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The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

August 2016


From ACM Opinion

The Hype—and Hope—of Artificial Intelligence

The Hype—and Hope—of Artificial Intelligence

Earlier this month, on his HBO show "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver skewered media companies' desperate search for clicks.


From ACM News

All the Ways Your Wi-Fi Router Can Spy on You

All the Ways Your Wi-Fi Router Can Spy on You

City dwellers spend nearly every moment of every day awash in Wi-Fi signals.


From ACM Opinion

20 Big Questions about the Future of Humanity

20 Big Questions about the Future of Humanity

1. Does humanity have a future beyond Earth?


From ACM Opinion

You'll Never Guess This One Crazy Thing Governs Online Speech

You'll Never Guess This One Crazy Thing Governs Online Speech

Early last week, Twitter announced that it would be using new tools to curb hate speech and harassment on its site.


From ACM Opinion

At 25, the World Wide Web Is Still a Long Way From Reality

At 25, the World Wide Web Is Still a Long Way From Reality

Twenty-five years ago today, Tim Berners-Lee unleashed the World Wide Web, publishing the first public webpage. Well, maybe.


From ACM Opinion

AI's Research Rut

AI's Research Rut

When we think of AI as one particular thing, we drag the whole field down.


From ACM Opinion

Obama's Science Legacy: Betting Big on Biomedical Science

Obama's Science Legacy: Betting Big on Biomedical Science

When president-elect Barack Obama chose physicist John Holdren as his top science adviser in December 2008, some biomedical researchers worried that the pick signalled a White House bias towards physical science.


From ACM Opinion

Space, Climate Change, and the Real Meaning of Theory

Space, Climate Change, and the Real Meaning of Theory

I used to be an astronaut, a spacewalker on the International Space Station.


From ACM Opinion

Why Facebook Is Really Blocking the Ad Blockers

Why Facebook Is Really Blocking the Ad Blockers

Ads can seem like the bane of the Internet.


From ACM Opinion

Mind-Controlled Robo-Skeleton Enables Paraplegics to Regain Some Motion

Mind-Controlled Robo-Skeleton Enables Paraplegics to Regain Some Motion

Patients paralyzed by a spinal cord injury can face a grim and grueling recovery process—one in which regaining function is far from a sure thing. But a new study published last week in Scientific Reports may provide some hope


From ACM Opinion

How to Read Between the Lines of Tim Cook's Epic Interview

How to Read Between the Lines of Tim Cook's Epic Interview

To celebrate five years as CEO of Apple, Tim Cook has given a very long, exclusive interview to the Washington Post about his experiences so far. But what he didn’t say is just as interesting as what he did.


From ACM Opinion

Tim Cook: Running Apple 'Is Sort of a Lonely Job'

Tim Cook: Running Apple 'Is Sort of a Lonely Job'

On a sleek white coffee table in Apple CEO Tim Cook's fourth-floor office in late July, beneath framed posters of Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, a rose gold iPhone 6s sits in its original


From ACM Opinion

The Brave New World of Robots and Lost Jobs

The Brave New World of Robots and Lost Jobs

Job insecurity is a central theme of the 2016 campaign, fueling popular anger about trade deals and immigration. But economists warn that much bigger job losses are ahead in the United States—driven not by foreign competition


From ACM Opinion

What Virtual Reality Is Good For

What Virtual Reality Is Good For

After years as a punchline, virtual reality is enjoying a renaissance. Venture capitalists plowed $1.2 billion into virtual-reality and augmented-reality startups in the first quarter of 2016, according to a report by Digi-Capital—more


From ACM Opinion

All Alone in No Man's Sky

All Alone in No Man's Sky

If reality is a game—a vast, snow-globe-y sort of experiment that plays out according to the hard rules of physics and the loose rules of story—then it is, in contemporary game-design parlance, a persistent one.


From ACM Opinion

World Should Consider Limits to Future Internet Expansion to Control Energy Consumption

World Should Consider Limits to Future Internet Expansion to Control Energy Consumption

The world should consider ways to limit data growth on the internet to prevent run-away energy consumption and help limit carbon emissions, say leading computer scientists.


From ACM Opinion

Marconi Forged Today's Interconnected World of Communication

Marconi Forged Today's Interconnected World of Communication

At Guglielmo Marconi's grand state funeral in Rome in 1937—orchestrated with military-style pomp by the black-shirted Benito Mussolini—the largest wreath on the hearse, adorned with a Nazi swastika, was sent by Adolf Hitler.


From ACM Opinion

Hydrogen Molecule Falls to Quantum Computer

Hydrogen Molecule Falls to Quantum Computer

We are at the beginning of a revolution. I've been going on about quantum computing for as long as I've been writing, but it has always been in the future tense.


From ACM Opinion

Why Save a Computer Virus?

Why Save a Computer Virus?

On average, 82,000 new malware threats are created each day.


From ACM Opinion

Presidential Campaigns Are Talking Around The Robot In The Room

Presidential Campaigns Are Talking Around The Robot In The Room

While U.S. presidential candidates are talking about tax rates, tax breaks, and trade — they are ignoring an economic issue that soon may matter far more to working Americans: robots.


From ACM Opinion

Can We Trust Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

Can We Trust Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

The release of a cache of emails from the Democratic National Committee by WikiLeaks last month has raised a great many questions—about the role of the D.N.C. in trying to influence the primary and about the alleged interference


From ACM Opinion

After Fatality, Autonomous Car Development May Speed Up

After Fatality, Autonomous Car Development May Speed Up

The world has witnessed enormous advances in autonomous passenger vehicle technologies over the last dozen years.


From ACM Opinion

Take Responsibility for Electronic-Waste Disposal

Take Responsibility for Electronic-Waste Disposal

The world is producing ever more electrical and electronic waste.


From ACM Opinion

Remembering a Thinker Who Thought About Thinking

Remembering a Thinker Who Thought About Thinking

The field of educational technology is mourning a visionary whose work was considered 50 years ahead of its time.


From ACM Opinion

The World's Best Cyber Army Doesn't Belong to Russia

The World's Best Cyber Army Doesn't Belong to Russia

National attention is focused on Russian eavesdroppers' possible targeting of U.S. presidential candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.


From ACM Opinion

Google's Driverless-Car Czar on Taking the Human Out of the Equation

Google's Driverless-Car Czar on Taking the Human Out of the Equation

You devoted your life to human-driven transportation, engineering SUVs at Ford and taking Hyundai (as U.S. CEO and president) to record levels of sales in the U.S. Why did you go driverless?


From ACM Opinion

How One Journalist Uses Social Media to Get Inside the Minds of ISIS

How One Journalist Uses Social Media to Get Inside the Minds of ISIS

Rukmini Callimachi is arguably the best reporter on the most impor­tant beat in the world. As a New York Times correspondent covering terrorism, her work explores not just what jihadists do but how they do it.

 


From ACM Opinion

NSA Director Rogers on DNC Hacking, Cyberwarfare and ISIS

NSA Director Rogers on DNC Hacking, Cyberwarfare and ISIS

When it comes to warfare—the weapons, the budgets, the personnel—America is king. But the United States has not yet conquered cyberwarfare.


From ACM Opinion

The Lessons of the DNC Hack

The Lessons of the DNC Hack

Just days after Robert Gates became secretary of defense in December 2006, in the middle of George W. Bush’s second term, he found himself so stunned by the volume of attempted cyberattacks against the U.S. military’s computer


From ACM Opinion

Make Algorithms Accountable

Make Algorithms Accountable

Algorithms are ubiquitous in our lives.

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