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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.


A Robot Finds Its Way ­sing Artificial 'gps' Brain Cells
From ACM News

A Robot Finds Its Way ­sing Artificial 'gps' Brain Cells

The behavior and interplay of two types of neurons in the brain helps give humans and other animals an uncanny ability to navigate by building a mental map of their...

IBM Making Plans to Commercialize Its Brain-Inspired Chip
From ACM News

IBM Making Plans to Commercialize Its Brain-Inspired Chip

In August last year, IBM unveiled a chip designed to operate something like the neurons and synapses of the brain (see "IBM Chip Process Data Similar to the Way...

An Algorithm Helps Robots Fall Safely
From ACM News

An Algorithm Helps Robots Fall Safely

At a major robotics competition held in June, several multi-million-dollar robots struggled to perform even simple tasks like climbing a flight of stairs; someimpeccable...

Microsoft Researchers Are Working on Multi-Person Virtual Reality
From ACM News

Microsoft Researchers Are Working on Multi-Person Virtual Reality

Augmented or mixed reality, which renders virtual images in a view of the real world, can be spectacular to experience. But it may be even more fun when you bring...

A Shocking Way to Fix the Brain
From ACM News

A Shocking Way to Fix the Brain

When Emad Eskandar talks about one of his neurosurgery patients with obsessive compulsive disorder, he's not talking about someone who arranges his record collection...

Robot See, Robot Do: How Robots Can Learn New Tasks By Observing
From ACM News

Robot See, Robot Do: How Robots Can Learn New Tasks By Observing

It can take weeks to reprogram an industrial robot to perform a complicated new task, which makes retooling a modern manufacturing line painfully expensive and...

Martian Life Could Be a Biotech Bonanza
From ACM News

Martian Life Could Be a Biotech Bonanza

When NASA scientists announced that instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sensed signs of liquid water seeping on the Martian surface, they meant a solution...

Fighting Isis Online
From ACM Opinion

Fighting Isis Online

The two men pecked out messages on opposite sides of the country.

King Man + Woman = Queen: The Marvelous Mathematics of Computational Linguistics
From ACM News

King Man + Woman = Queen: The Marvelous Mathematics of Computational Linguistics

Computational linguistics has dramatically changed the way researchers study and understand language.

Facebook's Cyborg Virtual Assistant Is Learning From Its Trainers
From ACM TechNews

Facebook's Cyborg Virtual Assistant Is Learning From Its Trainers

Several hundred users of Facebook's mobile messaging app late last month were given access to M, the social network's new artificial intelligence-based virtual...

First Detailed Public Map of ­.s. Internet Backbone Could Make It Stronger
From ACM News

First Detailed Public Map of ­.s. Internet Backbone Could Make It Stronger

It may not look like much at first glance, but a map created by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Paul Barford and about a dozen colleagues took...

How International Monitors Spot Nukes and Other Rumblings
From ACM News

How International Monitors Spot Nukes and Other Rumblings

The ultimate nightmare for critics of the Iran nuclear deal being debated in Congress is that somehow, despite the agreement and all its built-in safeguards, Iran...

Your Smartphone Can Tell If You're Bored
From ACM TechNews

Your Smartphone Can Tell If You're Bored

Researchers at Telefonica Research in Spain have developed an algorithm that enables a smartphone to determine whether or not its user is bored.  

­ber Project May Improve Autonomous Cars' Vision
From ACM TechNews

­ber Project May Improve Autonomous Cars' Vision

Uber is collaborating with the University of Arizona on a mapping and safety project for self-driving cars.

Tool Makes It Easier to Evade Online Censors
From ACM TechNews

Tool Makes It Easier to Evade Online Censors

A new tool could offer a way around censorship technologies enabled by repressive governments.

Tool Makes It Easier to Evade Online Censors
From ACM News

Tool Makes It Easier to Evade Online Censors

After the huge chemical explosion in Tianjin, China, this month, two cleanup efforts began.

Team Designs Robots to Build Things in Messy, ­npredictable Situations
From ACM TechNews

Team Designs Robots to Build Things in Messy, ­npredictable Situations

Researchers at Harvard University and the State University of New York at Buffalo are developing robots able to function outside of ideal, predictable environments...

Teaching Machines to ­nderstand ­S
From ACM News

Teaching Machines to ­nderstand ­S

The first time Yann LeCun revolutionized artificial intelligence, it was a false dawn.

This Is What Controversies Look Like in the Twittersphere
From ACM TechNews

This Is What Controversies Look Like in the Twittersphere

Kiran Garimella and colleagues at Aalto University in Finland say they have developed a more reliable way of spotting controversies in the Twitterstream in real...

A Programming Language For Robot Swarms
From ACM TechNews

A Programming Language For Robot Swarms

Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal researchers have developed a programming language designed to govern the movements of heterogeneous robot swarms. 
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