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Communications of the ACM

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

December 2018


From The Eponymous Pickle

China take on Cashierless Tech

China take on Cashierless Tech

Alternative tech idea:

Why China's take on cashierless tech might be the right one in Axios

China's retail giants might be ahead of US innovators, such as Amazon, in creating no-checkout retail locations, Erica Pandey writes. While…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Assessing Progress in Automation Technologies

Assessing Progress in Automation Technologies

Useful coverage of automation.  I like that this is defined broadly.

Assessing progress in automation technologies  In O'Reilly by Ben Lorica.
When it comes to automation of existing tasks and workflows, you need not adopt an “all…


From The Eponymous Pickle

A ChatBot Asset Exchange

A ChatBot Asset Exchange

Brought to my attention by the talk this morning on Bots integrated with AR/VR . Slides here.  The slides include instructive videos.  IBM Sponsored.  I will extract some additional examples.

Some interesting examples of Bot use…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer

Asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer

Schools train us to provide the right answers to predefined questions. Yet anyone with experience from the real world knows that, more often than not, the difficult part is to find the right question. To make a remarkable contribution…


From Schneier on Security

Your Personal Data is Already Stolen

Your Personal Data is Already Stolen

In an excellent blog post, Brian Krebs makes clear something I have been saying for a while: Likewise for individuals, it pays to accept two unfortunate and harsh realities: Reality #1: Bad guys already have access to personal…


From insideHPC

Beyond Semiconductors: New Quantum Materials could Pave the Way

Beyond Semiconductors: New Quantum Materials could Pave the Way

Researchers from Intel and UC Berkeley are looking beyond current transistor technology and preparing the way for a new type of memory and logic circuit that could someday be in every computer on the planet. In a new paper published…


From insideHPC

A Look inside the new HPE Adaptive Rack Cooling System for HPC

A Look inside the new HPE Adaptive Rack Cooling System for HPC

In this video from SC18 in Dallas, Larry Keller from HPE describes the company's innovative new Adaptive Rack Cooling System for HPC. "Efficient high-performance computing is a key to success in any business. But it can be daunting…


From insideHPC

How FPGAs Provide Versatile Acceleration for HPE Servers

How FPGAs Provide Versatile Acceleration for HPE Servers

In this video from SC18 in Dallas, Osama Sarfaraz from HPE describes how the company is using Intel FPGA's to deliver Programmability, Flexibility, and Upgradability for HPC users. "The FPGA is designed to actually be configured…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Echo Devices now Support Skype Calling

Echo Devices now Support Skype Calling

In further indication of a link between Microsoft and Amazon,  Voice and Video Skype calls can now be made-hands free on Echo devices.  I frequently use Skype for international communications.  Signed up for this and it worked…


From My Biased Coin

NIPS 2018 Post

NIPS 2018 Post

Today was my first day at a NIPS conference.  Advertising note, before my thoughts on the experience:
Tomorrow I'll be stationed at a poster 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM @ Room 517 AB #169
A Model for Learned Bloom Filters and Optimizing…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Talk: How Bots Fit into the AR/VR Space

Talk: How Bots Fit into the AR/VR Space

Join us Dec 6,  at 10:30am US Eastern - hear @anamitag at @IBMDeveloper on

Talk Title: How Bots Fit in the AR/VR Space 

Speaker: Anamita Guha 

Abstract: This talk will describe the use cases of chatbots in AR/VR that are in existence…


From The Eponymous Pickle

P&G Responding to Changing Customer Preferences

P&G Responding to Changing Customer Preferences

Intriguing directions, especially regarding customization.  How does a big company react to customer preferences,  when it can no longer direct them?

Q&A | How P&G Responds to Changing Customer Preferences   in SupplychainBrain…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

2018 ACM Fellows Announced

2018 ACM Fellows Announced

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) just announced their 2018 ACM Fellows. The ACM Fellows award is ACM’s “most prestigious member grade,” which “recognizes the top 1% of ACM members for their outstanding accomplishments…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Better Facial Recognition, Says NIST

Better Facial Recognition, Says NIST

Interesting stats.   Our own experience says it depends strongly on the contextual aspects of the image acquisition.  And often out of complete control.    Introduce the metadata of context?  But the improvement continues.

Facial…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Protein Folding with Alphabet Deep Mind

Protein Folding with Alphabet Deep Mind

A big, big deal we took a look at for industry, even suggested a neural net possibility, but methods were still too primitive at the time, here looks to be a step forward.

