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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.


Into the ­ncanny Valley: 80 Robot Faces Ranked By Creepiness
From ACM TechNews

Into the ­ncanny Valley: 80 Robot Faces Ranked By Creepiness

Recent experiments sought to determine the scope of the uncanny valley--the point at which a lifelike robot stops attracting people and instead repels them.

Closing the Last Loophole For ­nhackable Quantum Security
From ACM TechNews

Closing the Last Loophole For ­nhackable Quantum Security

The perfection of device-independent quantum cryptography will enable devices that guarantee the messages sent on them remain confidential. 

Smart Glasses Translate Video Into Sound to Help the Blind See
From ACM News

Smart Glasses Translate Video Into Sound to Help the Blind See

Blind people have long relied on sound as a substitution for sight, and some even use echolocation to navigate around objects. But it turns out that sound can be...

Quantum Technology Set to Hit the Streets Within Two Years
From ACM TechNews

Quantum Technology Set to Hit the Streets Within Two Years

The United Kingdom kicked off an initiative in 2013 that could result in the development of the world's most powerful quantum computer by 2020. 

Inside China's Plan to Give Every Citizen a Character Score
From ACM News

Inside China's Plan to Give Every Citizen a Character Score

Where you go, what you buy, who you know, how many points are on your driving licence, how your pupils rate you.

Activist Bots Recruit Humans to Their Cause on Twitter
From ACM TechNews

Activist Bots Recruit Humans to Their Cause on Twitter

The Botivist program uses Twitter to rally people to social causes, thanks to the efforts of Saiph Savage and colleagues at West Virginia University. 

Virtual Human Built from More Than 5,000 Slices of a Real Woman
From ACM News

Virtual Human Built from More Than 5,000 Slices of a Real Woman

She died two decades ago, but her body lives on in digital form.

Clumps of Gold Nanoparticals Can Evolve to Carry Out Computing
From ACM TechNews

Clumps of Gold Nanoparticals Can Evolve to Carry Out Computing

Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have found a loosely organized clump of gold nanoparticles can be made to do calculations.

Forget the Turing Test — There Are Better Ways of Judging AI
From ACM TechNews

Forget the Turing Test — There Are Better Ways of Judging AI

Despite the media furor over reports last year that a chatbot had "passed" the Turing test, most artificial intelligence (AI) researchers no longer view the test...

Forget the Turing Test—there Are Better Ways of Judging AI
From ACM News

Forget the Turing Test—there Are Better Ways of Judging AI

Last Saturday I took part in a battle of wits at Bletchley Park, the stately home that housed the U.K.’s codebreakers during the second world war.

­nhackable Kernel Could Keep All Computers Safe from Cyberattack
From ACM News

­nhackable Kernel Could Keep All Computers Safe from Cyberattack

An autonomous helicopter gunship is flying over a military base in Arizona. Suddenly, officers on the ground lose radio contact: hackers have taken control of an...

Brain-Controlled Smart Home Lets You Turn the Tv On By Thinking
From ACM News

Brain-Controlled Smart Home Lets You Turn the Tv On By Thinking

Feeling cold? Your home already knows, and turns up the heat. Sick of the TV show you are watching? Your home changes the channel.

Can Software Suffer? Death and Pain in Digital Brains
From ACM TechNews

Can Software Suffer? Death and Pain in Digital Brains

The ability to digitally simulate physical systems such as the brain to avoid the ethical dilemmas of experimentation on living subjects creates new dilemmas.

I've Taught Computers to Paint Portraits — and How to Code
From ACM TechNews

I've Taught Computers to Paint Portraits — and How to Code

Falmouth University professor Simon Colton works with software that behaves in ways that would be deemed creative if observed in humans. In an interview, Colton...

Our Number's ­p: Machines Will Do Maths We'll Never ­nderstand
From ACM TechNews

Our Number's ­p: Machines Will Do Maths We'll Never ­nderstand

Some mathematicians think the field of mathematics is approaching a limit that cannot yield further breakthroughs without computerized assistance. 

Quantum Computer Firm D-Wave Claims Massive Performance Boost
From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computer Firm D-Wave Claims Massive Performance Boost

D-Wave Systems, which makes computers with some quantum properties, claims its latest device, the D-Wave 2X, is up to 15 times faster than regular PCs. As with...

AI Football Manager Knows How Different Teams Play the Game
From ACM TechNews

AI Football Manager Knows How Different Teams Play the Game

A team of researchers has used a detailed computer analysis of the 2013-2014 Spanish football league to better understand various teams' different patterns of play...

AI Football Manager Knows How Different Teams Play the Game
From ACM News

AI Football Manager Knows How Different Teams Play the Game

Who really calls the shots in team sports?

Computer-Human Hybrids Could Be Best at Scanning For Danger
From ACM News

Computer-Human Hybrids Could Be Best at Scanning For Danger

In A world of algorithms, there are still a few places where humans reign supreme.

Cyber Attack: How Easy Is It to Take Out a Smart City?
From ACM News

Cyber Attack: How Easy Is It to Take Out a Smart City?

When is a smart city not so smart?
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