The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
Nate Silver is on the downtown 1 train. Possibly because he looks like a (modestly) hip math teacher, and hardly looks up from his phone, he goes unrecognized until he reaches the PlayStation Theater in Times Square.
The recent cyberattack that rendered more than 1,200 websites unreachable was a warning. Experts say a similar, or larger, attack could be launched tomorrow, and we’d be powerless to prevent it.
In theory, using the internet or e-mail to vote for the U.S. president sounds like a good idea.
You probably already know that you have precious little privacy, and that shadowy data brokers have built the buying and selling of people’s personal information into a multibillion-dollar industry.
On the day (perhaps not long from now) when the entire internet crashes, no one will be able to say that we didn’t see it coming.
Last summer, an audience of government officials, military personnel, and foreign ambassadors gathered in Aspen, Colorado, to hear John Carlin, then an assistant attorney general, speak about cyberattacks.
Science fiction comes up often in serious discussions about artificial intelligence and weapons.
For U.S. Internet businesses, China is the land of moral defeat.
Elon Musk's new plan to go all-in on self-driving vehicles puts a lot of faith in the artificial intelligence needed to ensure his Teslas can read and react to different driving situations in real time.
Are voters misleading pollsters? Are there hidden Donald Trump supporters who could throw the election his way?
The race is on build a "universal" quantum computer. Such a device could be programmed to speedily solve problems that classical computers cannot crack, potentially revolutionizing fields from pharmaceuticals to cryptography.
You just wanted to shop for a birthday gift in peace—instead, you got ads that follow you around the internet, and coupons in your email that remember exactly which products you clicked on.
In a recent editorial, Norman Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, describes software engineering as a career dead end. Somehow I doubt it.
Ask not what the government can do for Silicon Valley; ask what Silicon Valley can do for the government.
Every four years, pundits race to anoint this or that newfangled tech trend as the next disruptive force to forever alter the mechanics of American democracy.
Late last week Obama administration officials used NBC News to send Moscow a cryptic threat: The U.S. government is "contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action" against Russia for allegedly interfering in the upcoming…
Last week, astronomers announced the discovery of DeeDee, a possible dwarf planet. That name—dwarf planet—means it is like Pluto: Massive enough to assume a spherical shape due to its own gravitational force, but not quite big…
Evan has a habit. He's not ashamed of it, but he doesn't want to reveal too much about himself, lest his colleagues learn how he’s spending so much of his time.
"If you want a career in medicine these days you're better off studying mathematics or computing than biology."
A spaceship is preparing to land on Mars when the crew notices that one of the thrusters isn’t firing.
A provocative new book called "Weapons of Math Destruction" has inspired some charged headlines. But author Cathy O'Neil's message is subtle: Math isn't biased. People are biased.
Yahoo wants to take advertising to the next level—that is, the Orwellian level—bombarding people in public places with targeted advertising served up by the surveillance society.
During his eight years in office, President Barack Obama has seen hackers grow into a threat no president has faced before.
This week, the White House published its report on the future of artificial intelligence (AI)—a product of four workshops held between May and July 2016 in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Washington DC and New York City (see go.nature.com…
The self-driving car's greatest promise is that it will buy its passengers that most precious and finite of resources: time.
During his 2008 campaign, President Obama vowed to assert greater oversight of the massive surveillance apparatus built in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, arguing that the United States needed to strike a better balance between…
President Barack Obama came under immediate pressure Friday night to punish Russia for hacking into US political institutions—with calls to rally European allies behind sweeping new sanctions against Moscow.
Ron Wyden, U.S. senator from Oregon and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, recently talked about the privacy-versus-security debate.
I became a robot.
James Bond-like spies have been eclipsed by a new generation of operatives who don't travel the world (not physically, anyway) …
Finding errors is not the same strategy as making sure that a product works.
Early on in the study of quantum computers, computer scientists …
Getting robots to do things isn't easy: Usually, scientists have …
A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed much of …