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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.

November 2017


From ACM News

The Genesis of Kuri, the Friendly Home Robot

The Genesis of Kuri, the Friendly Home Robot

Over the course  of thousands of years, dogs have evolved alongside humans to be awesome.


From ACM Opinion

How an Underwater Sensor Network Is Tracking Argentina's Lost Submarine

How an Underwater Sensor Network Is Tracking Argentina's Lost Submarine

On 15 November, Argentina's Navy lost contact with the ARA San Juan, a small diesel-powered submarine that had been involved in exercises off the east coast of Patagonia.


From ACM Opinion

Five Ways to Fix Statistics

Five Ways to Fix Statistics

As debate rumbles on about how and how much poor statistics is to blame for poor reproducibility, Nature asked influential statisticians to recommend one change to improve science. The common theme? The problem is not our maths…


From ACM Opinion

The Quantum Spy Author David Ignatius on the Future of High-Tech Espionage

The Quantum Spy Author David Ignatius on the Future of High-Tech Espionage

The intersection of quantum computing and espionage may feel like a faraway future. But in his latest novel, David Ignatius, Washington's own John le Carré, tackles just that.


From ACM Opinion

Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality

Why the Courts Will Have to Save Net Neutrality

Back in 2005, a small phone company based in North Carolina named Madison River began preventing its subscribers from making phone calls using the internet application Vonage.


From ACM Opinion

The Tech Giants' Secret War Against Fake News Is Too Secret

The Tech Giants' Secret War Against Fake News Is Too Secret

FacebookGoogle, and Twitter have a problem with harmful content.


From ACM Opinion

Borders in the Cloud

Borders in the Cloud

Amazon may well be one of the companies with the strongest data security in the world.


From ACM Opinion

How Evil Is Tech?

How Evil Is Tech?

Can tech companies take the actions necessary to prevent their companies from becoming social pariahs?


From ACM TechNews

Martonosi Sketches a Path For a New Type of Computing

Martonosi Sketches a Path For a New Type of Computing

Princeton University professor Margaret Martonosi says quantum computing has reached an inflection point.


From ACM Opinion

Q&a: The Ethics of Using Brain Implants to Upgrade Yourself

Q&a: The Ethics of Using Brain Implants to Upgrade Yourself

Neurotechnology is one of the hottest areas of engineering, and the technological achievements sound miraculous: Paralyzed people have controlled robotic limbs and computer cursors with their brains, while blind people are …


From ACM Opinion

Andy Weir: By the Book

Andy Weir: By the Book

The author of "The Martian" and, most recently, "Artemis" has never read Frank Herbert's "Dune": "Yes, I know. I'm the worst sci-fi fan in the universe."


From ACM Opinion

How Driverless Cars Will Change the Feel of Cities

How Driverless Cars Will Change the Feel of Cities

It's 6 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona and pitch-black outside. I'm standing in the middle of a five-lane thoroughfare, among a group of people too numerous for the narrow median.


From ACM Opinion

Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Web: 'the System Is Failing'

Tim Berners-Lee on the Future of the Web: 'the System Is Failing'

Sir Tim Berners-Lee's optimism about the future of the web is starting to wane in the face of a "nasty storm" of issues including the rollback of net neutrality protections, the proliferation of fake news, propaganda and the …


From ACM Opinion

It's Time to Tax Companies For Using Our Personal Data

It's Time to Tax Companies For Using Our Personal Data

The personal data that users give to a company in exchange for a product or service is worth by some estimates $1,000 per person per year.  Companies shouldn't be the major, and often the only, beneficiaries of this largess.


From ACM TechNews

Deep Learning For Science: A Q&a With Nersc's Prabhat

Deep Learning For Science: A Q&a With Nersc's Prabhat

In an interview, Prabhat of the U.S. National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center's (NERSC) discusses deep learning, machine learning, and the challenges of applying them to science. 


From ACM Opinion

The Real Lesson of that Self-Driving Shuttle's First-Day Accident

The Real Lesson of that Self-Driving Shuttle's First-Day Accident

Wednesday was supposed to be the triumphant launch of a free, driverless shuttle in downtown Las Vegas.


From ACM Opinion

Blockchain ≠ Bitcoin

Blockchain ≠ Bitcoin

Bitcoin ≠ blockchain. Blockchain ≠ bitcoin. This message bears repeating: You can be pro-blockchain and anti-bitcoin.


From ACM Opinion

Confirm or Deny: Jaron Lanier

Confirm or Deny: Jaron Lanier

Maureen Dowd: You often get confused for the lead singer of Korn.

Jaron Lanier: No, never. I'm often confused with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm kidding.


From ACM Opinion

What Reality Tv Teaches US About Russia's Influence Campaign

What Reality Tv Teaches US About Russia's Influence Campaign

In May 2016, a Facebook page called Heart of Texas urged its nearly 254,000 followers to rise up against what it considered to be an urgent cultural menace.


From ACM Opinion

Ditch All Those Other Messaging Apps: Here's Why You Should Use Signal

Ditch All Those Other Messaging Apps: Here's Why You Should Use Signal

Stop me if you've heard this before.


From ACM Opinion

Hacking the Vote: Threats Keep Changing, but Election It Sadly Stays the Same

Hacking the Vote: Threats Keep Changing, but Election It Sadly Stays the Same

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election is history. But allegations of voter fraud, election interference by foreign governments, and intrusions into state electoral agencies' systems have since cast a pall over the system…


From ACM Opinion

Should Children Form Emotional Bonds with Robots?

Should Children Form Emotional Bonds with Robots?

When i brought the robot home from the Apple Store, I knew I was inviting a new kind of strangeness into our lives.


From ACM Careers

Is Technology About to Decimate White-Collar Work?

Is Technology About to Decimate White-Collar Work?

Kai-Fu Lee, one of China's best-known technologists and investors, thinks artificial intelligence is about to supplant many millions of the country's office workers.


From ACM Opinion

Do We Need Brain Implants to Keep Up with Robots?

Do We Need Brain Implants to Keep Up with Robots?

Pundits have been fretting a lot lately about robots leaving humans behind, taking our jobs and possibly a lot more, as in The Matrix and Terminator films.


From ACM Opinion

Net States Rule the World; We Need to Recognize Their Power

Net States Rule the World; We Need to Recognize Their Power

"We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code." So declared MIT professor David D. Clark in 1992.


From ACM Opinion

Machines Moved By Mind

Machines Moved By Mind

At Mental Work, an exhibition at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne ArtLab (EPFL), visitors can drive simple machines using the force of their own thoughts.


From ACM Opinion

Real Security Requires Strong Encryption–even If Investigators Get Blocked

Real Security Requires Strong Encryption–even If Investigators Get Blocked

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice have been fighting against easy, widespread public access to encryption technologies for 25 years.


From ACM Opinion

Workers Displaced By Automation Should Try a New Job: Caregiver

Workers Displaced By Automation Should Try a New Job: Caregiver

Sooner or later, the US will face mounting job losses due to advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics.


From ACM Opinion

Why Facebook and Twitter Can't Be Trusted to Police Themselves

Why Facebook and Twitter Can't Be Trusted to Police Themselves

Google, Facebook and Twitter took a beating on Wednesday testifying in front of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees about their role enabling Russia's interference in the 2016 election.


From ACM Opinion

Citation Is Not the Only Impact

Citation Is Not the Only Impact

What makes good science? And how do Nature's editors select papers to publish?

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