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Communications of the ACM

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The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

December 2018


From ACM Opinion

Is Quantum Computing a Cybersecurity Threat?

Is Quantum Computing a Cybersecurity Threat?

Cybersecurity researchers and analysts are rightly worried that a new type of computer, based on quantum physics rather than more standard electronics, could break most modern cryptography. The effect would be to render communications…


From ACM Opinion

7 Arguments Against the Autonomous-Vehicle ­Utopia

7 Arguments Against the Autonomous-Vehicle ­Utopia

Self-driving cars are coming. Tech giants such as Uber and Alphabet have bet on it, as have old-school car manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors.


From ACM Opinion

How Russia ­sed the Internet to Perfect Its Dark Arts

How Russia ­sed the Internet to Perfect Its Dark Arts

Imagine American politics for a moment as a laboratory experiment. A foreign adversary (let's call it "Russia") begins to play with the subjects, using carrots and sticks to condition their behavior.


From ACM Opinion

Don't Fear the Robot Overlords; Embrace Them as Coworkers

Don't Fear the Robot Overlords; Embrace Them as Coworkers

In a chilly warehouse just outside of Boston, the brute toils away. It's 600 pounds of orange and black metal and whirring motors, a massive robotic arm that picks up car parts and places them on a table.


From ACM Opinion

The Tech That Was Fixed in 2018 and the Tech That Still Needs Fixing

The Tech That Was Fixed in 2018 and the Tech That Still Needs Fixing

Personal technology was so awful this year that nobody would think you were paranoid if you dug a hole and buried your computer, phone and smart speaker under six feet of earth.


From ACM Opinion

How China Got a Head Start in Fintech, and Why the West Won't Catch ­p

How China Got a Head Start in Fintech, and Why the West Won't Catch ­p

In 2013 I moved from Paris to Beijing to study China's financial system. I stayed for two years and became fluent enough to translate economics books from Mandarin into English and give talks on monetary policy in Mandarin.


From ACM Opinion

The Search for Anti-Conservative Bias on Google

The Search for Anti-Conservative Bias on Google

Last Wednesday, a day after Google's C.E.O., Sundar Pichai, sat before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the company's search engine, Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, wrote a post on …


From ACM Opinion

The Man Turning China Into a Quantum Superpower

The Man Turning China Into a Quantum Superpower

On September 29, 2017, a Chinese satellite known as Micius made possible an unhackable videoconference between Vienna and Beijing, two cities half a world apart. As it whisked across the night sky at 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers)…


From ACM Opinion

Google Isn't the Company that We Should Have Handed the Web Over To

Google Isn't the Company that We Should Have Handed the Web Over To

With Microsoft's decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That's a worrying turn of events, given the company's past behavior…


From ACM Opinion

The ­S Needs to Engage China on Tech, Or Risk Isolating Itself

The ­S Needs to Engage China on Tech, Or Risk Isolating Itself

The contrast could hardly be more striking. In October, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a blistering speech accusing China of stealing prized US technology and military hardware. Barely two weeks later, one of Beijing's most…


From ACM Opinion

Classical and Quantum Computers Are Vying for Superiority

Classical and Quantum Computers Are Vying for Superiority

Will 2019 be the year when quantum computers show they have the right stuff? Google says so; one of the company's labs, in Santa Barbara, California, has promised that its state-of-the-art quantum chip will be the first to perform…


From ACM Opinion

Time Travel Is Possible, but Only If You Have an Object with Infinite Mass

Time Travel Is Possible, but Only If You Have an Object with Infinite Mass

The concept of time travel has always captured the imagination of physicists and laypersons alike. But is it really possible? Of course it is.


From ACM Opinion

The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country

The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country

The growing use of work robots and the deployment of artificial intelligence have been most disruptive in just those areas of the country that provided President Trump with crucial margins of support in 2016.


From ACM Opinion

What the California Wildfires Can Teach ­s About Data Sharing

What the California Wildfires Can Teach ­s About Data Sharing

When a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the eastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant failed, leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere and water.


From ACM Opinion

Can the ­.S. Stop China From Controlling the Next Internet Age?

Can the ­.S. Stop China From Controlling the Next Internet Age?

Imagine, if you will (and you should), a big American tech executive being detained over unspecified charges while on a trip to Beijing.


From ACM Opinion

Huawei Reveals the Real Trade War With China

Huawei Reveals the Real Trade War With China

If you only scan the headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking that the U.S.-China trade war is mainly about tariffs.


From ACM Opinion

Is the ­.S. Lagging in the Quest for Quantum Computing?

Is the ­.S. Lagging in the Quest for Quantum Computing?

A quantum computer capable of breaking the strongest codes protecting online communications and computer data is highly unlikely to appear within the next decade, a new report says. But leading experts still recommend the U.S…


From ACM Opinion

Facebook's Top AI Scientist Says It's 'Dust' Without Artificial Intelligence

Facebook's Top AI Scientist Says It's 'Dust' Without Artificial Intelligence

Without artificial intelligence there wouldn't be much left of Facebook as we know it today.


From ACM Opinion

The End of Privacy Began in the 1960s

The End of Privacy Began in the 1960s

In the fall of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson's administration announced a plan to consolidate hundreds of federal databases into one centralized National Data Bank.


From Communications of the ACM

Learning Machine Learning

Learning Machine Learning

A discussion of the rapidly evolving realm of machine learning.


From Communications of the ACM

A Chance Gardener

A Chance Gardener

Harvesting open source products and planting the next crop.


From Communications of the ACM

Point: Should AI Technology Be Regulated?: Yes, and Here's How

Point: Should AI Technology Be Regulated?

Considering the difficult technical and sociological issues affecting the regulation of artificial intelligence research and applications.


From Communications of the ACM

Counterpoint: Regulators Should Allow the Greatest Space for AI Innovation

Counterpoint: Regulators Should Allow the Greatest Space for AI Innovation

Permissionless innovation should be the governing policy for AI technologies.


From Communications of the ACM

Opportunities and Challenges in Search Interaction

Opportunities and Challenges in Search Interaction

Seeking to address a wider range of user requests toward task completion.

Blog at CACM
Computing Ethics and Teaching It
Computing Ethics and Teaching It
07.06.2020

Ethics can and should be presented to computer science students in appropriate ways.

'Underrepresented Minority' Considered Harmful, Racist Language
'Underrepresented Minority' Considered Harmful, Racist Language
06.19.2020

The foundation of any collective action, of any community, is language. It influences how we feel, react, and understand.

The Advantages of Teaching Soft Skills to CS Undergrads Online
The Advantages of Teaching Soft Skills to CS Undergrads Online
06.08.2020

On the added value of teaching an online soft skills course to undergrad computer science students.

View More Blog@CACM

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Home Security Camera Wi-Fi Signals Can be Hacked to Tell When People Are Home
Home Security Camera Wi-Fi Signals Can be Hacked to Tell When People Are Home
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