The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
We're all time travelers nowadays. We project ourselves mentally into the misty past and the risky future.
Which of these statements seems more trustworthy to you?
Later today, executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter will go before the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify about the ways that Russian operatives used these platforms to plant and spread disinformation, and generally…
Martin Newell was worried about his Ph.D. research as he sat down to tea with his wife one day in 1974.
I have now been writing about science for nearly a dozen years, which means my career more or less overlaps with that of the Cassini probe.
It's easy to get sucked in by the wild and wacky science of Star Trek, from beaming and materializing in other places, to the intense blast of deadly light from a phaser, to the incredible disappearing act called "cloaking" used…
Any day now, Google is expected to achieve quantum supremacy—the use of a quantum computer to solve a problem that even the most advanced supercomputer can't unravel.
Even the most futuristic applications of AI, from robotic servants to instant health scans, somehow already seem familiar because they have been endless fodder for pop culture.
The development of skills like coding is not what tomorrow's leaders need in order to walk confidently into the future.
Russia's cyber-meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been accompanied by what U.S. and European experts describe as a worrisome Kremlin campaign to rewrite the rules for global cyberspace.
In 2013, United States agents served a warrant on Microsoft seeking the emails of a suspect in a drug case.
On my fourth day in a semi-driverless car, I finally felt comfortable enough to let it stop itself.
Anders Sandberg and Stuart Armstrong of the University of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, working with Milan Ćirković of the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and Montenegro, recently offered a new way to link the Fermi…
The Supreme Court does not compute. Or at least some of its members would rather not. The justices, the most powerful jurists in the land, seem to have a reluctance—even an allergy—to taking math and statistics seriously.
If, like an ever-growing majority of people in the U.S., you own a smartphone, you might have the sense that apps in the age of the pocket-sized computer are designed to keep your attention as long as possible.
This week saw another major achievement by Google's Deep Mind, when it showed that a neural network could learn to play Go in just three days, without even looking at how humans play this complex game.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I've been seeing a virtual therapist.
Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, talks about how a failed bid for Congress started it all, how some of the biggest tech companies responded to her elevator pitch, and why the real problem is bro culture. …
How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Marcelle Hopkins, deputy video editor and co-director of virtual reality at The Times, discussed the tech she is using.
The web, or "world wide web" as we used to say, turns 27 years old on December 20. On that date, nearly three decades ago, British engineer and scientist Tim Berners-Lee launched the world's first website, running on a NeXT computer…
While many of us are impatient with virtual reality—the best headsets are still too expensive, they need to be tethered to beefy computers, and there isn't all that much cool stuff to do anyway—Michael Abrash takes a long view…
Wandering among the engineers and strategy directors and managers of something called "connected customer experience" at the Smart Kitchen Summit, one had to wonder: Do any of these people actually cook?
On Friday, President Trump announced that he will not certify Iran's cooperation with the 2015 nuclear agreement negotiated by the Obama Administration.
When the owner of an automated Tesla was killed in a crash last year, the carmaker's founder, Elon Musk, urged journalists to peer into the future.
Forty years ago, two papers1, 2 described the first tractable methods for determining the order of the chemical bases in stretches of DNA. Before these 1977 publications, molecular biologists had been able to sequence only snippets…
We are surrounded by hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence and robotics—hysteria about how powerful they will become, how quickly, and what they will do to jobs.
In the media world, as in so many other realms, there is a sharp discontinuity in the timeline: before the 2016 election, and after.
Earlier this year, video emerged of a new iPhone feature, long before it was released. It showed the phone creating a magical portal in the middle of a city street. And now that's arrived.
Hany Farid, a computer scientist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, specialises in detecting manipulated images and videos. Farid, who provides his services to clients as varied as universities, media organizations…
Who owns the information in your bank account? Transactions, balance history, every other detail?
The ambitious systems that we develop today need a proper requirements structure. The plan defined here organizes requirements specification along …
The circular slide rule was widely used until the 1970s.
The focus is on executable exams for an Introduction to Computer Science course.