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Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Credit: © World Economic Forum / Manuel Lopez CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Google’s day of reckoning

Compared to other Silicon Valley titans, Google has long appeared to be a bit player in the controversies over misinformation, hate speech, and user privacy that have plagued the likes of Facebook and Twitter, especially in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election. That may change Tuesday as Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes part … Continued

1945-1998 Bulletin backfile available via Google Books

As of December 9, 2008, 53 years of Bulletin content is now available online for free at Google Books. This archive begins with the first issue of the magazine--originally published in December 1945--and includes every year thereafter until 1998.

Is breaking up big tech the solution to online hate or election meddling?

Presidential candidates, a Facebook co-founder, and others are considering whether the US government should use antitrust law to break up big tech companies. University of Chicago law professor and antitrust expert Randy Picker has some reservations.

How YouTube was recommending kids’ videos to pedophiles

YouTube’s recommendation engine is an artificial-intelligence-based system designed to automatically push users videos that stand a good chance of keeping them on the platform longer. It’s been in the news a lot this year. In January, for instance, YouTube tweaked its system in response to criticism that the recommendation engine led users to conspiracy videos … Continued

Wargames as experiments: The Project on Nuclear Gaming’s SIGNAL framework

The experimental wargame SIGNAL is designed to complement the qualitative information derived from traditional wargaming methods through the creation of a virtual environment that will generate data to support academic scholarship and guide policy-relevant inquiry. While experimental wargaming is not a magic bullet, such an approach provides a new means to explore the complexities of the modern battlespace.
A screen shot of Sniper 3D Assassin. Credit: Wiki Guide Tip via YouTube.

Shooting journalists in a video game seemed fun, but the game maker has had a change of heart

The maker of Sniper 3D Assassin decided to pull a version of the video game from online stores after an outcry over a level that involved killing a journalist.
The Trump administration put Chinese firm Huawei on a list that could make it difficult to do business in the United States. Credit: Brücke-Osteuropa via Wikimedia Commons.

The 10-minute interview: Joy Dantong Ma on why Trump is targeting Huawei

So the administration says it has its sights on Huawei because its equipment poses a national security threat. Joy Dantong Ma, a China expert at the Paulson Institute, a think tank focused on the US-China relationship, told the Bulletin there may be other reasons for the moves against Huawei.
North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un oversees a

North Korean missiles: Size does not matter

North Korea recently tested a small ballistic missile that can carry a nuclear warhead. These smaller, solid-fuel missiles matter because—tipped with nuclear warheads or chemical or biological weapons—they threaten South Korea as well as US troops and American citizens in the South.
Illustration by Matt Field. Based in part on photo by Sean P. Anderson via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 2.0.

Social media regulation and its discontents

Facebook dumped Alex Jones, a notorious conspiracy theorist from its platform last week. While the company did this on its own, countries in Europe are experimenting with tough new governmental regulations on social media--with mixed results.

Will splashy philanthropy cause the biosecurity field to focus on the wrong risks?

The Open Philanthropy Project is a generous funder of organizations doing work on biosecurity risks. But is the group training its substantial financial firepower on a narrow band of risks that aren't likely to occur? As the organization focuses on risks with global catastrophic consequences, is it skewing the focus of the biosecurity field away from more probable, if more mundane, concerns?
Dragons, Nuclear Weapons, and Game of Thrones

Dragons, nuclear weapons, and Game of Thrones

One similarity between Game of Thrones and Mutual Assured Destruction: The inherent difficulties of managing fictional dragons and real-life nuclear weapons.
airplane on tarmac

Krypton 85 monitoring: Solution to clandestine reprocessing

One of the many obstacles to reaching an arms-control agreement with North Korea revolves around the risk that undeclared, clandestine nuclear facilities might exist in that country, which—if they remain undetected—would allow the Kim Jong-un regime to maintain and continue its military nuclear ambitions. It is therefore very important that any agreed-upon denuclearization of the … Continued

Follow the Bulletin on your news app

Find us in your news app!  Want to easily read, like, and share Bulletin content via email or social media? You can follow us on Apple News, Google News, and now on the popular Flipboard app to stay in the know. ​In 2009, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists became one of the first major print publications to go all-digital; in 2018, we … Continued
Credit: Based on photo by King's College London.

Wargaming: how to turn vogue into science

In early March 2017, a US congressional committee called a hearing about Russian military capabilities in Europe. Ever since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2014, NATO countries have been on edge that a similar scenario could happen in the Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The congressmen gathered in the hearing room were … Continued

Silicon Valley defense contracts will really hit ‘em where it hurts

Won't someone please think of the shareholders? The tech industry’s controversial defense contracts may soon cost them.
Choe Son-hui, the highest-ranking female official in the North Korean government.

Hanoi Summit: Where were the women?

Based on the pictures from the second Trump-Kim summit, it looks like the women who spent the most time in the room where the leaders met were the interpreters. This is a far cry from previous administrations that had women running or helping to run nuclear negotiations—Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Wendy Sherman, and Rose Gottemoeller, … Continued

What would Russia nuke?

  Last week, Reuters reported that a Russian television broadcast had identified five targets in the United States that Moscow would strike if nuclear war broke out. Although a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin denied naming specific sites, the broadcast appeared on Russian state TV and included a video narrated by Dmitry Kiselyov, who … Continued
3D rendering of a quantum processor. Credit: Shutterstock

Approaching Y2Q and barely a peep (or tweet) from the government

Every time you exchange data online, whether you are purchasing an item with a credit card or providing personal information for an application, you enter a tacit agreement with the service provider about the protection of your information. However, you probably don’t think about what specific measures the provider will take to secure your data … Continued