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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 2018


From ACM Opinion

Whoa! Meet the Future Phones that Fold Up, Have 9 Cameras and Charge Over Thin Air.

Whoa! Meet the Future Phones that Fold Up, Have 9 Cameras and Charge Over Thin Air.

Your next smartphone might just throw you a curve.


From ACM Opinion

Anthony Kennedy's Retirement May Have Huge Consequences for Privacy

Anthony Kennedy's Retirement May Have Huge Consequences for Privacy

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the current Supreme Court's longest-serving member, announced his retirement Wednesday, paving the way for Trump to shape the future America's highest court.


From ACM Opinion

Quantum Computing Will Reshape Digital Battlefield, Says Former NSA Director Hayden

Quantum Computing Will Reshape Digital Battlefield, Says Former NSA Director Hayden

When retired Air Force General Michael Hayden took the helm of the National Security Agency in 1999 he found intelligence gathering, namely electronic espionage, to be in the midst of a sea change.


From ACM Opinion

Disrupting Pro-ISIS Online 'Ecosystems' Could Help Thwart Real-World Terrorism

Disrupting Pro-ISIS Online 'Ecosystems' Could Help Thwart Real-World Terrorism

Supporters of the Islamic State, or ISIS, around the world gather online, becoming members of virtual communities in much the same way any of us might join online groups focused on some common interest.


From ACM Opinion

Video Refereeing a Boon and a Bust at World Cup

Video Refereeing a Boon and a Bust at World Cup

As must have been the case with the first glimmers of electric lights in the 19th century, video assistant referees benefited from an initial "Wow! The technology works!" buzz when they first plugged themselves in at this World…


From ACM Opinion

This Is How the Robot Uprising Finally Begins 

This Is How the Robot Uprising Finally Begins 

The robot arm is performing a peculiar kind of Sisyphean task.


From ACM Opinion

The U.S. Once Again Has the World's Fastest Supercomputer. Keep Up the Hustle.

The U.S. Once Again Has the World's Fastest Supercomputer. Keep Up the Hustle.

The United States has knocked China out of the No. 1 position in supercomputing.


From ACM Opinion

The Supreme Court Just Struck a Blow Against Mass Surveillance

The Supreme Court Just Struck a Blow Against Mass Surveillance

The Supreme Court decided Friday that cell-site location information is protected by the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures.


From ACM Opinion

A Plea for AI That Serves Humanity Instead of Replacing It

A Plea for AI That Serves Humanity Instead of Replacing It

Sixty-two years ago this summer, Dartmouth professor John McCarthy coined the term artificial intelligence. Joi Ito, director of MIT's Media Lab, has come to think it's unhelpful.


From ACM Opinion

How Neal Stephenson Got Book Ideas by Moonlighting at Blue Origin

How Neal Stephenson Got Book Ideas by Moonlighting at Blue Origin

Neal Stephenson's breakout hit, Snow Crash, envisioned a world of virtual reality—in 1992. The Diamond Age foresaw the future of nanotechnology in 1995. The more recent Reamde took the reader on a thriller through social media…


From ACM Opinion

Why Hackers Aren't Afraid of Us

Why Hackers Aren't Afraid of Us

Ask finance ministers and central bankers around the world about their worst nightmare and the answer is almost always the same: Sometime soon the North Koreans or the Russians will improve on the two huge cyberattacks they pulled…


From ACM Opinion

Misinformation and Biases Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally and Accidentally

Misinformation and Biases Infect Social Media, Both Intentionally and Accidentally

Social media are among the primary sources of news in the U.S. and across the world.


From ACM Opinion

Autonomous Vehicles Might Drive Cities to Financial Ruin

Autonomous Vehicles Might Drive Cities to Financial Ruin

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, last week, 125 mostly white, mostly male, business-card-bearing attendees crowded into a brightly lit ballroom to consider "mobility."


