The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
In June of 1975, the Office of the White House Press Secretary announced President Gerald R. Ford’s picks for the National Medal of Science. One went to the Austrian-born mathematician and logician Kurt Gödel.
The victory in March of the computer program AlphaGo over one of the world's top handful of go players marks the highest accomplishment to date for the burgeoning field of machine learning and intelligence.
In 1935, Alan Turing set out to build a reputation by outflanking the world's leading mathematician.
"This is a final notice from the IRS."
Boris Sofman taps his phone, and the robot on the conference room table in front of him wakes up. Not in that gadget-y way, like when a laptop screen turns on, though.
Take an advanced technology. Add a twist of fantasy. Stir well, and watch the action unfold.
After great promise in the 1960s that machines would soon think like humans, progress stalled for decades. Only in the past 10 years or so has research picked up, and now there are several popular products on the market that…
In the wake of the worst mass shooting in US history, many Americans want to ban civilians from buying the AR-15, that ultra-popular, all-American killing tool.
As the driverless car gets closer to reality, so too does the dilemma of how to insure the car and its owner.
We believe that AI technologies are likely to be overwhelmingly useful and beneficial for humanity. But part of being a responsible steward of any new technology is thinking through potential challenges and how best to address…
Oxford University philosophy professor Nick Bostrom says major tech companies are listening to his warnings about investing in "AI safety" research.
On April 12, 1865—three days after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox and two days before President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated—the president sent a telegram to Maj. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, whose Union forces were…
Think about how often, in the course of a week, you visit Wikipedia.
Matt Krisiloff is in a small, glass-walled conference room off the lobby of Y Combinator’s office in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, shouting distance from some of the country's wealthiest startups, many of which…
Both leading up to and during his deadly assault on Orlando night club Pulse, Omar Mateen accessed his Facebook account.
At a shopping mall here one recent Friday, six-year-old Ruby Dowling made friends with a friendly egg-shaped robot.
Legal experts say that it will be an uphill battle for the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit this week against Twitter, Facebook, and Google.
Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami in Florida, studies patterns that emerge in complex systems.
Back in March, James Michael McAdoo, the power forward for the Golden State Warriors, tweeted out a photo of himself in the training room, sporting a pair of slick over-the-ear headphones.
New technology could lead humans to relinquish control over decisions to use lethal force.
In only took thirteen millionths of a second to cause a whole lot of problems.
Deep learning is rapidly 'eating' artificial intelligence. But let's not mistake this ascendant form of artificial intelligence for anything more than it really is.
Nick McKeown and his new startup, Barefoot Networks, just launched out of stealth. That's Silicon Valley-speak for trumpeting the arrival of your new startup in a press release and asking lots of reporters to repeat what it says…
Cisco Systems designs, makes, and sells the routers, switches, and other networking equipment with which businesses connect their computers, manage data centers, and access the Internet.
Last week, Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and other cutting-edge companies, took a surprising question at the Code Conference, a technology event in California.
A sense of menace stirs right off the elevator on the fifth floor of Kaspersky Lab's Moscow headquarters, where a small television screen displays cyberthreats occurring in real time around the world—a blinking, spinning, color…
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has said an attempt by France to give an online privacy ruling global force is opening up a "disastrous can of worms" and could spur global censorship.
More than a decade ago, the keynote speaker at a major annual cybersecurity conference strode into the spotlight and predicted the death of the password.
Donald Trump says that if he becomes president, he will "get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China." Bernie Sanders has also called for Apple to manufacture some devices in the U.S…
They replaced horses, didn't they? That's how the late, great economist Wassily Leontief responded 35 years ago to those who argued technology would never really replace people's work.
Who is Camille Noûs, who has contributed to hundreds of papers on Google Scholar?
By 2019, I generally thought there wasn't much that could surprise me about organizing meetups. Then Covid-19 hit. I was …
Napier's multiplication and division rods, deriving from the basic multiplication table, simplify calculations considerably.