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The Vulnerabilities of Our Voting Machines
From ACM Opinion

The Vulnerabilities of Our Voting Machines

A few weeks ago computer scientist J. Alex Halderman rolled an electronic voting machine onto a Massachusetts Institute of Technology stage and demonstrated how...

A Conversation With the Only Scientist in Congress
From ACM Opinion

A Conversation With the Only Scientist in Congress

How does it feel to be the only scientist in Congress? Lonely.

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?
From ACM Opinion

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?

The race is on to build the world's first meaningful quantum computer—one that can deliver the technology's long-promised ability to help scientists do things like...

Alexa, How Do We Take Our Relationship to the Next Level?
From ACM Opinion

Alexa, How Do We Take Our Relationship to the Next Level?

As useful as it would be to interact with smartphones and other gadgets by chatting casually with them, the technology to enable such a simple but meaningful back...

Intelligent to a Fault: When AI Screws Up, You Might Still Be to Blame
From ACM Opinion

Intelligent to a Fault: When AI Screws Up, You Might Still Be to Blame

Artificial intelligence is already making significant inroads in taking over mundane, time-consuming tasks many humans would rather not do.

Supreme Court Skeptical of Microsoft's Ireland E-Mail Privacy Claims
From ACM Opinion

Supreme Court Skeptical of Microsoft's Ireland E-Mail Privacy Claims

It is not unusual for tech companies to spar with law enforcement over access to customer data. Most cases, however, do not go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court...

Meltdown and Spectre Expose the Dark Side of Superfast Computers
From ACM Opinion

Meltdown and Spectre Expose the Dark Side of Superfast Computers

Hundreds of gadget makers and software companies at this week's annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are staking the success of their newest products...

How Nasa's Search For Et Relies on Advanced AI
From ACM Opinion

How Nasa's Search For Et Relies on Advanced AI

The biggest knock against sending robots to explore the solar system for signs of life has always been their inability to make intuitive, even creative decisions...

Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?
From ACM Opinion

Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

Two weeks ago it was cyberattacks on the Irish power grid. Last month it was a digital assault on U.S. energy companies, including a nuclear power plant. Back in...

Profile of Claude Shannon, Inventor of Information Theory
From ACM Opinion

Profile of Claude Shannon, Inventor of Information Theory

Claude Shannon couldn't sit still.

20 Years After Deep Blue: How AI Has Advanced Since Conquering Chess
From ACM Opinion

20 Years After Deep Blue: How AI Has Advanced Since Conquering Chess

Twenty years ago IBM's Deep Blue computer stunned the world by becoming the first machine to beat a reigning world chess champion in a six-game match.

Ghost in the Sell: Hollywood's Mischievous Vision of AI
From ACM Opinion

Ghost in the Sell: Hollywood's Mischievous Vision of AI

Watch enough science fiction movies and you'll probably come to the conclusion that humans are living on borrowed time.

Darpa's Biotech Chief Says 2017 Will 'blow Our Minds'
From ACM Opinion

Darpa's Biotech Chief Says 2017 Will 'blow Our Minds'

The Pentagon's research and development division, DARPA—the creative force behind the internet and GPS—retooled itself three years ago to create a new office dedicated...

Trump's Plans to Shake Up the Tech World
From ACM Opinion

Trump's Plans to Shake Up the Tech World

Donald Trump's ascension to the White House had very little to do with his views on the spread of high-speed broadband, wireless spectrum allocation—or any number...

Richard Dawkins and Other Prominent Scientists React to Trump's Win
From ACM Opinion

Richard Dawkins and Other Prominent Scientists React to Trump's Win

This week the U.S. elected businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump as its 45th president. As Scientific American has reported in the run-up to the election...

AI Is Not Out to Get US
From ACM Opinion

AI Is Not Out to Get US

Elon Musk's new plan to go all-in on self-driving vehicles puts a lot of faith in the artificial intelligence needed to ensure his Teslas can read and react to...

Could Obama's Threat of Retaliation Against Russia Lead to Cyberwar?
From ACM Opinion

Could Obama's Threat of Retaliation Against Russia Lead to Cyberwar?

Late last week Obama administration officials used NBC News to send Moscow a cryptic threat: The U.S. government is "contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert...

20 Big Questions About the Future of Humanity
From ACM Opinion

20 Big Questions About the Future of Humanity

1. Does humanity have a future beyond Earth?

Mind-Controlled Robo-Skeleton Enables Paraplegics to Regain Some Motion
From ACM Opinion

Mind-Controlled Robo-Skeleton Enables Paraplegics to Regain Some Motion

Patients paralyzed by a spinal cord injury can face a grim and grueling recovery process—one in which regaining function is far from a sure thing. But a new study...

Machines that Talk to US May Soon Sense Our Feelings, Too
From ACM Opinion

Machines that Talk to US May Soon Sense Our Feelings, Too

After great promise in the 1960s that machines would soon think like humans, progress stalled for decades. Only in the past 10 years or so has research picked up...
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