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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.

January 2018


From ACM Opinion

Making Sense of Bitcoin and Its Wild Price Ride

Making Sense of Bitcoin and Its Wild Price Ride

The initial price of Bitcoin, set in 2010, was less than 1 cent.


From ACM Opinion

Trump Puts Science and Technology By the Wayside

Trump Puts Science and Technology By the Wayside

Donald Trump's first State of the Union address failed to quell concerns over scientific policies.


From ACM Opinion

5 Ways Election Interference Could (and Probably Will) Worsen in 2018 and Beyond

5 Ways Election Interference Could (and Probably Will) Worsen in 2018 and Beyond

If you thought 2016 was bad, just wait for the sequel.


From ACM Opinion

Bubble, Bubble, Fraud and Trouble

Bubble, Bubble, Fraud and Trouble

The other day my barber asked me whether he should put all his money in Bitcoin. And the truth is that if he'd bought Bitcoin, say, a year ago he'd be feeling pretty good right now.


From ACM Opinion

Technology to Watch in 2018

Technology to Watch in 2018

For all the excitement surrounding the gene-editing tool CRISPR, it is not that efficient or precise. It's hard to make many changes at once.


From ACM Opinion

My Pacemaker Is Tracking Me from Inside My Body

My Pacemaker Is Tracking Me from Inside My Body

A month before turning 34, I received an unexpected birthday gift: a cloud-connected pacemaker.


From ACM Opinion

For AI to Get Creative, It Must Learn the Rules, Then How to Break 'em

For AI to Get Creative, It Must Learn the Rules, Then How to Break 'em

American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Every artist was first an amateur." He likely never thought those words would apply to machines.


From ACM Opinion

Cyberwar: An Urgent Problem

Cyberwar: An Urgent Problem

In the desperate scramble to rearm before the second world war there was always an undercurrent of pessimism.


From ACM Opinion

I Wore the VR Glove that Fools Your Skin As Well As Your Eyes

I Wore the VR Glove that Fools Your Skin As Well As Your Eyes

I weigh the rock in my hand, then toss it back to the ground.


From ACM Opinion

The Dangers of Keeping Women Out of Tech

The Dangers of Keeping Women Out of Tech

Maria Klawe has done what tech has not. For the past 11 years, she has served as the president of Harvey Mudd College­, where the number of women in its computer science program has grown from 10 percent to 40 percent.


From ACM Opinion

Artificial Intelligence's 'black Box' Is Nothing to Fear

Artificial Intelligence's 'black Box' Is Nothing to Fear

Alongside the excitement and hype about our growing reliance on artificial intelligence, there's fear about the way the technology works.


From ACM Opinion

Remembering Ursula Le Guin, Imaginer of Difficult Worlds

Remembering Ursula Le Guin, Imaginer of Difficult Worlds

Ursula Le Guin imagined the future for a living, but her most prescient statement may have come in a speech.


From ACM Opinion

Apple Can't Resist Playing By China's Rules

Apple Can't Resist Playing By China's Rules

Apple is selling out. It's not about the latest version of the iPhone, but the huge cache of personal data that will be going directly to the largest, and one of the harshest, authoritarian regimes in the world: the Communist…


From ACM Opinion

Why the I.r.s. Fears Bitcoin

Why the I.r.s. Fears Bitcoin

The extraordinary rise in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led many people to worry that this market is a giant bubble.


From ACM Opinion

The New Way Your Computer Can Be Attacked

The New Way Your Computer Can Be Attacked

On January 3, the world learned about a series of major security vulnerabilities in modern microprocessors. Called Spectre and Meltdown, these vulnerabilities were discovered by several different researchers last summer, disclosed…


From ACM Opinion

China's Breathtaking Transformation Into a Scientific Superpower

China's Breathtaking Transformation Into a Scientific Superpower

The National Science Foundation and the National Science Board have just released their biennial "Science & Engineering Indicators," a voluminous document describing the state of American technology. 


From ACM TechNews

D. Fox Harrell on His Video Game For the #metoo Era

D. Fox Harrell on His Video Game For the #metoo Era

In an interview, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor D. Fox Harrell discusses the development of Grayscale, a video game designed to make players sensitive to workplace sexual misconduct.


From ACM Opinion

Google Boss Says AI Is 'more Profound Than Electricity'

Google Boss Says AI Is 'more Profound Than Electricity'

Google CEO Sundar Pichai believes artificial intelligence could have "more profound" implications for humanity than electricity or fire, according to recent comments.


From ACM Opinion

How Technology Is (and Isn't) Changing Our Reading Habits

How Technology Is (and Isn't) Changing Our Reading Habits

Given that you write about the books industry, how do you prefer to read books? On a Kindle or iPad or some other device, or printed books?


From ACM Opinion

I Am a Roboticist in a Cheese Factory

I Am a Roboticist in a Cheese Factory

Most people think about robots as autonomous machines guided by artificial intelligence.


From ACM Opinion

Forget the Robot Singularity Apocalypse. Let's Talk About the Multiplicity

Forget the Robot Singularity Apocalypse. Let's Talk About the Multiplicity

For a species that's conquered Earth and traveled through space and invented the Slapchop, we humans sure are insecure when it comes to technology.


From ACM Opinion

Steam Not Stem: Why Scientists Need Arts training

Steam Not Stem: Why Scientists Need Arts training

From biotech to climate change, advances in technology raise significant moral questions. To engage responsibly, our next generation of scientists need training in the arts and ethics.


From ACM Opinion

Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?

Can Robots Tighten the Bolts on a Rickety Caregiver Sector?

In 2015 I was watching a dress rehearsal for a play about love, loss and aging. In a climactic scene, the lead actress gesticulated and shouted, while her co-star cowered before her—stuttering, repeating himself, faltering in…


From ACM Opinion

Beyond The bitcoin Bubble

Beyond The bitcoin Bubble

layer innocent nothing argue pottery winner cotton menu task slim merge maid  

The sequence of words is meaningless: a random array strung together by an algorithm let loose in an English dictionary.


From ACM Opinion

In 2018, Voice Assistants Will Make the Leap Out of Your Home

In 2018, Voice Assistants Will Make the Leap Out of Your Home

At one section of Google's giant outdoor booth at CES was an impromptu, carney-style one-man show, with a guy wearing dark sunglasses and a white Google Assistant jumpsuit loudly and enthusiastically giving away free electronics…


From ACM Opinion

Congress Renews Warrantless Surveillance, and Makes It Even Worse

Congress Renews Warrantless Surveillance, and Makes It Even Worse

In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency was legally collecting millions of Americans' phone calls and electronic communications—including emails, Facebook messages, and browsing histories—without a …


From ACM Opinion

Nissan Wants to Make You a Better Driver By Reading Your Mind

Nissan Wants to Make You a Better Driver By Reading Your Mind

Might the car of the future be able to read your mind?


From ACM Opinion

Meltdown and Spectre Expose the Dark Side of Superfast Computers

Meltdown and Spectre Expose the Dark Side of Superfast Computers

Hundreds of gadget makers and software companies at this week's annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas are staking the success of their newest products on the latest and greatest processors from Intel, AMD, ARM and…


From ACM Opinion

There Is No Such Thing as 'the' Blockchain

There Is No Such Thing as 'the' Blockchain

How do you quadruple your stock price without lifting a finger?


From ACM Opinion

Exoplanet Science 2.0

Exoplanet Science 2.0

It is more than two decades since we learnt that the Universe is awash with other worlds. Since 1992, more than 3,500 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting stars other than our Sun.

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