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Communications of the ACM

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

January 2017


From ACM Opinion

Peer Review Has Its Shortcomings, But AI Is a Risky Fix

Peer Review Has Its Shortcomings, But AI Is a Risky Fix

We should think twice before allowing autonomous AI systems to decide what research warrants publication.


From ACM Opinion

Reality Bites: Learning the Future of V.R. at Sundance

Reality Bites: Learning the Future of V.R. at Sundance

Standing in a pink desert landscape, I looked down and realized I'd become a robot, with skinny metal legs and pincers for hands.


From ACM Opinion

Explaining the Upside and Downside of D-Wave's New Quantum Computer

Explaining the Upside and Downside of D-Wave's New Quantum Computer

D-Wave, a company based in British Columbia, has announced a new version of its quantum annealer: the D-Wave 2000Q. As the name suggests, the number of bits has increased from about 1,000 to just over 2,000.


From ACM Opinion

Stop Scapegoating, Start Educating

Stop Scapegoating, Start Educating

As we look ahead to the Trump presidency, instead of scapegoating, we need significant investments in a sustainable education strategy that prepares youths to effectively participate in the world of tomorrow.


From ACM Opinion

The Ultimate Cure for the Fake-News Epidemic Will Be More Skeptical Readers

The Ultimate Cure for the Fake-News Epidemic Will Be More Skeptical Readers

"Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President." "FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead of Apparent Murder-Suicide." "Rush Reveals Michelle's Perverted Past After She Dumps on Trump."


From ACM Opinion

We Rely on the Government for Lots of Data. What Happens to That in the Trump Era of 'Alternative Facts'?

We Rely on the Government for Lots of Data. What Happens to That in the Trump Era of 'Alternative Facts'?

During the first 24 hours of the Trump administration, the new White House took a clear, firm stand against publicly available information.


From ACM Opinion

Fake Think Tanks Fuel Fake News, And the President's Tweets

Fake Think Tanks Fuel Fake News, And the President's Tweets

Fake news isn't just Macedonian teenagers or internet trolls.


From ACM Opinion

Curiosity Finds An(other) Alien Visitor on Mars

Curiosity Finds An(other) Alien Visitor on Mars

The Curiosity rover has been on Mars since Aug. 6, 2012.


From ACM Opinion

How to Sit Courtside at a Basketball Game Without Leaving Your Couch

How to Sit Courtside at a Basketball Game Without Leaving Your Couch

One of the promises that virtual reality offered was that we'd all be able to watch "courtside" sports games without having to leave our couches.


From ACM Opinion

Connected Devices Give Spies a Powerful New Way to Surveil

Connected Devices Give Spies a Powerful New Way to Surveil

There is little doubt that the web is the greatest gift that any intelligence agency could have ever asked for.


From ACM Opinion

'I Don't Intend to Go Crawl Under a Rock': An Exit Interview with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

'I Don't Intend to Go Crawl Under a Rock': An Exit Interview with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

If you're familiar with the comedian John Oliver, then you may also remember the man he once memorably called a "dingo." That's Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.


From ACM Opinion

When It Comes to Safety, Autonomous Cars Are Still 'Teen Drivers'

When It Comes to Safety, Autonomous Cars Are Still 'Teen Drivers'

Automakers ask drivers to trust and share U.S. roadways with autonomous vehicles, but there is no easy answer as to when they will be considered "safe."


From ACM Opinion

Just in Time for Trump, the NSA Loosens Its Privacy Rules

Just in Time for Trump, the NSA Loosens Its Privacy Rules

As the privacy and civil liberty community braces for Donald Trump's impending control of US intelligence agencies like the NSA, critics have called on the Obama administration to rein in those spying powers before a man with…


From ACM Opinion

He Helped Create the 'Google Brain.' Here's What He Thinks About AI Now

He Helped Create the 'Google Brain.' Here's What He Thinks About AI Now

Trucks that can drive themselves along delivery routes. Computers capable of defeating world champions in a notoriously complex game. Apps that can translate sentences with near human-like accuracy.