Alphabet's DeepMind AI Algorithm Wins Protein-Folding
V3…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Where Does Computer Science Fit–Revisited

Where Does Computer Science Fit–Revisited

David Renton is teaching his students at Porter-Gaud how to program virtual reality projects. He posted a video of some of these projects a few days ago.

These are pretty cool, Virtual Reality apps created by [David’s] Porter-Gaud…


From insideHPC

Video: Oracle Steps Up with Bare Metal for HPC Cloud Infrastructure

Video: Oracle Steps Up with Bare Metal for HPC Cloud Infrastructure

In this video from SC18 in Dallas, Taylor Newill from Oracle describes the company's new Bare Metal for HPC Cloud Infrastructure. "Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services (BMCS) public cloud infrastructure. Oracle BMCS is a new generation…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI Will Make You Smarter Through Augmentation

AI Will Make You Smarter Through Augmentation

Course that is what we are aiming at,  it augments us.   Conversation is a great start.

Artificial intelligence will make you smarter
People plus machines will surpass the capabilities of either element alone. 

By Terrence Sejnowski…


From Computational Complexity

Remembering George H. W. Bush

Today is the national day of mourning for George Herbert Walker Bush, one of the best presidents for science and computing. He created PCAST, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Bush signed the High…


From insideHPC

New Paper: A First Step towards Quantum-Powered Machine Learning

New Paper: A First Step towards Quantum-Powered Machine Learning

"Given the remarkable performance improvements over many generations of classical microprocessors [7] and the impressive algorithmic improvements in mixed-integer programming tools like Gurobi [29] over the past several decades…


From Schneier on Security

Security Risks of Chatbots

Security Risks of Chatbots

Good essay on the security risks -- to democratic discourse -- of chatbots....


From insideHPC

Video: Speeding HPC Administration with HPE Performance Cluster Manager

Video: Speeding HPC Administration with HPE Performance Cluster Manager

In this video from SC18, Leslie Tung describes the advantages of HPE Performance Cluster Manager. HPE Performance Cluster Manager is HPE’s first fully integrated system management software for all Linux-based HPE HPC systems …


From The Eponymous Pickle

Alibaba has a Better Intelligent Assistant than Google's

Alibaba has a Better Intelligent Assistant than Google's

In particular the claim that it is more conversationally powerful is interesting.  Such advances could lead to deeper interaction with humans and further engagement.

Alibaba already has a voice assistant way better than Google…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wal-Mart Mobile Out of Stock App

Wal-Mart Mobile Out of Stock App

We developed a similar mobile App on a Blackberry , and tested it in multiple retail settings, but before home ordering/shipping was common.  The idea has been frequently covered in this blog.   How similar?

 Walmart gives associates…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Operations 4.0: Pilots

Operations 4.0: Pilots

From McKinsey.  Thoughtful examination of essence and value of pilots

The Operations 4.0 podcast: Productivity and ‘pilot purgatory’
The value from Operations 4.0 comes from how it unleashes productivity gains across a wide range…


From The Eponymous Pickle

An Architecture for Intelligence?

An Architecture for Intelligence?

Is there an underlying model for intelligence?    Is it a structurally simple enough one that we could readily convert into code, we could create something that thinks like the brain?    Still unknown.  Also looking for that

Could…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Prove Your Algorithms are Fair

Prove Your Algorithms are Fair

See some previous work on this,.   Proofs in specific goals and context.

To Build Trust In Artificial Intelligence, IBM Wants Developers To Prove Their Algorithms Are Fair
by Dan Robitzski in Futurism.com

We trust artificial intelligence…


From insideHPC

Tachyum Moves Forward with Prodigy Chip for Extreme Power Efficiency

Tachyum Moves Forward with Prodigy Chip for Extreme Power Efficiency

Today Tachyum announced that it has achieved a significant engineering milestone in its Prodigy product development, by proving that all critical components of its Prodigy core meet or exceed its stated design goals of unprecedented…


From insideHPC

NVIDIA Unveils TITAN RTX GPU for Accelerated Ai

NVIDIA Unveils TITAN RTX GPU for Accelerated Ai

Today NVIDIA introduced the TITAN RTX as what the company calls "the world’s most powerful desktop GPU" for AI research, data science and creative applications. "Driven by the new NVIDIA Turing architecture, TITAN RTX — dubbed…


From insideHPC

Video: Cray Steps up with Shasta Platform for Exascale Supercomputing

Video: Cray Steps up with Shasta Platform for Exascale Supercomputing

In this video from SC18 in Dallas, Per Nyberg from Cray describes the company's new Shasta supercomputing architecture for exascale. "Shasta is an entirely new design and is set to be the technology that underpins the next era…