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subjectTheory
authorTechnology Review

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


Minecraft Shows Robots How to Stop Dithering
From ACM News

Minecraft Shows Robots How to Stop Dithering

The computer game Minecraft, which depicts a world made up of retro, pixelated blocks that can be modified and rearranged in endless architectural configurations...

An Algorithmic Sense of Humor? Not Yet.
From ACM News

An Algorithmic Sense of Humor? Not Yet.

In recent months, artificial-intelligence researchers have made giant strides in matching human performance in all kind of tasks that had, until recently, been...

Google's Deep Learning Machine Learns to Synthesize Real World Images
From ACM News

Google's Deep Learning Machine Learns to Synthesize Real World Images

Google Street View offers panoramic views of more or less any city street in much of the developed world, as well as views along countless footpaths, inside shopping...

Automated Vehicles: One Eye on the Road, Another on You
From ACM TechNews

Automated Vehicles: One Eye on the Road, Another on You

The importance of tracking motorist behavior will grow as more automated vehicles are rolled out, especially as it relates to the issue of assigning liability in...

Injectable Implants Could Help Crack the Brain's Codes
From ACM News

Injectable Implants Could Help Crack the Brain's Codes

Understanding how the brain works—or doesn't, as the case may be—depends on deciphering the patterns of electrical signals its neurons produce.

Who Will Own the Robots?
From ACM News

Who Will Own the Robots?

The way Hod Lipson describes his Creative Machines Lab captures his ambitions: "We are interested in robots that create and are creative."  

Emtech Digital: Project Loon Head Details How the Balloons Interact
From ACM TechNews

Emtech Digital: Project Loon Head Details How the Balloons Interact

Google's Project Loon intends to use interconnected balloons to bring Internet service to parts of the world that remain largely disconnected. 

Deep Learning Catches On in New Industries, from Fashion to Finance
From ACM News

Deep Learning Catches On in New Industries, from Fashion to Finance

A machine-learning technique that has already given computers an eerie ability to recognize speech and categorize images is now creeping into industries ranging...

Household Robots Are Here, but Where Are They Going?
From ACM News

Household Robots Are Here, but Where Are They Going?

Social robots like the quasi-anthropomorphic Jibo and Amazon's far more utilitarian Echo are beginning to find their places in our living rooms.

Is This the First Computational Imagination?
From ACM News

Is This the First Computational Imagination?

Imagine an oak tree in a field of wheat, silhouetted against a cloudless blue sky on a dreamy sunny afternoon.

Microsoft’s Hololens Will Put Realistic 3D People in Your Living Room
From ACM News

Microsoft’s Hololens Will Put Realistic 3D People in Your Living Room

Demonstrations of augmented-reality displays typically involve tricking you into seeing animated content such as monsters and robots that aren’t really there.

Quantum Life Spreads Entanglement Across Generations
From ACM News

Quantum Life Spreads Entanglement Across Generations

Computer scientists have long known that evolution is an algorithmic process that has little to do with the nature of the beasts it creates.

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?
From ACM News

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?

How many types of cells are there in the human body? Textbooks say a couple of hundred. But the true number is undoubtedly far larger.

Baidu's Artificial-Intelligence Supercomputer Beats Google at Image Recognition
From ACM News

Baidu's Artificial-Intelligence Supercomputer Beats Google at Image Recognition

Chinese search giant Baidu says it has invented a powerful supercomputer that brings new muscle to an artificial-intelligence technique giving software more power...

Even Robots Now Have Their Own Virtual World
From ACM News

Even Robots Now Have Their Own Virtual World

In a month's time, a motley assortment of robots will attempt to navigate a punishing obstacle course laid out in a fairground park in Pomona, California.

A Better Way to Build Brain-Inspired Chips
From ACM News

A Better Way to Build Brain-Inspired Chips

Memristors, exotic electronic devices only confirmed to exist in 2008, have been used to create a chip that borrows design points from the brain.

Deep Learning Machine Solves the Cocktail Party Problem
From ACM News

Deep Learning Machine Solves the Cocktail Party Problem

The cocktail party effect is the ability to focus on a specific human voice while filtering out other voices or background noise.

Smartphone Secrets May Be Better Than a Password
From ACM News

Smartphone Secrets May Be Better Than a Password

Before you read this story, try to answer the following question: Who was the first person to text you today?

White House and Department of Homeland Security Want a Way Around Encryption
From ACM News

White House and Department of Homeland Security Want a Way Around Encryption

The White House and U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials support arguments by the nation’s law enforcement and intelligence leaders that encryption technology...

How Benford's Law Reveals Suspicious Activity on Twitter
From ACM News

How Benford's Law Reveals Suspicious Activity on Twitter

Back in the 1880s, the American astronomer Simon Newcomb noticed something strange about the book of logarithmic tables in his library—the earlier pages were much...
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