From ACM Opinion

Forget 'Techlash,' The Biggest Problem for Tech Is a Widening Transatlantic Rift

Forget 'Techlash,' The Biggest Problem for Tech Is a Widening Transatlantic Rift

Like a geeky alternative to the ice bucket challenge, the latest global trend to go viral is railing on Big Tech.


From ACM Opinion

Relax, Google, the Robot Army Isn't Here Yet 

Relax, Google, the Robot Army Isn't Here Yet 

People can differ on their perceptions of "evil."


From ACM Opinion

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict

The Pentagon has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign…


From ACM Opinion

The Erosion of Reality

The Erosion of Reality

Let me say this upfront: I'm not convinced that 'superintelligent' AI are the most pressing threat from coming generations of deep learning machines.


From ACM Opinion

The Inside Story of How AI Got Good Enough to Dominate Silicon Valley

The Inside Story of How AI Got Good Enough to Dominate Silicon Valley

Alex Krizhevsky didn't get into the AI business to change the course of history.


From ACM Opinion

Going To the World Cup? Leave the Laptop at Home

Going To the World Cup? Leave the Laptop at Home

A Russian sports official earlier this year estimated that as many as 2 million people would flock to the country during the World Cup, the month-long celebration of soccer—or football, fine—that kicks off today in Moscow.


From ACM Opinion

Self-Driving Cars Likely Won't Steal Your Job (Until 2040)

Self-Driving Cars Likely Won't Steal Your Job (Until 2040)

The self-driving robots are coming to transform your job. Kind of. Also, very slowly.


From ACM Opinion

Teleportation: Will It Ever Be a Possibility?

Teleportation: Will It Ever Be a Possibility?

Star Trek has a lot to answer for.


From ACM Opinion

Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy?

Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy?

The reason you've been receiving a steady stream of privacy-policy updates from online services, some of which you may have forgotten you ever subscribed to, is that the European Union just enacted the General Data Protection…


From ACM Opinion

Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities

Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities

The day when cars can talk to each other—and to traffic lights, stop signs, guardrails and even pavement markings—is rapidly approaching.


From ACM Opinion

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth


From ACM Opinion

Costs of Snowden Leak Still Mounting 5 Years Later

Costs of Snowden Leak Still Mounting 5 Years Later

Whistleblower or traitor, leaker or public hero?


From ACM Opinion

Jurassic World: Can We Really Resurrect a Dinosaur?

Jurassic World: Can We Really Resurrect a Dinosaur?

This summer, the fifth instalment of the Jurassic Park franchise will be on the big screen, reinforcing a love of dinosaurs that has been with many of us since childhood.


From ACM Opinion

The Many Shades of Bad Physics

The Many Shades of Bad Physics

What happens when you see bad physics in the world? Does it make you angry? Does it make you laugh?


From ACM Opinion

How We're Using Darwin's Theory of Evolution to Build Robots that Can Adapt and Learn on Their Own

How We're Using Darwin's Theory of Evolution to Build Robots that Can Adapt and Learn on Their Own

The uptake of robotics technology is increasing at a startling rate.


From ACM Careers

Our Concerns About the Arrest of Abbas Edalat in Iran

Our Concerns About the Arrest of Abbas Edalat in Iran

129 experts in computer science, mathematics, and machine learning call for the release of their colleague, the Imperial College London professor who was arrested in April in Tehran.


From ACM Opinion

We Know You Hate the Internet of Things, but It's Saving Megafauna from Poachers

We Know You Hate the Internet of Things, but It's Saving Megafauna from Poachers

For much of this decade, organizations seeking to protect wildlife have attempted to use emerging technology as a conservation tool, allowing small numbers of people to monitor and manage data from animals over a wide area.

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Blog at CACM
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Discovery of a previously unknown replica of the legendary Swiss Millionaire calculating machine at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Broadening Participation in Computing is Easier Than You Think
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Some small steps that can make a big difference.

Short Take: Big Data and IoT in Practice
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Looking at some use cases for the adoption of big data in industries that deal with physical things, and drawing …

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