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subjectComputers And Society
authorQuanta Magazine
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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.


Self-Taught AI Shows Similarities to How the Brain Works
From ACM News

Self-Taught AI Shows Similarities to How the Brain Works

Self-supervised learning allows a neural network to figure out for itself what matters. The process might be what makes our own brains so successful.

The Scientist Who Developed a New Way to Understand Communication
From ACM News

The Scientist Who Developed a New Way to Understand Communication

Mark Braverman has spent his career translating thorny problems into the language of information complexity.

By Exploring Virtual Worlds, AI Learns in New Ways
From ACM News

By Exploring Virtual Worlds, AI Learns in New Ways

Intelligent beings learn by interacting with the world. Artificial intelligence researchers have adopted a similar strategy to teach their virtual agents new skills...

Researchers Achieve 'Absurdly Fast' Algorithm for Network Flow
From ACM News

Researchers Achieve 'Absurdly Fast' Algorithm for Network Flow

Computer scientists can now solve a decades-old problem in practically the time it takes to write it down.

Researchers Identify 'Master Problem' Underlying All Cryptography
From ACM News

Researchers Identify 'Master Problem' Underlying All Cryptography

The existence of secure cryptography depends on one of the oldest questions in computational complexity.

AI Overcomes Stumbling Block on Brain-Inspired Hardware
From ACM News

AI Overcomes Stumbling Block on Brain-Inspired Hardware

Algorithms that use the brain's communication signal can now work on analog neuromorphic chips, which closely mimic our energy-efficient brains.

What Does It Mean for AI to Understand?
From ACM News

What Does It Mean for AI to Understand?

It's simple enough for AI to seem to comprehend data, but devising a true test of a machine's knowledge has proved difficult.

A New Link to an Old Model Could Crack the Mystery of Deep Learning
From ACM News

A New Link to an Old Model Could Crack the Mystery of Deep Learning

To help them explain the shocking success of deep neural networks, researchers are turning to older but better-understood models of machine learning.

Matrix Multiplication Inches Closer to Mythic Goal
From ACM News

Matrix Multiplication Inches Closer to Mythic Goal

A recent paper set the fastest record for multiplying two matrices. But it also marks the end of the line for a method researchers have relied on for decades to...

Pioneers Linking Math and Computer Science Win the Abel Prize
From ACM News

Pioneers Linking Math and Computer Science Win the Abel Prize

Avi Wigderson and László Lovász won for their work developing complexity theory and graph theory, respectively, and for connecting the two fields.

Computer Scientists Achieve 'Crown Jewel' of Cryptography
From ACM News

Computer Scientists Achieve 'Crown Jewel' of Cryptography

A cryptographic master tool called indistinguishability obfuscation has for years seemed too good to be true. Three researchers have figured out that it can work...

The Computer Scientist Who Can’t Stop Telling Stories
From ACM News

The Computer Scientist Who Can’t Stop Telling Stories

For pioneering computer scientist Donald Knuth, good coding is synonymous with beautiful expression.

A New Approach to ­Understanding How Machines Think
From ACM News

A New Approach to ­Understanding How Machines Think

Been Kim is developing a "translator for humans" so that we can understand when artificial intelligence breaks down.

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners
From ACM News

The New Science of Seeing Around Corners

While vacationing on the coast of Spain in 2012, the computer vision scientist Antonio Torralba noticed stray shadows on the wall of his hotel room that didn't...

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos
From ACM News

Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos

In new computer experiments, artificial-intelligence algorithms can tell the future of chaotic systems.

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate
From ACM TechNews

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

Researchers are developing cooperative swarms of tiny robots called smarticles that can collectively perform complex behaviors.

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers
From ACM News

Quantum Algorithms Struggle Against Old Foe: Clever Computers

The quest for "quantum supremacy" – unambiguous proof that a quantum computer does something faster than an ordinary computer – has paradoxically led to a boom...

Best-Ever Algorithm Found For Huge Streams of Data
From ACM TechNews

Best-Ever Algorithm Found For Huge Streams of Data

Researchers have  created a near-perfect streaming algorithm that operates by recalling only enough of what it has seen to relate what it has observed most often...

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn
From ACM TechNews

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn

Researchers are constructing a device "inspired by the brain to generate the properties that enable the brain to do what it does."

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning
From ACM News

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea called the "information bottleneck" is helping to explain the puzzling success of today's artificial-intelligence algorithms—and might also explain how...
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