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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.

April 2019


From ACM Opinion

As Governments Adopt Artificial Intelligence, There's Little Oversight and Lots of Danger

As Governments Adopt Artificial Intelligence, There's Little Oversight and Lots of Danger

Artificial intelligence systems can—if properly used—help make government more effective and responsive, improving the lives of citizens. Improperly used, however, the dystopian visions of George Orwell's "1984" become more realistic…


From ACM Opinion

The FBI Wanted a Backdoor to the iPhone. Tim Cook Said No

The FBI Wanted a Backdoor to the iPhone. Tim Cook Said No

In 2016, Tim Cook fought the law—and won.


From ACM Opinion

The U.S. Is Losing a Major Front to China in the New Cold War

The U.S. Is Losing a Major Front to China in the New Cold War

A swathe of the world is adopting China's vision for a tightly controlled internet over the unfettered American approach, a stunning ideological coup for Beijing that would have been unthinkable less than a decade ago.


From ACM Opinion

Q&A With Dartmouth Computer Science Professor Xia Zhou

Q&A With Dartmouth Computer Science Professor Xia Zhou

Xia Zhou co-directs two labs at Dartmouth College and serves as a judge for HackDartmouth.


From ACM Opinion

Black Hole Hunters: Q&A With Katie Bouman

Black Hole Hunters: Q&A With Katie Bouman

Scientists have revealed the first-ever image of a black hole. The picture is the result of a global collaboration in which scientists linked together telescopes virtually to create one, huge, Earth-sized telescope.


From ACM Opinion

Is Julian Assange a Journalist, or Is He Just an Accused Thief?

Is Julian Assange a Journalist, or Is He Just an Accused Thief?

Is Julian Assange a journalist? The Justice Department sidestepped that question in its indictment of Assange.


From ACM Opinion

The U.S. Campaign Against Huawei Can Offer No U.S.-Based Alternatives

The U.S. Campaign Against Huawei Can Offer No U.S.-Based Alternatives

As U.S. officials have pressured allies not to use networking gear from Chinese technology giant Huawei over spying concerns, President Trump has urged American companies to "step up" and compete to provide the next generation…


From ACM Opinion

Untold History of AI: The DARPA Dreamer Who Aimed for Cyborg Intelligence

Untold History of AI: The DARPA Dreamer Who Aimed for Cyborg Intelligence

At 10:30pm on 29 October 1969, a graduate student at UCLA sent a two-letter message from an SDS Sigma 7 computer to another machine a few hundred miles away at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park.


From ACM Opinion

The Robocall Crisis Will Never Be Totally Fixed

The Robocall Crisis Will Never Be Totally Fixed

Years into the robocalling frenzy, your phone probably still rings off the hook with "important information about your account," updates from the "Chinese embassy," and every bogus sweepstakes offer imaginable.


From ACM Opinion

AI Pioneer: 'The Dangers of Abuse Are Very Real'

AI Pioneer: 'The Dangers of Abuse Are Very Real'

Yoshua Bengio is one of three computer scientists who last week shared the US$1-million A. M. Turing award—one of the field's top prizes.


From ACM Opinion

U.S. Allies Should Heed the Warnings about Huawei

U.S. Allies Should Heed the Warnings about Huawei

In a recent newspaper advertisement, the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei appealed to common sense.


From ACM Opinion

A Journey, If You Dare, Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

A Journey, If You Dare, Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

Code seems cold and objective, the raw logic of the internet, and Silicon Valley likes it that way.


From ACM Opinion

Despite Consumer Worries, the Future of Aviation Will Be More Automated

Despite Consumer Worries, the Future of Aviation Will Be More Automated

In the wake of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes, people are thinking about how much of their air travel is handled by software and automated systems—as opposed to the friendly pilots sitting…


From ACM Opinion

How the Data Mining of Failure Could Teach Us the Secrets of Success

How the Data Mining of Failure Could Teach Us the Secrets of Success

Thomas Edison is often described as America's greatest inventor. His successes include electric power generation, sound recording, and the electric lightbulb.


From Communications of the ACM

Free Trade in a Digital World

Free Trade in a Digital World

Considering the possible implications for free trade, traditionally based on non-digital goods, for a modern global economy that is increasingly based on intangible products and services enabled by digital technologies.


From Communications of the ACM

Know Your Algorithms

Know Your Algorithms

Stop using hardware to solve software problems.


From Communications of the ACM

The Web Is Missing an Essential Part of Infrastructure: An Open Web Index

The Web Is Missing an Essential Part of Infrastructure

A proposal for building an index of the Web that separates the infrastructure part of the search engine—the index—from the services part that will form the basis for myriad search engines and other services utilizing Web data…

Blog at CACM
Variable Vagaries
Variable Vagaries
05.19.2019

The variable, construed as an L-value, makes some offbeat appearances.

How to Support Research in Computer Science via Russian Scientific Foundations
How to Support Research in Computer Science via Russian Scientific Foundations
05.16.2019

Russia is lagging behind the world average in fields including medicine, the agricultural sciences, biotechnology, pharmacology, the social sciences, and …

Fake Translations?
Fake Translations?
05.16.2019

Inconsistencies in translation programs.

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