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subjectComputers And Society
authorTechnology Review

An AI Pal That Is Better Than 'her'
From ACM Opinion

An AI Pal That Is Better Than 'her'

In the movie Her, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture this year, a middle-aged writer named Theodore Twombly installs and rapidly falls in love with...

Diagnosis For Healthcare.gov: ­nrealistic Technology Expectations
From ACM Opinion

Diagnosis For Healthcare.gov: ­nrealistic Technology Expectations

The fiasco with the $600 million federal health insurance website wasn't all bureaucratic.

Driverless Cars Are Further Away Than You Think
From ACM Opinion

Driverless Cars Are Further Away Than You Think

A silver BMW 5 Series is weaving through traffic at roughly 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph) on a freeway that cuts northeast through Bavaria between Munich and...

The Decline of Wikipedia
From ACM Opinion

The Decline of Wikipedia

The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10.

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz
From ACM Opinion

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz

On the day after Aaron Swartz's death in January, President Reif and I spoke about how MIT might respond to the breaking news of his suicide.

Cryptographers Have an Ethics Problem
From ACM Opinion

Cryptographers Have an Ethics Problem

Last week, I visited the MIT computer science department looking for a very famous cryptographer.

Sebastian Thrun on the Future of Learning
From ACM Opinion

Sebastian Thrun on the Future of Learning

Sebastian Thrun has worn many hats in the tech world: Stanford research professor, founder of Google's X Labs, where he oversaw the development of self-drivingUdacity...

Proceed with Caution Toward the Self-Driving Car
From ACM Opinion

Proceed with Caution Toward the Self-Driving Car

Driving on Interstate 495 toward Boston in a Ford Fusion one chilly afternoon in March, I did something that would've made even my laid-back long-ago driving instructor...

From ACM Opinion

Why Obama's Brain-Mapping Project Matters

Last week, President Obama officially announced $100 million in funding for arguably the most ambitious neuroscience initiative ever proposed.

Geeks Are the New Guardians of Our Civil Liberties
From ACM Opinion

Geeks Are the New Guardians of Our Civil Liberties

A decade-plus of anthropological fieldwork among hackers and like-minded geeks has led me to the firm conviction that these people are building one of the most...

It's All About the Genes and the Brain Machines
From ACM News

It's All About the Genes and the Brain Machines

The amount of time and money needed to sequence genomes continued to fall in 2012, perhaps to no one’s surprise.

Why China's Homemade Microchips Will Struggle to Displace Western Giants
From ACM Opinion

Why China's Homemade Microchips Will Struggle to Displace Western Giants

If China's ultimate aim in the sphere of technology is to become completely self-sufficient, it is well on the way to achieving this ambitious goal.

How Technology Has Restored the Soul of Politics
From ACM Opinion

How Technology Has Restored the Soul of Politics

In 1979, I was an aeronautical-engineering major at San Jose State University, sneaking time in the laser lab to make holograms or running over to the computer...

China's Innovation Success Depends on Political Changes
From ACM Opinion

China's Innovation Success Depends on Political Changes

Since 1978, the Chinese economy has seen phenomenal growth. While that’s not in dispute, the reason why China has managed to grow so fast and whether it can maintain...

The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years
From ACM Opinion

The Most Important Education Technology in 200 Years

If you were asked to name the most important innovation in transportation over the last 200 years, you might say the combustion engine, air travel, Henry Ford’s...

How Young Is Too Young to Learn to Code?
From ACM Opinion

How Young Is Too Young to Learn to Code?

When the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 spend exactly zero time in front of screens, what its members are concerned about is substitution—all...

From ACM Opinion

The Year on the Web

We've been living in the age of social media for a long time, but 2011 was the year that all the information we share online began to accrete into something greater...

From ACM Opinion

Why Transparent Tracking Needs Its Own App

Amid widespread concern over an obscure piece of smart-phone diagnostic software that some experts say could be used to collect and transmit sensitive information...

From ACM Opinion

The Personal Computer Is Dead

Power is fast shifting from end users and software developers to operating system vendors.

From ACM Opinion

Don't ­nderestimate the Singularity

Although Paul Allen paraphrases my 2005 book, The Singularity Is Near, in the title of his essay (cowritten with his colleague Mark Greaves), it appears that he...
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