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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.


Moon-Landing Equivalent For Robotics: Assembling an Ikea Chair
From ACM TechNews

Moon-Landing Equivalent For Robotics: Assembling an Ikea Chair

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore are developing a robot that will be able to assemble an IKEA chair.

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...

Deep Learning Machine Teaches Itself Chess in 72 Hours, Plays at International Master Level
From ACM TechNews

Deep Learning Machine Teaches Itself Chess in 72 Hours, Plays at International Master Level

Imperial College London's Matthew Lai has developed a new artificial intelligence machine which he says can play chess at a master level.

The False Science of Cryonics
From ACM Opinion

The False Science of Cryonics

I woke up on Saturday to a heartbreaking front-page article in the New York Times about a terminally ill young woman who chooses to freeze her brain.

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...

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.

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.

Military Robots: Armed, But How Dangerous?
From ACM News

Military Robots: Armed, But How Dangerous?

An open letter calling for a ban on lethal weapons controlled by artificially intelligent machines was signed last week by thousands of scientists and technologists...

Flying Robots That Can See
From ACM News

Flying Robots That Can See

A tiny artificial eye inspired by the vision systems of insects could help small flying drones navigate their surroundings well enough to avoid collisions while...

Cars May Soon ­nderstand More of What You Say
From ACM TechNews

Cars May Soon ­nderstand More of What You Say

Many cars today now come with limited voice control, but more elaborate and robust systems could be coming to cars soon. 

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...

Collaborative Photography App Allows Smartphones to Record 'bullet Time'
From ACM TechNews

Collaborative Photography App Allows Smartphones to Record 'bullet Time'

Anyone can now create "bullet-time" movies using collaborative photography techniques on their smartphones. 

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...

How Ads Follow You from Phone to Desktop to Tablet
From ACM News

How Ads Follow You from Phone to Desktop to Tablet

Imagine you slack off at work and read up online about the latest Gibson 1959 Les Paul electric guitar replica.

How Machine Vision Solved One of the Great Mysteries of 20th-Century Surrealist Art
From ACM TechNews

How Machine Vision Solved One of the Great Mysteries of 20th-Century Surrealist Art

A pair of identical paintings attributed to Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte has long mystified art experts as to which one is the original. 

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."  
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