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subjectTheory
authorWired

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


This Bomb-Simulating ­S Supercomputer Broke a World Record
From ACM News

This Bomb-Simulating ­S Supercomputer Broke a World Record

Brad Settlemyer had a supercomputing solution in search of a problem.

How a Flock of Drones Developed Collective Intelligence
From ACM News

How a Flock of Drones Developed Collective Intelligence

The drones rise all at once, 30 strong, the domes of light on their undercarriages glowing 30 different hues—like luminescent candy sprinkles against the gray,...

Shadow Politics: Meet the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News
From ACM Careers

Shadow Politics: Meet the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News

When we met in early March, Jonathan Albright was still shrugging off a sleepless weekend.

Don't Just Lecture Robots; Make Them Learn
From ACM News

Don't Just Lecture Robots; Make Them Learn

The robot apocalypse  is nigh. Boston Dynamics' robots are doing backflips and opening doors for their friends. Oh, and these 7-foot-long robot arms can lift 500...

In Search of New Rules to Protect Other Worlds From Earth's Cooties
From ACM News

In Search of New Rules to Protect Other Worlds From Earth's Cooties

NASA has to start protecting planets better. The international treaty governing space—there is one—and the laws and regulations that follow it date back to the...

The Rise of DNA Data Storage
From ACM News

The Rise of DNA Data Storage

The 144 words of Robert Frost's seminal poem "The Road Not Taken" fit neatly onto a single printed page. Or in a 1-kilobyte data file.

The Quest to Make Super-cold Quantum Blobs in Space
From ACM News

The Quest to Make Super-cold Quantum Blobs in Space

On a frigid day last January in northern Sweden, a German-led team of physicists loaded a curious machine onto an unmanned rocket.

Pain Is Weird. Making Bionic Arms Feel Pain Is Even Weirder
From ACM News

Pain Is Weird. Making Bionic Arms Feel Pain Is Even Weirder

Pain is an indispensable tool for survival.

Cosmic Ray Showers Crash Supercomputers. Here's What to Do About It
From ACM News

Cosmic Ray Showers Crash Supercomputers. Here's What to Do About It

The Cray-1 supercomputer, the world's fastest back in the 1970s, does not look like a supercomputer.

It Takes a Single Autonomous Car to Prevent Phantom Traffic Jams
From ACM News

It Takes a Single Autonomous Car to Prevent Phantom Traffic Jams

Honk if you've heard this one before: Autonomous and connected cars will make driving less of a drudge by handling the stop-n-go mundanity of your commute for you...

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI
From ACM News

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI

One day last summer, Microsoft's director of artificial intelligence research, Eric Horvitz, activated the Autopilot function of his Tesla sedan.

Some Startups ­se Fake Data to Train AI
From ACM News

Some Startups ­se Fake Data to Train AI

Berlin startup Spil.ly had a problem last spring. The company was developing an augmented-reality app akin to a full-body version of Snapchat's selfie filters—hold...

Cracking the Crypto War
From ACM News

Cracking the Crypto War

On December 2, 2015, a man named Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on employees of the Department of Public Health in San Bernardino,...

Heat-Seeking Cameras Could Help Keep Self-Driving Cars Safe
From ACM News

Heat-Seeking Cameras Could Help Keep Self-Driving Cars Safe

After Uber's fatal self-driving crash last month in Tempe, Arizona, most observers had two basic question: Why did the car not see Elaine Herzberg crossing the...

Google's New AI Head Is So Smart He Doesn't Need AI
From ACM News

Google's New AI Head Is So Smart He Doesn't Need AI

Google's heavy investment in artificial intelligence has helped the company's software write music and beat humans at complex board games. What unlikely feats could...

A Brain-Boosting Prosthesis Moves From Rats to Humans
From ACM News

A Brain-Boosting Prosthesis Moves From Rats to Humans

The shape on the screen appears only briefly—just long enough for the test subject to commit it to memory. At the same time, an electrical signal snakes past the...

Researchers Restore 'Feeling' to Lost Limbs, Kinda
From ACM News

Researchers Restore 'Feeling' to Lost Limbs, Kinda

The bionic hand closes slowly. Its slender metal digits whirr as they jitter into a loose fist, as though they are wrapping around an invisible baton.

AI Has a Hallucination Problem That's Proving Tough to Fix
From ACM News

AI Has a Hallucination Problem That's Proving Tough to Fix

Tech companies are rushing to infuse everything with artificial intelligence, driven by big leaps in the power of machine learning software. But the deep-neural...

Wanna See Around Corners? Better Get Yourself a Laser
From ACM News

Wanna See Around Corners? Better Get Yourself a Laser

You can't see the bunny, but the picosecond laser certainly can.

The Decentralized Internet Is Here, With Some Glitches
From ACM News

The Decentralized Internet Is Here, With Some Glitches

I usually write in Google's online word processor Google Docs, even when noting the company's shortcomings.
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