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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.

March 2017


From ACM Opinion

What If We Had Perfect Robot Referees

What If We Had Perfect Robot Referees

Last month, Mark Clattenburg, who is generally regarded as one of the finest referees in professional soccer, left England's Premier League for a better-paying position in Saudi Arabia.


From ACM Opinion

Microsoft: AI Isn't Yet Adaptable Enough to Help Businesses

Microsoft: AI Isn't Yet Adaptable Enough to Help Businesses

The AI revolution may take longer than some expect to spread from Silicon Valley into other industries.


From ACM Opinion

What to Expect Now That Internet Providers Can Collect and Sell Your Web Browser History

What to Expect Now That Internet Providers Can Collect and Sell Your Web Browser History

After Congress handed President Trump legislation Tuesday that would wipe away landmark privacy protections for Internet users, we received a lot of reader questions about what happens next.


From ACM Opinion

Ghost in the Sell: Hollywood's Mischievous Vision of AI

Ghost in the Sell: Hollywood's Mischievous Vision of AI

Watch enough science fiction movies and you'll probably come to the conclusion that humans are living on borrowed time.


From ACM Opinion

How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers

How the Republicans Sold Your Privacy to Internet Providers

On Tuesday afternoon, while most people were focused on the latest news from the House Intelligence Committee, the House quietly voted to undo rules that keep internet service providers—the companies like Comcast, Verizon and…


From ACM Opinion

War By Any Means: The Story of DARPA

War By Any Means: The Story of DARPA

Shortly after arriving at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in April 1958, the new chief scientist presented a plan to the agency's director.


From ACM Opinion

The Trump Administration's War on Science

The Trump Administration's War on Science

"Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people," President Trump said in his speech to Congress last month, after summoning a list of technological triumphs from America's past.


From ACM Opinion

Evolution Strategies as a Scalable Alternative to Reinforcement Learning

Evolution Strategies as a Scalable Alternative to Reinforcement Learning

We've discovered that evolution strategies (ES), an optimization technique that's been known for decades, rivals the performance of standard reinforcement learning (RL) techniques on modern RL benchmarks (e.g. Atari/MuJoCo), …


From ACM Opinion

The Battle for Top AI Talent Only Gets Tougher From Here

The Battle for Top AI Talent Only Gets Tougher From Here

Andrew Ng helped create two of Silicon Valley's leading artificial intelligence labs.


From ACM Opinion

Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Is a Threat to American Leadership

Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Is a Threat to American Leadership

New immigration policies, coupled with xenophobic rhetoric and actions both before and after the election, are undoing the compact between the United States and those seeking opportunity from around the world. 


From ACM Opinion

No, Microwave Ovens Cannot Spy on You, for Lots of Reasons

No, Microwave Ovens Cannot Spy on You, for Lots of Reasons

If you've been feeling a little paranoid lately—like even your standing mixer may be spying on you—rest assured that Trump senior counselor Kellyanne Conway shares your struggle.


From ACM Opinion

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?

Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?

Amid an opioid epidemic, the rise of deadly synthetic drugs and the widening legalization of marijuana, a curious bright spot has emerged in the youth drug culture: American teenagers are growing less likely to try or regularly…


From ACM Opinion

This Entrepreneur Dares You to Hack His Gadgets

This Entrepreneur Dares You to Hack His Gadgets

Serial entrepreneur Andrew "Bunnie" Huang believes that consumer product companies should make their hardware designs publicly available so that anyone can study and modify them.


From ACM Opinion

WikiLeaks' Attack on U.S. Intelligence

WikiLeaks' Attack on U.S. Intelligence

Tuesday's WikiLeaks release exposing thousands of detailed documents on CIA hacking tools is an unbridled attack on U.S. intelligence operations with little or no public benefit.


