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How Sci-Fi Like WarGames Led to Real Policy During the Reagan Administration
From ACM Opinion

How Sci-Fi Like WarGames Led to Real Policy During the Reagan Administration

This year, John Badham's WarGames—one of the movies most beloved by hackers, techies, and tech policy wonks (like me!)—celebrates its 35th anniversary.

Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights
From ACM Opinion

Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights

Should American citizens get a new Bill of Rights for the internet?

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...

50 Years Old, '2001: A Space Odyssey' Still Offers Insight about the Future
From ACM Opinion

50 Years Old, '2001: A Space Odyssey' Still Offers Insight about the Future

Watching a 50th anniversary screening of "2001: A Space Odyssey," I found myself, a mathematician and computer scientist whose research includes work related to...

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...

When Reporting on Defcon, Avoid Stereotypes and A.T.M.s
From ACM Opinion

When Reporting on Defcon, Avoid Stereotypes and A.T.M.s

As one of The New York Times's three Surfacing residents, I've grown accustomed to entering unfamiliar places.

In 1968, Computers Got Personal: How the 'Mother of All Demos' Changed the World
From ACM Opinion

In 1968, Computers Got Personal: How the 'Mother of All Demos' Changed the World

On a crisp California afternoon in early December 1968, a square-jawed, mild-mannered Stanford researcher named Douglas Engelbart took the stage at San Francisco's...

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism
From ACM Opinion

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism

I recently came across two tweets—or rather, thousands of tweets sharing the same two ideas over and over again.

Safe Artificial Intelligence Requires Cultural Intelligence
From ACM Opinion

Safe Artificial Intelligence Requires Cultural Intelligence

Knowledge, to paraphrase British journalist Miles Kington, is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing there's a norm against putting it in a fruit salad....

How Will Google's Innovation Continue Beyond Its 20th Year?
From ACM Opinion

How Will Google's Innovation Continue Beyond Its 20th Year?

As millions of people came online in the late 1990s they needed help figuring out what each webpage was about, and how to find what they were looking for.

Google Chrome's Biggest Challenge at Age 10 Might Just Be Its Own Success
From ACM Opinion

Google Chrome's Biggest Challenge at Age 10 Might Just Be Its Own Success

Exactly 10 years ago Tuesday, a newly promoted vice president named Sundar Pichai stood before a group of tech reporters in a conference room at Google's Mountain...

Fake America Great Again
From ACM Opinion

Fake America Great Again

Guess what? I just got hold of some embarrassing video footage of Texas senator Ted Cruz singing and gyrating to Tina Turner. His political enemies will have great...

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.

The Four Ways that Ex-Internet Idealists Explain Where It All Went Wrong
From ACM Opinion

The Four Ways that Ex-Internet Idealists Explain Where It All Went Wrong

A long time ago, in the bad old days of the 2000s, debates about the Internet were dominated by two great tribes: the Optimists and the Pessimists.

Future Elections May Be Swayed by Intelligent, Weaponized Chatbots
From ACM Opinion

Future Elections May Be Swayed by Intelligent, Weaponized Chatbots

The battle against propaganda bots is an arm's race for our democracy. It's one we may be about to lose.

Welcome to the Age of Privacy Nihilism
From ACM Opinion

Welcome to the Age of Privacy Nihilism

A barista gets burned at work, buys first-aid cream at Target, and later that day sees a Facebook ad for the same product.

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...

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.

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.
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