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Science, Policy, and Service
From Communications of the ACM

Science, Policy, and Service

Some thoughts on the way forward.

 The Illusion of Time
From ACM Opinion

The Illusion of Time

According to theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, time is an illusion: our naive perception of its flow doesn't correspond to physical reality.

Who Has More of Your Personal Data Than Facebook? Try Google
From ACM Opinion

Who Has More of Your Personal Data Than Facebook? Try Google

Recent controversy over Facebook Inc.'s hunger for personal data has surfaced the notion that the online advertising industry could be hazardous to our privacy...

A Brand-New Version of Our Origin Story
From ACM Opinion

A Brand-New Version of Our Origin Story

For over a decade, National Geographic's Genographic Project has been collecting saliva samples from willing participants, analyzing small pieces of their mother's...

'2001: A Space Odyssey': What It Means, and How It Was Made
From ACM Opinion

'2001: A Space Odyssey': What It Means, and How It Was Made

Fifty years ago this spring, Stanley Kubrick's confounding sci-fi masterpiece, "2001: A Space Odyssey," had its premières across the country.

Why Police Should Monitor Social Media to Prevent Crime
From ACM Opinion

Why Police Should Monitor Social Media to Prevent Crime

In February, the ACLU of Massachusetts released a damning report detailing prejudice in social media surveillance efforts by the Boston Police Department (BPD)....

The 'Terms and Conditions' Reckoning Is Coming
From ACM Opinion

The 'Terms and Conditions' Reckoning Is Coming

Eleanor Margolis had used PayPal for more than a decade when the online payment provider blocked her account in January. The reason: She was 16 years old when she...

If (Virtual) Reality Feels Almost Right, It's Exactly Wrong
From ACM Opinion

If (Virtual) Reality Feels Almost Right, It's Exactly Wrong

We can all remember the crisply beveled edges of our cheery-yellow No. 2 pencil, the cool, smooth feel of a chalk-powdered blackboard, the gritty red bricks of...

Why Silicon Valley Shouldn't Work With the Pentagon
From ACM Opinion

Why Silicon Valley Shouldn't Work With the Pentagon

Is Silicon Valley going to war?

Here's How Hackers Could Cause Chaos in This Year's US Midterm Elections
From ACM Opinion

Here's How Hackers Could Cause Chaos in This Year's US Midterm Elections

On November 6, Americans will head to the polls to vote in the congressional midterm elections. In the months before the contest, hordes of foreign hackers will...

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

What the History of Math Can Teach Us 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...

Regulate Artificial Intelligence to Avert Cyber Arms Race
From ACM Opinion

Regulate Artificial Intelligence to Avert Cyber Arms Race

Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent, sophisticated and destructive. Each day in 2017, the United States suffered, on average, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks...

The White House Loses Its Cybersecurity Brain Trust
From ACM Opinion

The White House Loses Its Cybersecurity Brain Trust

Today, the White House confirmed that cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce will head back to the National Security Agency, where he previously ran the nation's top...

Can Europe Lead on Privacy?
From ACM Opinion

Can Europe Lead on Privacy?

"We have a responsibility to protect your information," Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, declared recently in a full-page newspaper advertisement...

We May Own Our Data, But Facebook Has a Duty to Protect It
From ACM Opinion

We May Own Our Data, But Facebook Has a Duty to Protect It

Two years ago, Jack M. Balkin, a constitutional-law professor at Yale, published a fifty-page article in the U.C. Davis Law Review examining what he called problems...

Three Problems with Facebook's Plan to Kill Hate Speech Using AI
From ACM Opinion

Three Problems with Facebook's Plan to Kill Hate Speech Using AI

Mark Zuckerberg told the US Congress this week that Facebook will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to catch hate speech spread on the platform.

The Questions Zuckerberg Should Have Answered About Russia
From ACM Opinion

The Questions Zuckerberg Should Have Answered About Russia

Over the last two days, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was questioned for more than 10 hours by two different Congressional committees. There was granular focus on...

The Era of Fake Video Begins
From ACM Opinion

The Era of Fake Video Begins

In a dank corner of the internet, it is possible to find actresses from Game of Thrones or Harry Potter engaged in all manner of sex acts. Or at least to the world...

The Internet Has Serious Health Problems, Mozilla Foundation Report Finds
From ACM Opinion

The Internet Has Serious Health Problems, Mozilla Foundation Report Finds

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepared to face nearly half of the Senate today to explain what went wrong with his company's handling of personal data for millions...

Bitcoin Would Be a Calamity, Not an Economy
From ACM Opinion

Bitcoin Would Be a Calamity, Not an Economy

Earlier this year, Jack Dorsey, cofounder of Twitter and CEO of Square, declared that Bitcoin would become the world's "single currency" within a decade.
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