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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

September 2017


From ACM Careers

Facebook's New 'AI Camera' Team Wants to Add a Layer to the World

Facebook's New 'AI Camera' Team Wants to Add a Layer to the World

Take a video of a birthday cake's candles sparkling in an Instagram story, then tap the sticker button. Near the top of the list you'll see a slice of birthday cake.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Judges? Edmonton Research Crafting Artificial Intelligence for Courts

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.


From ACM TechNews

Real or Fake? Creating Fingers to Protect Identities

Real or Fake? Creating Fingers to Protect Identities

Michigan State University researchers have designed and created a fake finger containing multiple properties of human skin.


From ACM TechNews

As More Women Enter STEM Fields, Difficulties Remain

As More Women Enter STEM Fields, Difficulties Remain

A new report suggests women may be more inclined to drop out of certain STEM fields when they get low grades in stereotypically male disciplines..


From ACM TechNews

Internet Rulemaking Is Going to Get More Complicated

Internet Rulemaking Is Going to Get More Complicated

A new report warns of cybersecurity measures undermining personal rights and freedoms through censorship and other means if "multilateral" government policies continue.


From ACM TechNews

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn

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."


From ACM News

NASA Designed This Low-Tech Rover to Survive Venus

NASA Designed This Low-Tech Rover to Survive Venus

Venus is not pleasant. Its surface, approximately 850 degrees Fahrenheit, is hot enough for paper to spontaneously combust. Its atmosphere, an oppressive mix of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and sulfur dioxide, is dense enough to…


From ACM News

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

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 human brains learn.


From ACM News

Some of the Best Parts of Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Here

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 that could more immediately save lives and reduce injuries…


From ACM TechNews

Reducing the Massive Energy Appetite of Data Centers

Reducing the Massive Energy Appetite of Data Centers

Researchers are developing new chips and approaches to reduce the power consumption of data centers, which accounted for about one-fiftieth of all U.S. electricity use in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientists From the RUDN University Will Make Computer Networks More Robust

Scientists From the RUDN University Will Make Computer Networks More Robust

Researchers from the RUDN University in Russia have applied a new mathematical model called a Markovian arrival process to the breakdown of telecommunication systems and electronic equipment that handles client requests. 


From ACM TechNews

Drones Can Almost See in the Dark

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 in low-light conditions. 


From ACM TechNews

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

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 it will be at least 20 years a full rollout of  self-driving AVs…


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Just Made Guessing Your Password a Whole Lot Easier

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 than 43 million LinkedIn profiles.


From ACM TechNews

Choir: Bringing Harmony to Discord in the IoT World

Choir: Bringing Harmony to Discord in the IoT World

Carnegie Mellon University professor Swarun Kumar says networking the vast number of devices making up the Internet of Things requires a sweeping technological upgrade. His team developed Choir, a networking platform that could…


From ACM TechNews

Streaming on a Wireless Power Connection

Streaming on a Wireless Power Connection

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a system that can deliver watts of power while also transmitting data at rates sufficiently high to stream video over the same wireless connection. 


From ACM TechNews

An Extra Challenge in a Crisis: Dealing With Rare Languages

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 7,000 languages and automatically generate actionable information…


From ACM TechNews

Facial Recognition Is Only the Beginning

Facial Recognition Is Only the Beginning

Apple says the inclusion of its Face ID technology in the upcoming iPhone X will make smartphone unlocking, payment, and other operations possible via facial recognition. 


From ACM News

These Robots Can Merge and Split Their Brains to Form New Modular Bots

These Robots Can Merge and Split Their Brains to Form New Modular Bots

We cover all kinds of modular robotics around here, and when we do, we're almost always talking about one overall robotic system made up of many different modules, some number of which can be individually controlled or swapped…


From ACM News

How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes

How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes

At one node of the industrial backbone that keeps the internet running, employees sheltered from the worst of Hurricane Irma in a stairwell of a seven-story building in downtown Miami.


From ACM TechNews

World-First Microchip: 'Storing Lightning Inside Thunder'

World-First Microchip: 'Storing Lightning Inside Thunder'

Researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia have stored photonic information on a microchip as an acoustic wave, which they say is an important breakthrough in the development of chips that manage data optically instead…


From ACM News

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps

Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and from attackers.


From ACM News

Wind, Warm Water Revved Up Melting Antarctic Glaciers

Wind, Warm Water Revved Up Melting Antarctic Glaciers

A NASA study has located the Antarctic glaciers that accelerated the fastest between 2008 and 2014 and finds that the most likely cause of their speedup is an observed influx of warm water into the bay where they're located.


From ACM News

Researchers Unite in Quest for 'Standard Model' of the Brain

Researchers Unite in Quest for 'Standard Model' of the Brain

Leading neuroscientists are joining forces to study the brain—in much the same way that physicists team up in mega-projects to hunt for new particles.


From ACM News

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

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.


From ACM Careers

Conservatives, Liberals Unite Against Silicon Valley

Conservatives, Liberals Unite Against Silicon Valley

The days of unqualified praise from Washington are over for the country's biggest tech companies, whose size and power are increasingly drawing attacks from both the left and the right.


From ACM TechNews

Inside the Equifax Hack

Inside the Equifax Hack

The Equifax breach, attributed to a server flaw disclosed by Cisco researchers that went unpatched, has potentially exposed an estimated 143 million Americans' personal information.


From ACM TechNews

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

ACM Fellow Kathy Yelick of the University of California, Berkeley, discusses the scientific applications fueling exascale computing.


From ACM TechNews

Stretchy Artificial 'Skin' Could Give Robots a Sense of Touch

Stretchy Artificial 'Skin' Could Give Robots a Sense of Touch

Rubberized electronics and sensors that function normally when stretched up to half of their length could operate as artificial skin on robots.


From ACM TechNews

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm

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.

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