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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Dreams of ­biquitous Social Robots Still Aren't Coming True
From ACM TechNews

Dreams of ­biquitous Social Robots Still Aren't Coming True

The closure of consumer robotics firms previously considered potentially game-changing has diminished industry prospects of social robots eventually achieving mainstream...

Video Game Effort Could Help Regulate Future Drone Traffic
From ACM TechNews

Video Game Effort Could Help Regulate Future Drone Traffic

A new video game simulation uses a three-dimensional model of Salt Lake City and data about planned drone paths to determine potential problems.

YouTube's Notre Dame-9/11 Flub Highlights AI's Blind Spots
From ACM News

YouTube's Notre Dame-9/11 Flub Highlights AI's Blind Spots

YouTube might need a few more humans. The machines whose job is to tamp down conspiracy theories are not cutting it just yet.

Toyota Robot Can't Slam Dunk but Shoots a Mean 3-Pointer
From ACM News

Toyota Robot Can't Slam Dunk but Shoots a Mean 3-Pointer

It can't dribble, let alone slam dunk, but Toyota's basketball robot hardly ever misses a free throw or a 3-pointer.

Hospital ­sing Drones to Fly Blood Samples Between Buildings
From ACM TechNews

Hospital ­sing Drones to Fly Blood Samples Between Buildings

United Parcel Service and drone manufacturer Matternet launched a drone delivery service this week by transporting a medical sample between North Carolina hospitals...

Machines Could Fuel Comeback of Textile Industry in South
From ACM News

Machines Could Fuel Comeback of Textile Industry in South

Automated sewing and other machine innovations could enable a resurgence of the textile industry in the southern U.S.

40 Countries Agree: Cars Must Have Automatic Braking
From ACM TechNews

40 Countries Agree: Cars Must Have Automatic Braking

A 40-nation coalition has agreed to mandate the inclusion of automated braking systems in new cars and light commercial vehicles, beginning as soon as next year...

5 Reasons Why Autonomous Cars Aren't Coming Anytime Soon
From ACM News

5 Reasons Why Autonomous Cars Aren't Coming Anytime Soon

In the world of autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley are bustling hubs of development and testing. But ask those involved in self-driving vehicles...

Digital Design, QB Investments Could Aid Football Helmets
From ACM TechNews

Digital Design, QB Investments Could Aid Football Helmets

Major football helmet manufacturers are funding and refining new digitally designed models with enhanced safety features.

Will Robots Take Your Job? Quarter of ­.S. Workers at Risk
From ACM TechNews

Will Robots Take Your Job? Quarter of ­.S. Workers at Risk

The Brookings Institution has determined that about 36 million Americans hold jobs with "high exposure" to automation.

Pluto Explorer ­shering in New Year at More Distant World
From ACM News

Pluto Explorer ­shering in New Year at More Distant World

The spacecraft team that brought us close-ups of Pluto will ring in the new year by exploring an even more distant and mysterious world.

Chinese 'Gait Recognition' Tech IDs People by How They Walk
From ACM News

Chinese 'Gait Recognition' Tech IDs People by How They Walk

Chinese authorities have begun deploying a new surveillance tool: "gait recognition" software that uses people's body shapes and how they walk to identify them,...

The ­S Push to Boost 'Quantum Computing'
From ACM News

The ­S Push to Boost 'Quantum Computing'

A race by U.S. tech companies to build a new generation of powerful "quantum computers" could get a $1.3 billion boost from Congress, fueled in part by lawmakers' fear...

Talking Gloves, Tactile Windows: New Tech Helps the Disabled
From ACM News

Talking Gloves, Tactile Windows: New Tech Helps the Disabled

Hadeel Ayoub slips a black glove onto her hand before beginning the swish of sign language that is meaningless to the untrained observer. Then she pushes a button...

Robots Are Getting More Social. Are Humans Ready?
From ACM News

Robots Are Getting More Social. Are Humans Ready?

Personal home robots that can socialize with people are starting to roll out of the laboratory and into our living rooms and kitchens. But are humans ready to invite...

Pentagon Restricts ­se of Fitness Trackers, Other Devices
From ACM News

Pentagon Restricts ­se of Fitness Trackers, Other Devices

Military troops and other defense personnel at sensitive bases or certain high-risk warzone areas won't be allowed to use fitness tracker or cellphone applications...

Private Messaging Apps Increasingly ­sed for Public Business
From ACM News

Private Messaging Apps Increasingly ­sed for Public Business

One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record.

IBM Pits Computer Against Human Debaters
From ACM TechNews

IBM Pits Computer Against Human Debaters

In its first public demonstration, IBM tested its Project Debater computer system against two human debaters.

AI Can Read! Tech Firms Race to Smarten ­p Thinking Machines
From ACM News

AI Can Read! Tech Firms Race to Smarten ­p Thinking Machines

Seven years ago, a computer beat two human quizmasters on a "Jeopardy" challenge. Ever since, the tech industry has been training its machines even harder to make...

In a High-Tech World, Car Designers Still Rely on Clay
From ACM Careers

In a High-Tech World, Car Designers Still Rely on Clay

Car designers have every kind of software and virtual reality tool. But when they want to make sure a car's curves look just right, they rely on one of the world's...
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