acm - an acm publication

2021 - April

  • How verbal variety kills comprehension

    Each "Communication Corner" essay is self-contained; however, they build on each other. For best results, before reading this essay and doing the exercise, go to the first essay "How an Ugly Duckling Became a Swan," then read each succeeding essay.

    The purpose of expository (non-fiction) writing and speaking is usually to inform or instruct. To do either successfully, you must present your ideas more than once. Otherwise, people who read it or hear it, even if they completely understand it at the moment, over time (often a very short time) will either confuse it or forget it. Presenting information and ideas more than once is not simply a matter of saying the same things the same way two or three times. It is more subtle than that.

  • The elusive promise of AI: a second look

    A 2006 Ubiquity article titled "The Elusive Promise of AI" contended that the field of artificial intelligence (AI) promised much but had not yet delivered on its promises. This follow-up article reviews some of the more significant events and progress in AI over the intervening decade-and-a-half since the original article, describes roughly where we are today, and speculates as to what might be ahead of us.