The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
If we've learned anything over the past few years, it's that governments will make all sorts of excuses to justify the surveillance of its citizens.
It used to be the case when I traveled abroad that I would take a little pocket dictionary that provided translations for commonly used phrases and words.
Yoshua Bengio leads one of the world's preëminent research groups developing a powerful AI technique known as deep learning.
Napoleon had it and so did Charles Darwin. Tennis champion Roger Federer has it in spades. The dictionary defines intuition as knowledge obtained without conscious reasoning.
There are not many occasions when one can give an unqualified thumbs-up to something the government does, but this is one such occasion.
For decades, the ancient game of Go has stood out as the one board game that computers couldn't crack.
Autonomous weapons experts sounded the alarm last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, cautioning that unless governments act to limit these weapons’ risks, it may be too late.
The Japanese weather satellite Himawari-8 sits 22,000 miles from Earth in orbit. On August 5, 2015, it peered down at the half of Earth that it can see, a hemisphere with Japan at its center.
In an age of continuing electronic breaches and rising geopolitical tensions over cyber-espionage, the White House is working on a national cybersecurity strategy that’s expected in early 2016.
Tom was discussing the film star Tang Wei with a chatbot named XiaoIce, and the bot was excited: "A goddess! She stole my heart … and then went off and married!" Married who? "Haven’t you heard?" XiaoIce replied.
Over the winter holidays, I took some well-needed time offline, away from e-mail and social media.
You may have heard that there’s a new largest prime number in town.
A year ago, President Obama stood behind a podium at the Federal Trade Commission and called for legislation that would set a single national standard for when companies have to tell consumers that their personal information…
For many of us, the concept of artificial intelligence conjures up visions of a machine-dominated world, where humans are servants to the devices they created.
In his famous sonnet, On First Looking into Chapman's Homer, John Keats describes the moment he first came to appreciate some of the great works of classical antiquity.
It's been a memorable year in social media. 2015 saw the birth of live social streaming, with apps like Periscope and Meerkat winning over early adopters.
Mike Brown is an astronomer at Caltech who's been instrumental in the discovery of more than 30 dwarf planets and asteroids at the far reaches of our solar system.
There's a little parlor game that people in Silicon Valley like to play. Let's call it, Who's Losing?
Never in history have more people had access to advanced encryption in their homes, offices, and pockets.
Sarah Parcak can see looting at ancient sites—from space.
It must be difficult for the roughly half a billion people who visit Wikipedia every month to remember a world without the free online encyclopedia.
Space is lousy with profits.
Physicist Pan Jian-Wei is the architect of the world's first attempt to set up a quantum communications link between Earth and space—an experiment that is set to begin with the launch of a satellite in June.
The idea that humans will eventually travel to and inhabit other parts of our galaxy was well expressed by the early Russian rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who wrote, "Earth is humanity's cradle, but you’re not meant…
President Obama used his final State of the Union address Tuesday night to reflect on his legacy. But he also put forth some specific proposals for his remaining year in office. And the very first one was "helping students learn…
"I'm a skeptic of 3-D, but when I saw the paintings I knew I had to use it," Werner Herzog told Judith Thurman in 2010, after the New York première of his documentary "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."
A new gene-editing technology has been relentlessly hyped over the past year, and it goes by a catchy if rather incongruous acronym: Crispr.
Every time a toddler accidentally shoots a friend or family member, a teen kills himself via gunshot or a shooter perpetrates an act of mass violence, public discussion circles back to "smart gun" technology.
With 2015 now behind us, what truly stands out?
Google's chairman thinks artificial intelligence will let scientists solve some of the world’s "hard problems," like population growth, climate change, human development, and education.
On the impact of large language models.
Until the middle of the 20th century, computers were in fact humans who performed calculations.