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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.


A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn
From ACM TechNews

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn

Researchers are constructing a device "inspired by the brain to generate the properties that enable the brain to do what it does."

Robot Judges? Edmonton Research Crafting Artificial Intelligence for Courts
From ACM TechNews

Robot Judges? Edmonton Research Crafting Artificial Intelligence for Courts

University of Alberta professor Randy Goebel's team in Canada is working with researchers in Japan to develop artificial intelligence software for legal reasoning...

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning
From ACM News

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea called the "information bottleneck" is helping to explain the puzzling success of today's artificial-intelligence algorithms—and might also explain how...

Some of the Best Parts of Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Here
From ACM News

Some of the Best Parts of Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Here

Fully automated cars are still many years away. Amid the government activity and potential for social benefits, it's important not to lose sight of smaller improvements...

Drones Can Almost See in the Dark
From ACM TechNews

Drones Can Almost See in the Dark

Researchers at the University of Zurich and NCCR Robotics have taught flying drones to navigate with an eye-inspired camera, which could create a path toward operating...

Autonomous Vehicles' Future May Be Further Away, Different Than Imagined
From ACM TechNews

Autonomous Vehicles' Future May Be Further Away, Different Than Imagined

Experts think autonomous vehicles (AVs) may arrive later than expected, or in a different form than most people anticipate. Ben McKeever with California PATH says...

Artificial Intelligence Just Made Guessing Your Password a Whole Lot Easier
From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Just Made Guessing Your Password a Whole Lot Easier

Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology used artificial intelligence to generate a program that successfully guessed 27 percent of the passwords from more...

An Extra Challenge in a Crisis: Dealing With Rare Languages
From ACM TechNews

An Extra Challenge in a Crisis: Dealing With Rare Languages

Researchers at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute are building machine-learning systems to quickly translate any of the world's...

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains
From ACM News

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

We expect a lot from our computers these days. They should talk to us, recognize everything from faces to flowers, and maybe soon do the driving.

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm
From ACM TechNews

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm

Researchers at the University of Illinois have proposed a computer algorithm that could ease congressional districting and make the process fairer for constituents...

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans
From ACM News

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Everyone knows that distracted driving is a problem, but it tends to fall in the "other people/not me" category of personal risk assessment among drivers.

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Says We Need to Start Over
From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Says We Need to Start Over

Hinton suggested that, to get to where neural networks are able to become intelligent on their own, "I suspect that means getting rid of back-propagation."

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . .  How AI Protects Us
From ACM News

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . . How AI Protects Us

For some, the spread of artificial intelligence and robotics poses a threat to our privacy, our jobs – even our safety, as more and more tasks are handed over to...

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not
From ACM News

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

A whiff of dystopian creepiness has long wafted in the air whenever facial recognition has come up. Books, movies and television shows have portrayed the technology...

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke
From ACM Opinion

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke

Creating noodling piano tunes and endless configurations of cat drawings with AI may not sound like an obvious project for Google, but it makes a lot of sense to...

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB
From ACM News

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB

The chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday "operational limitations" in the Tesla Model S played a "major role" in a May...

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles
From ACM News

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles

Nissa Scott started working at the cavernous Amazon warehouse in southern New Jersey late last year, stacking plastic bins the size of small ottomans.

In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own
From ACM News

In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own

The robot was perched over a bin filled with random objects, from a box of instant oatmeal to a small toy shark.

Geneticists Pan Paper that Claims to Predict a Person's Face from Their DNA
From ACM News

Geneticists Pan Paper that Claims to Predict a Person's Face from Their DNA

A storm of criticism has rained down on a paper by genome-sequencing pioneer Craig Venter that claims to predict people's physical traits from their DNA.

New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools
From ACM TechNews

New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools

Syncphonia is a new application that enables a music teacher to deconstruct a piece of music into its component parts, so each player's part is displayed individually...
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