Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Opinion Archive


Archives

The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

August 2017


From ACM Opinion

How We Won Gold in the Cyborg Olympics' Brain Race

How We Won Gold in the Cyborg Olympics' Brain Race

In October 2016, inside a sold-out arena in Zurich, a man named Numa Poujouly steered his wheelchair up to the central podium.


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Computing Depends on Making It Reversible

The Future of Computing Depends on Making It Reversible

For more than 50 years, computers have made steady and dramatic improvements, all thanks to Moore's Law—the exponential increase over time in the number of transistors that can be fabricated on an integrated circuit of a given…


From ACM Opinion

Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

Is the Power Grid Getting More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks?

Two weeks ago it was cyberattacks on the Irish power grid. Last month it was a digital assault on U.S. energy companies, including a nuclear power plant. Back in December a Russian hack of a Vermont utility was all over the news…


From ACM Opinion

What I Learned at Gerrymandering Summer Camp

What I Learned at Gerrymandering Summer Camp

At 6'5", Aaron Dennis towers over the whiteboard beside him.


From ACM Opinion

The Myth of the Skills Gap

The Myth of the Skills Gap

The contention that America's workers lack the skills employers demand is an article of faith among analysts, politicians, and pundits of every stripe, from conservative tax cutters to liberal advocates of job training.


From ACM Opinion

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made

We inhabit a small planet orbiting a medium-sized star about two-thirds of the way out from the center of the Milky Way galaxy—around where Track 2 on an LP record might begin.


From ACM Opinion

Blossom: A Handmade Approach to Social Robotics from Cornell and Google

Blossom: A Handmade Approach to Social Robotics from Cornell and Google

As excited as we are about the forthcoming generation of social home robots (including JiboKuri, and many others), it's hard to ignore the fact that most of them look somewhat similar.


From ACM Opinion

How Quantum Mechanics Can Change Computing

How Quantum Mechanics Can Change Computing

In early July, Google announced that it will expand its commercially available cloud computing services to include quantum computing.


From ACM Opinion

A Reverie for the Voyager Probes, Humanity's Calling Cards

A Reverie for the Voyager Probes, Humanity's Calling Cards

In the shadow, one might say, of the Great American Eclipse, a major anniversary in the history of space exploration—and indeed cosmic consciousness—is being celebrated.


From ACM Opinion

A Hunt for Ways to Combat Online Radicalization

A Hunt for Ways to Combat Online Radicalization

Law enforcement officials, technology companies and lawmakers have long tried to limit what they call the "radicalization" of young people over the internet.


From ACM Opinion

Sorry, Banning 'Killer Robots' Just Isn't Practical

Sorry, Banning 'Killer Robots' Just Isn't Practical

Late Sunday, 116 entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, released a letter to the United Nations warning of the dangerous "Pandora's Box" presented by weapons that make their own decisions about when to kill.


From ACM Opinion

The Enduring Legacy of Zork

The Enduring Legacy of Zork

In 1977, four recent MIT graduates who'd met at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science used the lab's PDP-10 mainframe to develop a computer game that captivated the world.


From ACM Opinion

Why AI Visionary Andrew Ng Teaches Humans to Teach Computers

Why AI Visionary Andrew Ng Teaches Humans to Teach Computers

Andrew Ng has led teams at Google and Baidu that have gone on to create self-learning computer programs used by hundreds of millions of people, including email spam filters and touch-screen keyboards that make typing easier by…


From ACM Opinion

Tracing the Sources of Today's Russian Cyberthreat

Tracing the Sources of Today's Russian Cyberthreat

Beyond carrying all of our phone, text and internet communications, cyberspace is an active battleground, with cybercriminals, government agents and even military personnel probing weaknesses in corporate, national and even personal…


From ACM Opinion

What the Announced NSA / Cyber Command Split Means

What the Announced NSA / Cyber Command Split Means

The move to elevate Cyber Command to a full Unified Combatant Command and split it off from the National Security Agency or NSA shows that cyber intelligence collection and information war are rapidly diverging fields.


From ACM Opinion

Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression

Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Free Expression

In the wake of Charlottesville, both GoDaddy and Google have refused to manage the domain registration for the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that, in the words of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is "dedicated to spreading…


From ACM Opinion

Russia's Election Meddling Backfired—Big-Time

Russia's Election Meddling Backfired—Big-Time

Intelligence officers sometimes talk about "blowback," when covert actions go bad and end up damaging the country that initiated them.


