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Is That Social Bot Behaving Unethically?
From Communications of the ACM

Is That Social Bot Behaving Unethically?

A procedure for reflection and discourse on the behavior of bots in the context of law, deception, and societal norms.

Multitasking Without Thrashing
From Communications of the ACM

Multitasking Without Thrashing

Lessons from operating systems teach how to do multitasking without thrashing.

Why Agile Teams Fail Without UX Research
From Communications of the ACM

Why Agile Teams Fail Without UX Research

Failures to involve end users or to collect comprehensive data representing user needs are described and solutions to avoid such failures are proposed.

Sorry, Banning 'killer Robots' Just Isn't Practical
From ACM Opinion

Sorry, Banning 'killer Robots' Just Isn't Practical

Late Sunday, 116 entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, released a letter to the United Nations warning of the dangerous "Pandora's Box" presented by weapons that...

The Enduring Legacy of Zork
From ACM Opinion

The Enduring Legacy of Zork

In 1977, four recent MIT graduates who'd met at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science used the lab's PDP-10 mainframe to develop a computer game that captivated...

Why AI Visionary Andrew Ng Teaches Humans to Teach Computers
From ACM Opinion

Why AI Visionary Andrew Ng Teaches Humans to Teach Computers

Andrew Ng has led teams at Google and Baidu that have gone on to create self-learning computer programs used by hundreds of millions of people, including email...

Russia's Election Meddling Backfired—big-Time
From ACM Opinion

Russia's Election Meddling Backfired—big-Time

Intelligence officers sometimes talk about "blowback," when covert actions go bad and end up damaging the country that initiated them.

Everyone Thinks That Automation Will Take Our Jobs. The Evidence Disagrees
From ACM Opinion

Everyone Thinks That Automation Will Take Our Jobs. The Evidence Disagrees

Last year, the Japanese company SoftBank opened a cell phone store in Tokyo and staffed it entirely with sales associates named Pepper. This wasn't as hard as it...

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon
From ACM Opinion

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon

We the people have always been helplessly drawn to the concept of magic: the notion that you can will something to happen by wiggling your nose, speaking special...

Why Video Games Are Obsessed With the Apocalypse
From ACM Opinion

Why Video Games Are Obsessed With the Apocalypse

Video games are, in a way, the perfect medium through which to depict the post-apocalypse. If we assume that after the collapse of civilisation everyone will revert...

Defending Tor, Gateway to the Dark Web
From ACM Opinion

Defending Tor, Gateway to the Dark Web

When Roger Dingledine talks about the dark web, he waves his hands in the air, as if not quite convinced of its existence.

End-to-End Encryption Isn't Enough Security For 'real people'
From ACM Opinion

End-to-End Encryption Isn't Enough Security For 'real people'

Government officials continue to seek technology companies' help fighting terrorism and crime. But the most commonly proposed solution would severely limit regular...

Jpl's Design For a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus
From ACM Opinion

Jpl's Design For a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

The longest amount of time that a spacecraft has survived on the surface of Venus is 127 minutes.

Tracking Terrorists Online Might Invade Your Privacy
From ACM Opinion

Tracking Terrorists Online Might Invade Your Privacy

Remember that picture you sent to your family of your children playing in the paddling pool? Or that private text you sent to someone trusted? Or when you searched...

It's Past Time For You to Ditch that Fancy Scientific Calculator
From ACM Opinion

It's Past Time For You to Ditch that Fancy Scientific Calculator

Bruce Sherwood, the author of Matter and Interactions, had a question for me when I saw him at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference not long...

Bot and Bothered
From ACM Opinion

Bot and Bothered

Facebook has been working on artificial intelligence that claims to be great at negotiating, makes up its own language and learns to lie.

Fear of a Robot Planet
From ACM Opinion

Fear of a Robot Planet

It was in the 12th century that the great brass head built by Albertus Magnus moved its mouth for the first time, breathing steam as it spoke to Magnus' young religious...

Editing Human Embryos with Crispr Is Moving Ahead; Now's the Time to Work Out the Ethics
From ACM Opinion

Editing Human Embryos with Crispr Is Moving Ahead; Now's the Time to Work Out the Ethics

The announcement by researchers in Portland, Oregon that they've successfully modified the genetic material of a human embryo took some people by surprise.

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.

If You Could 'design' Your Own Child, Would You?
From ACM Opinion

If You Could 'design' Your Own Child, Would You?

Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review.
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