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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.

August 2019


From ACM Opinion

How Voice Assistants Reinforce the Tech Gender Gap

How Voice Assistants Reinforce the Tech Gender Gap

Voice assistants are becoming commonplace in most homes and offices, but using women's voices for most devices may be doing more harm than good.


From ACM Opinion

The Planet Needs a New Internet

The Planet Needs a New Internet

Everything you do online is underpinned by a globe-spanning labyrinth of physical infrastructure that wasn't built with a changing climate in mind.


From ACM Careers

Major Tech Companies May Be Putting World at Risk From Killer Robots

Major Tech Companies May Be Putting World at Risk From Killer Robots

A new global report ranks 50 tech companies from 12 countries and identifies those at 'highest risk' of putting the world at risk through killer robot development.


From ACM Opinion

VR Could Be the Most Powerful Teaching Tool Since the PC

VR Could Be the Most Powerful Teaching Tool Since the PC

Virtual reality is much more than a gaming technology. In fact, VR has the makings of a pedagogical silver bullet.


From ACM Opinion

Silicon Valley Wants To Read Your Mind. You Should Be Worried

Silicon Valley Wants To Read Your Mind. You Should Be Worried

Mind-reading systems such as Facebook's brainwave-reading device and Neuralink's brain implants can affect privacy, security, identity, equality and personal safety.


From ACM Opinion

A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just as Deadly as Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist

A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just as Deadly as Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist

Some of the international protections against nuclear conflicts don't exist for cyberattacks.


From ACM Opinion

CS Professor Says We Can Probably Make Email Better For Everyone

CS Professor Says We Can Probably Make Email Better For Everyone

Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University, argues that our grandkids will be mystified by our addiction to email. He has some thoughts about how we got here and how we might do it better.


From ACM Opinion

Why Tech Will Never Be Able to Predict the Next Mass Shooting

Why Tech Will Never Be Able to Predict the Next Mass Shooting

Following the horrific mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton last weekend, President Trump called on social media companies to develop tools that could help identify violent shooters before they act. Technically, this is a nearly…


From ACM Opinion

Shoot-'Em-Up Videogames Don't Warp Minds – Big Tech Does

Shoot-'Em-Up Videogames Don't Warp Minds – Big Tech Does

It takes a lot of effort, research, and efficiency to manipulate people online and influence their behavior in the real world. Silicon Valley has it down to a science.


From ACM Opinion

Western Academia Helps Build China's Automated Racism

Western Academia Helps Build China's Automated Racism

Researchers in China are developing new and more invasive techniques to surveil the Uyghurs minority. Some of their work is being supported by academia in the West.


From ACM Opinion

Why Robot Umpires Are Inevitable in Baseball's Future

Why Robot Umpires Are Inevitable in Baseball's Future

I don't know how long it will be before we get robot umpires calling balls and strikes, but the technology is here to do it today.


From ACM Opinion

Digital Textbooks Are Forcing a Radical Shift in Higher Education

Digital Textbooks Are Forcing a Radical Shift in Higher Education

The last several years have seen a shift in textbook policies at colleges and universities — one that has more recently turned tectonic.


From ACM Opinion

Op-Ed: 'Ethical AI' Matters — The Problem Lies in Defining It

Op-Ed: 'Ethical AI' Matters — The Problem Lies in Defining It

News that Microsoft will invest around $1 billion to examine ethical artificial intelligence signals that the tech sector is thinking deeper about the ethics underlying transformative technologies. But what is ethical AI?


From ACM Opinion

Inflation Is Dead – And Technology Killed It!

Inflation Is Dead – And Technology Killed It!

What if the true lasting effect of technology is to deflate pricing power and kill inflation? 


From ACM Opinion

AI Researchers Need to Stop Hiding the Climate Toll of Their Work

AI Researchers Need to Stop Hiding the Climate Toll of Their Work

Researchers are sounding the alarm about the surprisingly large carbon footprint of the computations required for deep learning.


From Communications of the ACM

Block-based Programming in Computer Science Education

Block-based Programming in Computer Science Education

Considering how block-based programming environments and tools might be used at the introductory level and beyond.


From Communications of the ACM

A Response to Fake News as a Response to Citizens United

A Response to Fake News as a Response to <i>Citizens United</i>

How boundaries on speech could free the market for speech.


From Communications of the ACM

MUST and MUST NOT

MUST and MUST NOT

On writing documentation.


From Communications of the ACM

The Success of the Web: A Triumph of the Amateurs

The Success of the Web

Connecting the unique factors that influenced the origination and subsequent development of the World Wide Web.

Blog at CACM
The African Enigma: Who Knows More?
The African Enigma: Who Knows More?
09.05.2019

Tally sticks and notched bones are among the oldest digital data carriers.

Dynamic Analysis in the Browser
Dynamic Analysis in the Browser
09.05.2019

Autopsy of a Google Query.

 A Minuscule Percentage of Students Take High School Computer Science in the United States: Access Isn't Enough
A Minuscule Percentage of Students Take High School Computer Science in the United States: Access Isn't Enough
09.02.2019

Likely less than 4% of U.S. high school students take a computer science course.

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Moving the Encryption Policy Conversation Forward
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Mozilla, Creative Commons Want to Reimagine the Internet Without Ads, and They Have $100M to Do it
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