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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.

June 2017


From ACM Opinion

Image Doctoring Must Be Halted

Image Doctoring Must Be Halted

Seven years ago, a cover of The Economist showed Barack Obama, head down on a Louisiana beach in front of an oil rig—the picture of lonely despair.


From ACM Opinion

It's Too Late to Stop China from Becoming an AI Superpower

It's Too Late to Stop China from Becoming an AI Superpower

Last Thursday, Texas senior senator John Cornyn stood before an audience of wonks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, and warned that America's openness to investors looking for new ideas in technologies like…


From ACM Opinion

This iPhone Designer Says No More Screens

This iPhone Designer Says No More Screens

In June 2016, Tony Fadell, the chief executive officer of Nest and one of the most important hardware executives of his generation, announced that he was leaving his smart-home company's parent, Alphabet Inc.


From ACM Opinion

China's Tech Moguls Warn of AI's Troubling Trajectory

China's Tech Moguls Warn of AI's Troubling Trajectory

China has seen incredible economic and social changes over the past few decades. But could the impact of artificial intelligence take the country by surprise?


From ACM Opinion

For Google, Everything Is a Popularity Contest

For Google, Everything Is a Popularity Contest

When I saw that Google had introduced a "Classic Papers" section of Google Scholar, its search tool for academic journals, I couldn't help but stroke my chin professorially.


From ACM Opinion

AI Could Kickstart a New Global Arms Race; We Need Better Ways to Govern It Before It's Too Late

AI Could Kickstart a New Global Arms Race; We Need Better Ways to Govern It Before It's Too Late

There is a lot of money to be made from Artificial Intelligence.


From ACM Opinion

The IPhone's Turning 10. What Will It Look Like at 20?

The IPhone's Turning 10. What Will It Look Like at 20?

You wake up refreshed. Ever since you got that alarm clock that adapts to your sleep cycle, your calendar, and the traffic report, you practically leap out of bed.


From ACM Opinion

Why Net Neutrality Matters Even in the Age of Oligopoly

Why Net Neutrality Matters Even in the Age of Oligopoly

Next month, Amazon, Netflix, and dozens of other companies and organizations will host a "day of action" aimed at saving net neutrality as we know it.


From ACM Opinion

The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence

The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence

What worries you about the coming world of artificial intelligence?


From ACM Opinion

The Man Who Helped Turn Toronto Into a High-Tech Hotbed

The Man Who Helped Turn Toronto Into a High-Tech Hotbed

As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, Geoffrey Everest Hinton thought a lot about the brain. He wanted to better understand how it worked but was frustrated that no field of study—from physiology and psychology to physics…


From ACM TechNews

Teaching Computer Science Is Great, But It's Not Enough

Teaching Computer Science Is Great, But It's Not Enough

Although progress has been made on providing more computer science education to K-12 students, the United States is still years away from providing adequate CS education in all schools so the field can realize its full potential…


From ACM TechNews

Is It Unethical to Design Robots to Resemble Humans?

Is It Unethical to Design Robots to Resemble Humans?

Society's push toward anthropomorphized machines and humanized virtual assistants could have the unplanned effect of dehumanizing actual human beings. 


From ACM Opinion

Building Privacy Right Into Software Code

Building Privacy Right Into Software Code

When I was 15, my parents did not allow me to use AOL Instant Messenger. All of my friends used it, so I had to find a way around this rule.


From ACM Opinion

Helping or Hacking? Engineers and Ethicists Must Work Together on Brain-Computer Interface Technology

Helping or Hacking? Engineers and Ethicists Must Work Together on Brain-Computer Interface Technology

In the 1995 film "Batman Forever," the Riddler used 3-D television to secretly access viewers' most personal thoughts in his hunt for Batman's true identity.


From ACM Opinion

Human-Level AI Is Right Around the Corner, or Hundreds of Years Away

Human-Level AI Is Right Around the Corner, or Hundreds of Years Away

Artificial intelligence is progressing rapidly, and its impact on our daily lives will only increase.


From ACM Opinion

The Next iPhone Could Have a Lot in Common with Google Glass

The Next iPhone Could Have a Lot in Common with Google Glass

A new report from UBS Securities analyst Steven Milunovich offers some interesting possibilities of how Apple may use augmented reality on its next iPhone.


From ACM Opinion

Before the Internet

Before the Internet

Before the Internet, you would just sit in an armchair with a book open on your lap, staring into space or staring at a decorative broom on the wall—kind of shifting back and forth between those two modes of being.


From ACM Opinion

The iPhone Is 10 Years Old. Here's the Story of Its Birth.

The iPhone Is 10 Years Old. Here's the Story of Its Birth.

Before anybody outside Apple was aware of it, the project that would become the iPhone was referred to internally by the code name Purple.


From ACM Opinion

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet

In 1991, most Americans had not yet heard of the internet.


From ACM Opinion

The Maths of Life and Death: Our Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Disease

The Maths of Life and Death: Our Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Disease

Maths is the language of science.


From ACM Opinion

The Optimistic Promise of Artificial Intelligence

The Optimistic Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence may be one of the technology world's current obsessions, but many people find it scary, envisioning robots taking over the world.


From ACM TechNews

Can UD's Lori Pollock Revolutionize Computer-Science Education?

Can UD's Lori Pollock Revolutionize Computer-Science Education?

Professor Lori Pollock discusses the University of Delaware's Partner 4 Computer Science program designed to equip K-12 educators with skills for teaching students computer development.


From ACM Opinion

Humans Can't Expect AI to Just Fight Fake News for Them

Humans Can't Expect AI to Just Fight Fake News for Them

Here's some news that's not fake: Not everything you can read on the internet is true.


From ACM Opinion

First the Cloud, Now AI Takes on the Scientific Method

First the Cloud, Now AI Takes on the Scientific Method

Back when I was doing research, one of my advisors once joked that, if you wait long enough, you can produce an old result using new methods, manage to get it published, and everyone will be impressed.


From ACM Opinion

Designing Antiviral Proteins via Computer Could Help Halt the Next Pandemic 

Designing Antiviral Proteins via Computer Could Help Halt the Next Pandemic 

As Bill Gates sees it, there are three main threats to our species: nuclear war, climate change and the next global pandemic.


From ACM Opinion

Wanted: More Data, the Dirtier the Better

Wanted: More Data, the Dirtier the Better

To distill a clear message from growing piles of unruly genomics data, researchers often turn to meta-analysis—a tried-and-true statistical procedure for combining data from multiple studies.


From ACM Opinion

The Latest NSA Leak Is a Reminder that Your Bosses Can See Your Every Move

The Latest NSA Leak Is a Reminder that Your Bosses Can See Your Every Move

It took just days for authorities to arrest and charge a federal contractor with leaking classified intelligence to the media.


From ACM Opinion

A Guide to Challenges Facing Self-Driving Car Technologists

A Guide to Challenges Facing Self-Driving Car Technologists

In the minds of many in Silicon Valley and in the auto industry, it is inevitable that cars will eventually drive themselves.


From ACM Opinion

How Google Copes When Even It Can't Afford Enough Gear

How Google Copes When Even It Can't Afford Enough Gear

Urs Hölzle has a big job.


From ACM Opinion

Americans from Both Political Parties Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality

Americans from Both Political Parties Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality

A recent public opinion poll by Mozilla and Ipsos reveals that 76% of Americans of varied political affiliations — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support net neutrality.

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