The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
Is the outlook for technology in 2018 exciting—or slightly terrifying? Flip a coin. You'd be right either way.
Technologies to detect brain activity—fine, we'll come right out and call it mind reading—as well as to change it are moving along so quickly that "a bit of a gold rush is happening, both on the academic side and the corporate…
Wow, that 2017, though. Quite a year. Let's grab a Juicero and take a moment to reflect on the utter dumpster fires that we've witnessed over the past 12 months.
The end of a politician's time in office often inspires a turn toward the existential, but few causes are as quixotic as the one chosen by James Vacca, who this month hits his three-term limit as a New York City Council member…
The biggest knock against sending robots to explore the solar system for signs of life has always been their inability to make intuitive, even creative decisions as effectively as humans can.
As self-driving cars inch closer to everyday reality, journalists, futurists, economists, and ethicists have weighed in with numerous predictions about autonomous vehicles' future impact.
AlphaGo, fake news, cyberwar: 2017 has felt science-fictional in the here and now. Space settlement and sea-steading seem just around the bend; so, at times, do nuclear war and pandemic.
The most convincing lie Steve Jobs ever told was "you already know how to use it."
When it comes to cyberweapons, America is an elephant and Iran is a flea. Still, a flea can be a persistent nuisance, especially for the unprotected.
For last-minute shoppers, tech toys hold a special appeal.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is putting his own stamp on the tech giant once led by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
Last week the pilot light for my water heater went out. I tried to relight it by following the instructions pasted on the side of the heater, but they were as inscrutable as hieroglyphs.
You don't need brilliant financial analysis skills to notice that Bitcoin is in a bubble.
So, there you have it: 2017 was the year that finally broke the internet.
Meteorology is entering a new era. Demand is growing worldwide for forecasts of storms, floods and droughts.
There's a revolution afoot, and you will know it by the stripes.
Can drug developers leverage AI to reverse the decline in R&D productivity that has persisted in the face of other IT technologies?
On a spring day more than 5,000 years ago in the Mesopotamian city of Ur, a foreign merchant sold his wares in exchange for a large bundle of silver.
There is a chip implanted in my hand. I'm serious.
The graduate education system in the United States is rightly considered the best in the world. But Republicans in the House of Representatives have passed a bill that would undermine America's great universities and the nation's…
Jibo the robot swivels around when it hears its name and tilts its touchscreen face upward, expectantly.
Memes aren't built to last. This is an accepted fact of online life.
The 20th century gave birth to the Nuclear Age as the power of the atom was harnessed and unleashed.
Data & Society founder and Microsoft researcher danah boyd discusses the shifting public discourse around online disinformation campaigns, and what role the tech industry should play in rebuilding American society.
A somewhat neglected issue in discussions of bitcoin is the tremendous increase in power consumption used by miners. The rising power required to mine bitcoin conflicts with other attempts to reduce the carbon footprint of industry…
When I began my career in elementary particle physics, the great figures who taught and inspired me had been part of the Manhattan Project generation that developed the atomic bomb.
Just how resilient does a space telescope have to be to survive both Earth's environment and the frigid, airless environment of space?
Intellectual property may be the legal term for creations, including literary or artistic, but there is something inherently human about it as well.
The Cosmic Microwave Background was created as the first atoms formed hundreds of thousands of years after the Big Bang, and it retains information about the formation of the Universe.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to let Comcast, Verizon and other broadband companies turn the internet into a latter-day version of cable TV, in which they decide what customers can watch and how …
On the impact of large language models.
Until the middle of the 20th century, computers were in fact humans who performed calculations.