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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.


The Algorithm That Makes Preschoolers Obsessed With YouTube
From ACM News

The Algorithm That Makes Preschoolers Obsessed With YouTube

Toddlers crave power. Too bad for them, they have none. Hence the tantrums and absurd demands.

How Checkers Was Solved
From ACM News

How Checkers Was Solved

The story of a duel between two men, one who dies, and the nature of the quest to build artificial intelligence.

DARPA's Ex-Leader's Speculative Dream of Mind-Melding Empathy
From ACM News

DARPA's Ex-Leader's Speculative Dream of Mind-Melding Empathy

The former head of DARPA, Arati Prabhakar, has a dream. It's a civilian utopian neuroscience dream that's kind of the inverse of the scenarios that the far-out...

What an AI's Non-Human Language Actually Looks Like
From ACM TechNews

What an AI's Non-Human Language Actually Looks Like

Researchers at the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab have found that bots they were training to negotiate with each other began conversing in a non-human...

Beyond the Five Senses
From ACM News

Beyond the Five Senses

The world we experience is not the real world. It's a mental construction, filtered through our physical senses. Which raises the question: How would our world...

 An Artificial Intelligence Developed Its Own Non-Human Language
From ACM News

An Artificial Intelligence Developed Its Own Non-Human Language

A buried line in a new Facebook report about chatbots' conversations with one another offers a remarkable glimpse at the future of language.

If Google Teaches an AI to Draw, Will That Help It Think?
From ACM News

If Google Teaches an AI to Draw, Will That Help It Think?

Imagine someone told you to draw a pig and a truck.

Silicon Valley's Big Three vs. Detroit's Golden-Age Big Three
From ACM Careers

Silicon Valley's Big Three vs. Detroit's Golden-Age Big Three

Over the last 20 years, the technology industry has become the most powerful industry in the world, boasting seven of the 20 most profitable companies.

A Brief History of SETI@Home
From ACM Careers

A Brief History of SETI@Home

The year was 1999, and the people were going online. AOL, Compuserve, mp3.com, and AltaVista loaded bit by bit after dial-up chirps, on screens across the world...

Chatbots Have Entered the Uncanny Valley
From ACM TechNews

Chatbots Have Entered the Uncanny Valley

The tendency for people to be repelled by increasingly humanoid and human-like robots may extend to chatbots and digital assistants as well.

 Don't Use the Force, Luke, Use the Targeting Computer  
From ACM News

Don't Use the Force, Luke, Use the Targeting Computer  

Remember when Luke's running the trench in the Death Star, and he's about to fire his fateful shot, and at the last minute he decides to turn off the targeting...

The Founding Fathers Encrypted Secret Messages, Too
From ACM News

The Founding Fathers Encrypted Secret Messages, Too

Thomas Jefferson is known for a lot of things—writing the Declaration of Independence, founding the University of Virginia, owning hundreds of slaves despite believing...

Who Owns Your Face?
From ACM News

Who Owns Your Face?

It takes a feast of facial imagery to teach a machine how to recognize an individual person.

How Aristotle Created the Computer
From ACM TechNews

How Aristotle Created the Computer

Modern computers would not exist without the influence of Aristotelean principles.

How Aristotle Created the Computer
From ACM News

How Aristotle Created the Computer

George Boole is often described as a mathematician, but he saw himself as a philosopher, following in the footsteps of Aristotle.

Machine Learning Is Bringing the Cosmos Into Focus
From ACM News

Machine Learning Is Bringing the Cosmos Into Focus

The telescope offers one of the most seductive suggestions a technological object can carry: the idea that humans might pick up a thing, peer into it, and finally...

Chinese Characters Are Futuristic and the Alphabet Is Old News
From ACM TechNews

Chinese Characters Are Futuristic and the Alphabet Is Old News

Stanford University professor Tom Mullaney believes computers make Chinese far more advantageous than typing English via a QWERTY keyboard.

Even Bugs Will Be Bugged
From ACM News

Even Bugs Will Be Bugged

When mark zuckerberg posted a picture of himself on Facebook in June, a sharp-eyed observer spotted a piece of tape covering his laptop’s camera.

The Human Remembering Machine
From ACM News

The Human Remembering Machine

They called it the Hubble Telescope of the mind.

The Many Ways to Map the Brain
From ACM News

The Many Ways to Map the Brain

Brain mapping has come a long way since the days of Korbinian Brodmann.
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