By Heidi Hackford

Can We Solve Our System Error?

With technology pervading every corner of our lives, it can often feel like we’re at the mercy of the big tech companies. Suggestions to “just delete Facebook” don’t help. And, letting big tech companies continue to reinforce discrimination, erode privacy, and spread disinformation can only lead to…


By Emily Parsons

Silicon Valley’s Past, Present, and Future

Semiconductor chips are front page news. Tech IPOs are breaking records. Big company leaders are testifying in Washington. What year is it?

For journalist Michael Malone, it could be 2021… or 1985. His book The Big Score recounted the history of Silicon Valley, from the founding of…


By Emily Parsons

The Hidden Costs of AI

The digital assistant sitting on your living room table can tell you a lot-if it’s likely to rain today, when your next appointment is, or how to make a chocolate cake-but can it tell you its life story? Before it arrived on your doorstep, its components were…


By Dag Spicer

A History of Automatic Speech Recognition

Across the generations, people have dreamed of speaking to machines or spirits to gain knowledge or carry out tasks and commands. In the ancient folk tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the door to the cave of hidden loot is opened by uttering the phrase…


By David C. Brock

Software, Plague, Poetry, and Corporate Culture in the 1980s

How do you compare plagues? By which groups they most harm? By the cold calculus of body counts? Through their cultural or political weights? Or though the scars of flesh and psyche left on individual lives? If you are like me, an elder member of Generation…


By Heidi Hackford

Jeff Bezos and His Global Giant

Once a startup housed in a garage, Amazon is now one of the most powerful entities in the world economy, touching countless aspects of our lives. There’s probably a good chance you have placed orders in its marketplace, shopped at Whole Foods, read the Washington Post, streamed…


By Heidi Hackford

Joy Boulamwini: “joy blend weenie”

The audio transcription for CHM’s virtual event Is AI Racist? delivered “ joy blend weenie” for Joy Boulamwini, an accomplished computer scientist at the MIT Media Lab, who is Black and female. Sure, her name may be hard for Americans to pronounce, but Google delivers over 17…


By Heidi Hackford

Meet the Geniuses Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World

On March 31, 2021, CHM hosted New York Times reporter Cade Metz in a virtual event to discuss his new book, Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World, with Wall Street Journal science reporter Daniela Hernandez. The heart of the book…


By David C. Brock

If you happen to go searching about in CHM’s online catalog of its collections-and you really should-you very well might find the image above. You might pause and read the catalog description. You then might have some questions. Why would someone write “Pat’s Glory 6–20–68” on…


By David C. Brock

Trust, Differences, and the World’s Largest Democracy

On January 6th, 2021, when the Republican crowd stormed the US Capitol building, I found out about it early on when I checked my Twitter feed. I admit I never did get back to work that afternoon; I was glued to the NBC News feed streaming…

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