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Communications of the ACM

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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.


There Is a Racial Divide in Speech Recognition Systems, Researchers Say
From ACM News

There Is a Racial Divide in Speech Recognition Systems, Researchers Say

Technology from Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft misidentified 35% of words from people who were black. White people fared much better.

The Search for E.T. Goes on Hold, for Now
From ACM News

The Search for E.T. Goes on Hold, for Now

A popular screen saver takes a break while its inventors try to digest data that may yet be hiding news of extraterrestrials.

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever
From ACM News

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever

Amazon is hiring aggressively to meet customer demand. Traffic has soared on Facebook and YouTube. And cloud computing has become essential to home workers.

Abel Prize in Mathematics Shared by Two Trailblazers of Probability, Dynamics
From ACM TechNews

Abel Prize in Mathematics Shared by Two Trailblazers of Probability, Dynamics

Hillel Furstenberg of Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Yale University's Gregory Margulis share this year's Abel Prize in mathematics for trailblazing...

Abel Prize in Mathematics Shared by Trailblazers of Probability and Dynamics
From ACM News

Abel Prize in Mathematics Shared by Trailblazers of Probability and Dynamics

Hillel Furstenberg, 84, and Gregory Margulis, 74, both retired professors, share the mathematics equivalent of a Nobel Prize.

Algorithms Learn Our Workplace Biases. Can They Help Us Unlearn Them?
From ACM News

Algorithms Learn Our Workplace Biases. Can They Help Us Unlearn Them?

With the help of intelligent machines, humans can be nudged to make choices that make workplaces fairer for everyone.

Can YouTube Quiet Its Conspiracy Theorists?
From ACM TechNews

Can YouTube Quiet Its Conspiracy Theorists?

While YouTube has reduced how often its algorithm recommends conspiracy theory-related videos, its progress in dealing with conspiracy theories has been uneven....

In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, with Red Flags
From ACM TechNews

In Coronavirus Fight, China Gives Citizens a Color Code, with Red Flags

To manage the coronavirus epidemic, China is requiring citizens to use software on their smartphones.

Cloud Computing Is Not the Energy Hog That Had Been Feared
From ACM News

Cloud Computing Is Not the Energy Hog That Had Been Feared

The digital services churned out by the world's computer centers are multiplying, but their energy use is not, thanks to cloud computing, a new study says.

Should Robots Have a Face?
From ACM News

Should Robots Have a Face?

As automation comes to retail industries, companies are giving machines more humanlike features in order to make them liked, not feared.

New Yorkers Face Training Gap for Tech Jobs, but Study Finds Hope
From ACM TechNews

New Yorkers Face Training Gap for Tech Jobs, but Study Finds Hope

A study by the nonprofit research group Center for an Urban Future offers hope for New York City employees who lack the training to qualify for upcoming technology...

Katherine Johnson Dies at 101; Mathematician Broke Barriers at NASA
From ACM News

Katherine Johnson Dies at 101; Mathematician Broke Barriers at NASA

She was one of a group of black women mathematicians at NASA and its predecessor who were celebrated in the 2016 movie "Hidden Figures."

A Growing Presence on the Farm: Robots
From ACM TechNews

A Growing Presence on the Farm: Robots

Agronomists are using new autonomous robots to help them breed better crops. 

Activate 'Bracelet of Silence' and Alexa Can't Eavesdrop
From ACM TechNews

Activate 'Bracelet of Silence' and Alexa Can't Eavesdrop

A prototype wearable device blocks microphones in the vicinity from eavesdropping on conversations.

New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations
From ACM News

New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations

The lawsuit says that Google, the top tech brand in public schools, used its educational products to spy on students.

Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities, Businesses
From ACM TechNews

Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities, Businesses

In recent years, ransomware attacks have crippled computer networks and extorted money to restore access to users.

Britain to Create Regulator for Internet Content
From ACM TechNews

Britain to Create Regulator for Internet Content

The U.K. has introduced a plan to give the country's media regulator Ofcom new responsibilities for monitoring Internet content.

Data Driving New Approaches to Transportation
From ACM TechNews

Data Driving New Approaches to Transportation

Shifts in transportation highlight cities' need for data management to cope with traffic, digital platforms, and other trends.

An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away
From ACM TechNews

An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away

Local authorities in the U.S. and Europe use predictive governance algorithms to assess people's risk of criminality, and base probation, jail time, and other decisions...

Wearable Tech Tells Drowsy Truckers It's Time to Pull Over
From ACM TechNews

Wearable Tech Tells Drowsy Truckers It's Time to Pull Over

Trucking companies are equipping drivers with wearable monitors that check for signs of fatigue, and notify them when it’s time to pull over and rest.
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