well expressed by the early Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky...

If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?
From ACM Opinion

If There Are Aliens Out There, Where Are They?

Physicist Enrico Fermi famously asked the question "Where are they?" to express his surprise over the absence of any signs for the existence of other intelligent...

Better Than Sci-Fi
From ACM Opinion

Better Than Sci-Fi

Science fiction has imagined some pretty wild ideas about the universe and our place in it.

Oh the Places We Won't Go: Humans Will Settle Mars, and Nowhere Else
From ACM Opinion

Oh the Places We Won't Go: Humans Will Settle Mars, and Nowhere Else

Humans will become a multi-planet species by making it to Mars, but no farther.

Human Missions to Mars Will Look Completely Different from The Martian
From ACM Opinion

Human Missions to Mars Will Look Completely Different from The Martian

Landing in U.S. theaters last week, Ridley Scott's The Martian is being acclaimed as one of the most realistic portrayals of human space exploration ever filmed...

Searching For Life in Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky
From ACM Opinion

Searching For Life in Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky

NASA scientists announced today the best evidence yet that Mars, once thought dry, sterile and dead, may yet have life in it: Liquid water still flows on at least...

Do We Need to Prepare For the Robot ­prising?
From ACM Opinion

Do We Need to Prepare For the Robot ­prising?

For most of my life, I've been disappointed in robots.

­sing Technology to Break the Speed Barrier of Reading
From ACM Opinion

­sing Technology to Break the Speed Barrier of Reading

I grew up in a tiny New York City apartment, packed in alongside our four cats and my father's immense personal library of some 3000 books.

Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers
From ACM Opinion

Why Neuroscience Needs Hackers

There was a time when neuroscientists could only dream of having such a problem.

Move Over, Siri—the Next Generation of Virtual Assistants Is Almost Here
From ACM Opinion

Move Over, Siri—the Next Generation of Virtual Assistants Is Almost Here

Virtual voice-controlled assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now are magical.

Will Artificial Intelligence Surpass Our Own?
From ACM Opinion

Will Artificial Intelligence Surpass Our Own?

Famed science-fiction writer Fredric Brown (1906–1972) delighted in creating the shortest of short stories. "Answer," published in 1954, encapsulated a prescient...

Does a Multiverse Fermi Paradox Disprove the Multiverse?
From ACM Opinion

Does a Multiverse Fermi Paradox Disprove the Multiverse?

Having just orbited our way through another summer solstice, it feels like time to let slip some more speculative ideas before the hot days of the northern hemisphere...
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