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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.


NASA's Next Mars Rover Will ­se AI to Be a Better Science Partner
From ACM News

NASA's Next Mars Rover Will ­se AI to Be a Better Science Partner

NASA can't yet put a scientist on Mars. But in its next rover mission to the Red Planet, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is hoping to use artificial intelligence...

NASA Reveals Aliens Could Have Already Visited Earth
From ACM News

NASA Reveals Aliens Could Have Already Visited Earth

A NASA scientist suggested that aliens may have already visited earth but evaded detection due to their appearances being vastly different from human expectations...

More Than an Auto-Pilot, AI Charts Its Course in Aviation
From ACM News

More Than an Auto-Pilot, AI Charts Its Course in Aviation

Ask anyone what they think of when the words "artificial intelligence" and aviation are combined, and it's likely the first things they'll mention are drones.

The 'Camera That Saved Hubble' Turns 25
From ACM News

The 'Camera That Saved Hubble' Turns 25

Twenty-five years ago this week, NASA held its collective breath as seven astronauts on space shuttle Endeavour caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope 353 miles...

These Dusty Young Stars Are Changing the Rules of Planet-Building
From ACM News

These Dusty Young Stars Are Changing the Rules of Planet-Building

Some 100,000 years ago, when Neanderthals still occupied the caves of southern Europe, a star was born.

All the Light There Is to See? 4 x 10⁸⁴ Photons
From ACM News

All the Light There Is to See? 4 x 10⁸⁴ Photons

In one of those exercises that you think should be impossible or perhaps a punishment for some infraction, a team of astronomers has now measured the total amount...

The Race Is On to Protect Data From the Next Leap in Computers. And China Has the Lead.
From ACM News

The Race Is On to Protect Data From the Next Leap in Computers. And China Has the Lead.

The world's leading technology companies, from Google to Alibaba in China, are racing to build the first quantum computer, a machine that would be far more powerful...

Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink
From ACM News

Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink

Stephanie LaMassa did a double take. She was staring at two images on her computer screen, both of the same object—except they looked nothing alike.

Nailing Down the Nature of 'Oumuamua; It's Probably a Comet, but . . .
From ACM Opinion

Nailing Down the Nature of 'Oumuamua; It's Probably a Comet, but . . .

Shortly before Halloween, the chairman of Harvard's astronomy department openly declared that an interstellar object hurtling through our Solar System might just...

Making AI Algorithms Crazy Fast ­sing Chips Powered by Light
From ACM News

Making AI Algorithms Crazy Fast ­sing Chips Powered by Light

Inside a small laboratory in Boston's seaport district, buried within a jumble of lasers, lenses, mirrors, and a tangle of wiring, is a tiny chip that might be...

China Is Building a $9 Billion Rival to the American-Run GPS
From ACM News

China Is Building a $9 Billion Rival to the American-Run GPS

China is taking its rivalry with the U.S. to the heavens, spending at least $9 billion to build a celestial navigation system and cut its dependence on the American...

­K Police Wants AI to Stop Violent Crime Before It Happens
From ACM News

­K Police Wants AI to Stop Violent Crime Before It Happens

Police in the UK want to predict serious violent crime using artificial intelligence, New Scientist can reveal. The idea is that individuals flagged by the system...

Quantum Computing: Atomic Clocks Make for Longer-Lasting Qubits
From ACM News

Quantum Computing: Atomic Clocks Make for Longer-Lasting Qubits

A decade ago, quantum computing was still something of a parlor game.

You Will Be Replaced. Here's How
From ACM News

You Will Be Replaced. Here's How

Route 9 skims by Boston and cuts clear across Massachusetts to Pittsfield, a city of roughly 50,000, the largest in Berkshire County.

How Cheap Labor Drives China's A.I. Ambitions
From ACM Careers

How Cheap Labor Drives China's A.I. Ambitions

Some of the most critical work in advancing China's technology goals takes place in a former cement factory in the middle of the country's heartland, far from the...

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts
From ACM News

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts

Behind a thin white veil separating his makeshift lab from joggers at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology indoor track, aerospace engineer Steven Barrett recently...

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science
From ACM News

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science

Scientists can't study what they can't measure, as David Muller knows only too well.

Largest Overhaul of Scientific ­nits Since the French Revolution Wins Approval
From ACM News

Largest Overhaul of Scientific ­nits Since the French Revolution Wins Approval

In the biggest overhaul of the international system of units since 1875, countries have voted to redefine four basic units of measurement—the ampere, the kilogram...

Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient in Sand, Glass
From ACM News

Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient in Sand, Glass

We are all, quite literally, made of star dust. Many of the chemicals that compose our planet and our bodies were formed directly by stars.

Playing Catch-­p, Germany Throws Money at AI
From ACM News

Playing Catch-­p, Germany Throws Money at AI

Germany plans to invest more than 3 billion euros ($3.39 million) by 2025 to beef up its artificial intelligence capabilities and appoint 100 professors to lecture...
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