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Communications of the ACM

Opinion Archive


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

June 2021


From ACM Opinion

Google's AI Approach to Microchips Is Welcome—but Needs Care

Google's AI Approach to Microchips Is Welcome—but Needs Care

Artificial intelligence can help the electronics industry to speed up chip design. But the gains must be shared equitably.


From ACM Opinion

The Coming Productivity Boom

The Coming Productivity Boom

AI and other digital technologies have been surprisingly slow to improve economic growth. But that could be about to change.


From ACM Opinion

The Brutal Truth About Bitcoin

The Brutal Truth About Bitcoin

Are cryptocurrencies the wave of the future and should you be using and investing in them?


From ACM Opinion

As Science Advances, Does Ockham's Razor Still Apply?

As Science Advances, Does Ockham's Razor Still Apply?

The notion that the simpler explanation is usually right has been useful for centuries. New science may change that.


From ACM Opinion

When AI Becomes Child's Play

When AI Becomes Child's Play

Algorithms trained in pattern recognition struggle to understand kids.


From ACM Opinion

Amid a Pandemic, a Health Care Algorithm Shows Promise and Peril

Amid a Pandemic, a Health Care Algorithm Shows Promise and Peril

A machine learning-based score designed to aid triage decisions is gaining in popularity, but lacking in transparency.


From ACM Opinion

Climate Policy Models Need to Get Real About People—Here's How

Climate Policy Models Need to Get Real About People—Here's How

To predict how society and political systems might actually respond to warming, upgrade integrated assessment models.


From ACM Opinion

Wanted: Rules for Pandemic Data Access That Everyone Can Trust

Wanted: Rules for Pandemic Data Access That Everyone Can Trust

In the wake of COVID-19, a pandemic treaty could be a way to agree on data access before the next emergency strikes.


From ACM Opinion

What Makes Quantum Computing So Hard to Explain?

What Makes Quantum Computing So Hard to Explain?

To understand what quantum computers can do—and what they can’t—avoid falling for overly simple explanations.


From ACM Opinion

Are We Waiting for Everyone to Get Hacked?

Are We Waiting for Everyone to Get Hacked?

Leon Panetta is one of the few American government officials who can look around at the nation's rolling cyberdisasters and justifiably say, “I told you so.”


From ACM Opinion

The U.S. Needs a National Strategic Computing Reserve

The U.S. Needs a National Strategic Computing Reserve

One year after supercomputers worked together to fight COVID-19, it's time to broaden the partnership to prepare for other crises.


From ACM Opinion

Does AI Have an Alignment Problem?

Does AI Have an Alignment Problem?

The problems and the possibilities of AI are, in a very deep way, the problems and possibilities of humanity.


From ACM Opinion

Reward Is Enough for Generalized AI

Reward Is Enough for Generalized AI

The generic objective of maximizing reward is enough to drive behavior that exhibits most abilities studied in natural and artificial intelligence.


From ACM Opinion

Reducing Racial Bias in AI Models for Clinical Use

Reducing Racial Bias in AI Models for Clinical Use

To fully address the issue of racial bias in AI models for clinical use, a top-down intervention is required.


From ACM Opinion

First Science Adviser in Biden Cabinet Talks COVID, Spying, and More

First Science Adviser in Biden Cabinet Talks COVID, Spying, and More

As a member of the Biden cabinet, new OSTP Director Eric Lander may have more access and influence than any science adviser before him.


From ACM Opinion

Polarized Scientific Views Are Worse Than Ever

Polarized Scientific Views Are Worse Than Ever

Interactions between science and politics are now so complex, so numerous, and often so opaque that it’s not clear anymore whom to trust.


From ACM Opinion

Getting More People With Disabilities Developing Technology Is Good for Everyone

Getting More People With Disabilities Developing Technology Is Good for Everyone

It's not just a matter of fairness and inclusion. Accessible technology is generally better for everyone.


From ACM Opinion

Machine Learning Security Needs New Perspectives and Incentives

Machine Learning Security Needs New Perspectives and Incentives

Researchers and developers racing to make deep learning available to different applications need to actively seek out and address security challenges before they cause irreparable damage.


From ACM Opinion

A Number Theorist Who Connects Math to Other Creative Pursuits

A Number Theorist Who Connects Math to Other Creative Pursuits

Jordan Ellenberg calls on mathematics to explore everything from Internet fads to voting rights.


From ACM Opinion

Theorists and Experimentalists Must Join Forces

Theorists and Experimentalists Must Join Forces

Collaborations between theorists and experimentalists are crucial for accelerating research.


From Communications of the ACM

The Risks of Election Believability (or Lack Thereof)

The Risks of Election Believability (or Lack Thereof)

With 90% of the 2020 U.S. general election ballot contents verifiable by paper, why do only 65% of voters trust the results?


From Communications of the ACM

Aversion to Versions

Aversion to Versions

Code needs to run anywhere as long as the necessary dependencies can be resolved.


From Communications of the ACM

Locality and Professional Life

Locality and Professional Life

The locality principle extends beyond computer memories. It teaches us something about being human.


From Communications of the ACM

Depth and Persistence: What Researchers Need to Know About Impostor Syndrome

Depth and Persistence

Understanding impostor syndrome's complexity and its effect on research persistence.


From Communications of the ACM

Collusion Rings Threaten the Integrity of Computer Science Research

Collusion Rings Threaten the Integrity of Computer Science Research

Experiences discovering attempts to subvert the peer-review process.


From Communications of the ACM

A Vision to Compute like Nature: Thermodynamically

A Vision to Compute like Nature

Advocating a new, physically grounded, computational paradigm centered on thermodynamics and an emerging understanding of using thermodynamics to solve problems.

Blog at CACM
The Evolution of Computing Power in Switzerland
The Evolution of Computing Power in Switzerland
06.14.2021

Milestones in the history of computing from the Swiss National Supercomputing Center, Lugano.  

A MERge Analysis of an Organizational Change: The Case of Internalization at Home
A MERge Analysis of an Organizational Change: The Case of Internalization at Home
06.09.2021

How the Technion assimilated its international activities into its other units’ activities and, at the same time, reduced operational costs …

New Areas for Application of Self-Organizing Routing
New Areas for Application of Self-Organizing Routing
06.01.2021

To organize the productive work of multiprocessor chips, it is necessary to establish an efficient distribution of computational processes between …

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