From ACM Opinion

Everyone Thinks That Automation Will Take Our Jobs. The Evidence Disagrees

Everyone Thinks That Automation Will Take Our Jobs. The Evidence Disagrees

Last year, the Japanese company SoftBank opened a cell phone store in Tokyo and staffed it entirely with sales associates named Pepper. This wasn't as hard as it sounds, since all the Peppers were robots.


From ACM Opinion

Magical Technologies Just over the Horizon

Magical Technologies Just over the Horizon

We the people have always been helplessly drawn to the concept of magic: the notion that you can will something to happen by wiggling your nose, speaking special words or waving your hands a certain way.


From ACM Opinion

Why Video Games Are Obsessed With the Apocalypse

Why Video Games Are Obsessed With the Apocalypse

Video games are, in a way, the perfect medium through which to depict the post-apocalypse. If we assume that after the collapse of civilisation everyone will revert to a brutal state of nature, then violence is the natural engine…


From ACM Opinion

Tracking the Spread of Culture Through Folktales

Tracking the Spread of Culture Through Folktales

There's a reason why the premise of American Gods is so alluring: the US is home to a wild and glorious mishmash of gods, folktales, and cultural heritage.


From ACM Opinion

Defending Tor, Gateway to the Dark Web

Defending Tor, Gateway to the Dark Web

When Roger Dingledine talks about the dark web, he waves his hands in the air, as if not quite convinced of its existence.


From ACM Opinion

End-to-End Encryption Isn't Enough Security for 'Real People'

End-to-End Encryption Isn't Enough Security for 'Real People'

Government officials continue to seek technology companies' help fighting terrorism and crime. But the most commonly proposed solution would severely limit regular people's ability to communicate securely online.


From ACM Opinion

We Can Stop Hacking and Trolls, but It Would Ruin the Internet

We Can Stop Hacking and Trolls, but It Would Ruin the Internet

Cyberterrorism fears are through the roof.


From ACM Opinion

Kids Should Know How to Code

Kids Should Know How to Code

During a recent White House meeting with President Donald Trump, Apple CEO Tim Cook remarked that "coding should be a requirement in every public school." 


From ACM Opinion

Preserving the Right to Cognitive Liberty

Preserving the Right to Cognitive Liberty

The idea of the human mind as the domain of absolute protection from external intrusion has persisted for centuries.


From ACM Opinion

JPL's Design for a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

JPL's Design for a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

The longest amount of time that a spacecraft has survived on the surface of Venus is 127 minutes.


From ACM Opinion

Tracking Terrorists Online Might Invade Your Privacy

Tracking Terrorists Online Might Invade Your Privacy

Remember that picture you sent to your family of your children playing in the paddling pool? Or that private text you sent to someone trusted? Or when you searched for medical advice?


From ACM Opinion

It's Past Time for You to Ditch that Fancy Scientific Calculator

It's Past Time for You to Ditch that Fancy Scientific Calculator

Bruce Sherwood, the author of Matter and Interactions, had a question for me when I saw him at the American Association of Physics Teachers conference not long ago: "What calculator do you use?"


From ACM Opinion

Bot and Bothered

Bot and Bothered

Facebook has been working on artificial intelligence that claims to be great at negotiating, makes up its own language and learns to lie.

« Prev 1 2 Next »
Blog at CACM
The Birthplace of Artificial Intelligence?
The Birthplace of Artificial Intelligence?
11.03.2017

Was the 1951 Paris conference "Les machines à calculer et la pensée humaine" the birthplace of Artificial Intelligence?

Student Liaison Program Debuts at SIGIR 2017
Student Liaison Program Debuts at SIGIR 2017
10.03.2017

The SIGIR Student Liaison Program supports an environment in which all students thrive.

How Much CS Ed Will $1.3B Buy You? Not Enough to Reach Every U.S. School, nor Every Child
How Much CS Ed Will $1.3B Buy You? Not Enough to Reach Every U.S. School, nor Every Child
09.27.2017

The White House promises $200M/year for CS Ed, and the Tech industry promises $300M over 5 years. What can we …

View More Blog@CACM

Latest News
Recurring Martian Streaks: Flowing Sand, Not Water?
Recurring Martian Streaks: Flowing Sand, Not Water?
11.21.2017

Dark features on Mars previously considered evidence for subsurface flowing …

2017 AAAS Fellows Recognized for Advancing Science
2017 AAAS Fellows Recognized for Advancing Science
11.21.2017

The 2017 AAAS Fellows will be honored at the 2018 …

How Disinformation and Distortions on Social Media Affected Elections Worldwide
How Disinformation and Distortions on Social Media Affected Elections Worldwide
11.21.2017

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive …

View More News