From ACM Opinion

'This Is an All Hands on Deck Thing': A Former Obama Technology Adviser on Robots, Jobs and Cyberwarfare

'This Is an All Hands on Deck Thing': A Former Obama Technology Adviser on Robots, Jobs and Cyberwarfare

During the Obama administration, R. David Edelman was one of the president's top advisers. As a part of Obama's National Security Council and his National Economic Council, Edelman was among those responsible for crafting U.S…


From ACM Opinion

Q&A with Ghanaian Science Luminary Promoting Math in the Developing World

Q&A with Ghanaian Science Luminary Promoting Math in the Developing World

Alumnus Professor Francis Allotey has worked tirelessly to promote math, physics, and computer science in Ghana and Africa more widely. Now he is working with Imperial College London to create a network of math researchers in…


From ACM Opinion

Why the Biggest Challenge Facing AI Is an Ethical One

Why the Biggest Challenge Facing AI Is an Ethical One

Artificial intelligence is everywhere and it's here to stay.


From ACM Opinion

Africa Needs More Women Computer Scientists: How To Make It Happen

Africa Needs More Women Computer Scientists: How To Make It Happen

Computer science is an especially male-dominated university course all over the world. I have some ideas about how to throw open more doors for women computer scientists. 


From ACM Opinion

Trump's Wiretap Rant Betrays Ignorance of the Law

Trump's Wiretap Rant Betrays Ignorance of the Law

President Donald Trump set the political and national security community on fire Saturday morning, starting the day with a four-part Twitter rant alleging that former President Barack Obama had "tapped" his phones during the …


From ACM Opinion

The Wisdom of Nokia's Dumbphone

The Wisdom of Nokia's Dumbphone

They weighed heavy in pockets and jackets and bags, for they were thick and bulky, not lithe and narrow. 


From ACM Opinion

I'm Marching to Fight the Alarming War on Science. Join Me

I'm Marching to Fight the Alarming War on Science. Join Me

Two new public marches and demonstrations focused on science and climate change have been scheduled for April. I plan to be at both.


From ACM Opinion

Boston Dynamics' New Rolling, Leaping Robot Is an Evolutionary Marvel

Boston Dynamics' New Rolling, Leaping Robot Is an Evolutionary Marvel

If you're ever feeling down, do yourself a favor and watch some footage from the 2015 Darpa Robotics Challenge.


From Communications of the ACM

Where Review Goes Wrong

Where Review Goes Wrong

Examining professional misconduct among academic publication examiners.


From Communications of the ACM

Learning with Mobile Technologies

Learning with Mobile Technologies

Considering the challenges, commitments, and quandaries.


From Communications of the ACM

Supreme Court on Design Patent Damages in Samsung v. Apple

Supreme Court on Design Patent Damages in <i>Samsung v. Apple</i>

Considering influences leading to the recent U.S Supreme Court decision in a years-long case that Apple filed against Samsung over iPhone design infringement.


From Communications of the ACM

Misconceptions About Computer Science

Misconceptions About Computer Science

Common misconceptions about computer science hinder professional growth and harm the identity of computing.

Blog at CACM
Finding the World's Smallest Mechanical Parallel Calculator
Finding the World's Smallest Mechanical Parallel Calculator
09.12.2017

Discovery of a 12-fold Curta in Britain.

It's Not the 'Why' Chromosome, It's the 'How'
It's Not the 'Why' Chromosome, It's the 'How'
09.11.2017

Women do like the raw technical aspects of computer science.

Measuring Student Self-efficacy and Learning Trajectories for K-5 CS: ICER 2017 Trip Report
Measuring Student Self-efficacy and Learning Trajectories for K-5 CS: ICER 2017 Trip Report
08.27.2017

ICER 2017 features a new test of student belief and new theory about K-5 CS learning.

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Latest News
Scientists From the RUDN University Will Make Computer Networks More Robust
Scientists From the RUDN University Will Make Computer Networks More Robust
09.22.2017

Researchers from the RUDN University in Russia have applied a …

Reducing the Massive Energy Appetite of Data Centers
Reducing the Massive Energy Appetite of Data Centers
09.22.2017

Researchers are developing new chips and approaches to reduce the …

Drones Can Almost See in the Dark
Drones Can Almost See in the Dark
09.22.2017

Researchers at the University of Zurich and NCCR Robotics have …

View More News