From ACM Opinion

My God. It's Full of Black Holes.

My God. It's Full of Black Holes.

The image above doesn’t look like much at a glance, does it?


From ACM Opinion

At CES 2017, You Have to Ask: What Makes a Robot a Robot?

At CES 2017, You Have to Ask: What Makes a Robot a Robot?

Tall, small, dancing, singing, cleaning, sassy, silly, cute and scary—CES 2017 was awash with robots.


From ACM Opinion

DARPA's Biotech Chief Says 2017 Will 'Blow Our Minds'

DARPA's Biotech Chief Says 2017 Will 'Blow Our Minds'

The Pentagon's research and development division, DARPA—the creative force behind the internet and GPS—retooled itself three years ago to create a new office dedicated to unraveling biology's engineering secrets.


From ACM Opinion

10 Ways the iPhone Changed Everything

10 Ways the iPhone Changed Everything

Ten years ago, Nokia was the world's largest phone maker. Microsoft was gearing up to launch Windows Vista. And the best new products at CES included a wireless TV and an MP3 player that streamed internet radio.


From ACM Opinion

Bitcoin Will Never Be a Currency; It's Something Way Weirder

Bitcoin Will Never Be a Currency; It's Something Way Weirder

The value of bitcoin surged past $1,000 this week, the first time it has reached such heights since late 2013.


From ACM Opinion

Why President Obama Won't Pardon Edward Snowden

Why President Obama Won't Pardon Edward Snowden

On September 14, 2016, days before the premiere of Oliver Stone's hagiographic movieSnowden, Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International launched a well-funded campaign, with full-page ads…


From ACM Opinion

Don't Gut Net Neutrality. It's Good for People and Business

Don't Gut Net Neutrality. It's Good for People and Business

The invention and commercialization of the internet is one of the things that makes America great.


From ACM Opinion

Here's What Happens to Tech in 2017 (Unless 2016 Was All a Dream)

Here's What Happens to Tech in 2017 (Unless 2016 Was All a Dream)

What does 2017 hold for the world of tech and media?


From ACM Opinion

Computer Science in 2017: Going Beyond the Hour of Code

Computer Science in 2017: Going Beyond the Hour of Code

Where do you hope education technology will go in 2017? What aspects of curriculum or community might get us there?


From ACM Opinion

5 Big Predictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2017

5 Big Predictions for Artificial Intelligence in 2017

Last year was huge for advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. But 2017 may well deliver even more.


From ACM Opinion

Quantum Computers Ready to Leap Out of the Lab in 2017

Quantum Computers Ready to Leap Out of the Lab in 2017

Quantum computing has long seemed like one of those technologies that are 20 years away, and always will be.


From ACM Opinion

Why Frankenstein Is Still Relevant, Almost 200 Years After It Was Published

Why Frankenstein Is Still Relevant, Almost 200 Years After It Was Published

Can I be totally honest? All I remember about Frankenstein is that Frankenstein is the doctor, not the monster. What happens in it?


From ACM Opinion

The Biggest Security Threats Coming in 2017

The Biggest Security Threats Coming in 2017

Whether it was a billion compromised Yahoo accounts or state-sponsored Russian hackers muscling in on the US election, this past year saw hacks of unprecedented scale and temerity.


From Communications of the ACM

Is Google's Alphabet a Good Bet?

Is Google's Alphabet a Good Bet?

A relatively simple query raises myriad complicated issues.


From Communications of the ACM

Colossal Genius: Tutte, Flowers, and a Bad Imitation of Turing

Colossal Genius

Reflections on pioneering code-breaking efforts.


From Communications of the ACM

Artificial Intelligence: Think Again

Artificial Intelligence

Social and cultural conventions are an often-neglected aspect of intelligent-machine development.

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