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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.

The Future of Television Is … More Television
From ACM Opinion

The Future of Television Is … More Television

Call it Jeffrey Katzenberg's unicorn newborn. An operating company has come into being, ex nihilo, with the blandest of names—NewTV—and a valuation north of $1...

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...

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...

As Moore's Law Dies, the Chip Giants Seek Fresh Prey
From ACM Opinion

As Moore's Law Dies, the Chip Giants Seek Fresh Prey

After a five-year, $240 billion acquisition spree, there's a suspicion that the nature of deal-making in the semiconductor industry may be starting to change.

Weaponized Information Seeks a New Target in Cyberspace: Users' Minds
From ACM Opinion

Weaponized Information Seeks a New Target in Cyberspace: Users' Minds

The Russian attacks on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the country's continuing election-related hacking have happened across all three dimensions of cyberspace—physical...

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not
From ACM Opinion

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not

As a Japanese, I grew up watching anime like "Neon Genesis Evangelion," which depicts a future in which machines and humans merge into cyborg ecstasy.

How NASA Was Born 60 Years Ago from Panic Over a 'Second Moon'
From ACM Opinion

How NASA Was Born 60 Years Ago from Panic Over a 'Second Moon'

The origins of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration can be traced all the way back to the Wright brothers, but the real story happened over less than...
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