The capabilities of advanced computing technologies are best understood by computer scientists and substantially less so by non-specialists. There is a strong bias toward oversimplifying the capabilities and limitations of new technologies when they are presented to a larger public: through presentations to policymakers, advertisements for specific products and through media exposure of enthusiasts or demoters of new technologies. Overall, the capabilities of new technologies seem often exaggerated, even when the artifacts are usable and useful. In the case of new technologies, reliance on market forces is problematic since the public does not have much information on which to wisely evaluate their possible choices. Does the computer science community have any role to play in helping assure that policymakers and the public receive relatively accurate representations about the character, values, problems, and costs of new classes of computing technologies?
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