Advancing Technologies

Self-driving cars should leave us all unsettled. Here’s why.

It is a warm autumn morning, and I am walking through downtown Mountain View, Calif., when I see it. A small vehicle that looks like a cross between a golf cart and a Jetson-esque, bubble-topped spaceship glides to a stop at an intersection. Someone…

What Google and Facebook must do about one of their biggest problems

Google could lose as much as $750 million because of a boycott by advertisers, according to Nomura Research. Companies are protesting against the placement of their ads next to extremist and hateful content. An even worse offender is Facebook, which had enabled the propagation of fake…

There is a jobs crisis brewing that the Trump administration should not ignore

By Jeff Greene and Vivek Wadhwa Everyone has heard the old anecdote about the frog in a pot of water. If the temperature is raised slowly, the frog won’t react, eventually allowing itself to get boiled. That’s where we’re heading as a country when it comes…

Why Apple is destined to fail in India

Apple’s prospects for the iPhone look dim in China, with declining market share and competition from more advanced products. That is one reason why Apple is now focusing on the second-largest smartphone market in the world: India. “I sort of view India as where China was seven to 10…

What students should learn from Uber’s recent troubles

The criticism of Uber continues to pile up. This week, the car service was found to use secret software to evade government regulators and a video showed its chief executive in a verbal altercation with one of the company’s drivers. Previously, the company’s self-driving cars…

It’s not the CEO’s choices that matter, it’s yours

What is the likelihood that the people building Uber’s self-driving technologies did not know that their software was highly imperfect and could endanger lives if the cars were let loose on public streets? Or that employees of Theranos did not know that their equipment would produce inaccurate…

How regulators can make smart devices more secure against hackers

Smart-television maker Vizio agreed to pay a penalty this month for spying on 11 million customers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the company captured second-by-second information on what customers viewed, combined it with their gender, age and income, and sold it to third parties. How much…

What the U.S. can learn from India’s move toward a cashless society

Silicon Valley fancies itself the global leader in innovation. Its leaders hype technologies such as bitcoin and blockchain, which some claim are the greatest inventions since the Internet. They are so complex that only a few mathematicians can understand them, and they require massive…

Why 2017 is the year of the bot

In the 2013 movie “Her,” Theodore Twombly, a lonely writer, falls in love with a digital assistant designed to meet his every need.  She sorts emails, helps get a book published, provides personal advice and ultimately becomes his girlfriend.  The assistant, Samantha, is A.I….

The transport systems of Science Fiction will be here sooner than you think

Picture the commute of the future: You live in Palo Alto, Calif., but work 350 miles away in Los Angeles. After your morning latte, you click on a smartphone app to summon your digital chauffeur. An autonomous car shows up at your front door…

What Stephen Hawking gets right and wrong about ‘the most dangerous time for our planet’

In an essay in The Guardian, the renowned theoretical physicist wrote: “Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European Union and by the American public to embrace Donald Trump as their next president, there is no doubt in…

Fake news is just the beginning

Facebook is on the defensive after the elections, with accusations that it helped spread misinformation.  For days, Mark Zuckerberg was adamant that his network had not affected the election results, calling that “a pretty crazy idea”.  But after a torrent of criticism from his employees…