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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.


Microsoft Has a Plan to Add DNA Data to its Cloud
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Has a Plan to Add DNA Data to its Cloud

Microsoft Research plans to have a DNA-based data storage system functioning within a data center by 2020.

Patching the Electric Grid
From ACM News

Patching the Electric Grid

Electric grids worldwide are increasingly vulnerable to attack as new technologies like smart meters and analytical software are added to them, with mature systems...

Should the Government Keep Stockpiling Software Bugs?
From ACM News

Should the Government Keep Stockpiling Software Bugs?

As the dust settles from the global ransomware attack that has crippled systems in more than 150 countries since Friday, the U.S. government's shadowy process for...

NVIDIA Lets You Peer Inside the Black Box of Its Self-Driving AI
From ACM TechNews

NVIDIA Lets You Peer Inside the Black Box of Its Self-Driving AI

NVIDIA researchers have developed a neural network for autonomous driving that emphasizes what areas it is focusing on in a video image.

An Ostrich-Like Robot Pushes the Limits of Legged Locomotion
From ACM TechNews

An Ostrich-Like Robot Pushes the Limits of Legged Locomotion

The Planar Elliptical Runner is a two-legged robot that will help explore how mechanical design can be used to enable sophisticated legged locomotion.

An Ostrich-Like Robot Pushes the Limits of Legged Locomotion
From ACM News

An Ostrich-Like Robot Pushes the Limits of Legged Locomotion

What looks like a tiny mechanical ostrich chasing after a car is actually a significant leap forward for robot-kind.

This Robot Knows When It's Confused and Asks for Help
From ACM TechNews

This Robot Knows When It's Confused and Asks for Help

Brown University researchers have developed a robot that measures its own confusion and then asks for help if it thinks it is required.

A Massive New Library of 3D Images Could Help Your Robot Butler Get Around Your House
From ACM TechNews

A Massive New Library of 3D Images Could Help Your Robot Butler Get Around Your House

Researchers created ScanNet, a new database of three-dimensional images with millions of annotated objects, to help train machines to better understand the physical...

Google's New Chip Is a Stepping Stone to Quantum Computing Supremacy
From ACM TechNews

Google's New Chip Is a Stepping Stone to Quantum Computing Supremacy

A team of Google researchers by the end of this year plans to build a device that achieves "quantum supremacy."

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI
From ACM TechNews

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

Some experts warn deep-learning artificial intelligence technologies cannot be adopted without reservations if their creators cannot understand how they reason....

Supercomputer Simulation Offers Peek at the Future of Quantum Computers
From ACM TechNews

Supercomputer Simulation Offers Peek at the Future of Quantum Computers

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Switzerland have used the fifth-most powerful supercomputer in the world to simulate the behavior...

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI
From ACM News

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Machine-Learning Algorithm Watches Dance Dance Revolution, Then Creates Dances of Its Own
From ACM TechNews

Machine-Learning Algorithm Watches Dance Dance Revolution, Then Creates Dances of Its Own

Dance Dance Convolution is a new system that takes as an input the raw audio files of pop songs, and produces dance routines as an output.

This Paralyzed Man Is Using a Neuroprosthetic to Move His Arm for the First Time in Years
From ACM News

This Paralyzed Man Is Using a Neuroprosthetic to Move His Arm for the First Time in Years

William Kochevar of Cleveland can slowly move his right arm and hand. No big deal—except that the 56-year-old had been paralyzed from the shoulders down since a...

Google's AI Explosion in One Chart
From ACM News

Google's AI Explosion in One Chart

Nature. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Machine Learning Opens Up New Ways to Help Disabled People
From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning Opens Up New Ways to Help Disabled People

Companies are developing and launching machine-learning technologies and applications to enhance the experience of disabled persons.

The U.S. Military Wants Its Autonomous Machines to Explain Themselves
From ACM News

The U.S. Military Wants Its Autonomous Machines to Explain Themselves

Intelligence agents and military operatives may come to rely heavily on machine learning to parse huge quantities of data, and to control a growing arsenal of autonomous...

Chemists Are First in Line for Quantum Computing's Benefits
From ACM News

Chemists Are First in Line for Quantum Computing's Benefits

This month IBM and Google both said they aim to commercialize quantum computers within the next few years (Google specified five), selling access to the exotic...

Quantum Computers Finally Go Head-to-Head
From ACM News

Quantum Computers Finally Go Head-to-Head

In the red corner, weighing in with just five qubits, a quantum computer from the University of Maryland in College Park. In the blue corner, also with five qubits...

Inside the Far-Out Glass Lab
From ACM TechNews

Inside the Far-Out Glass Lab

Engineers at Corning's research lab in New York are developing new materials in their quest to expand the capabilities of glass.
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