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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 2019


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Leg with Sensors Helps People Feel Every Step

Artificial Leg with Sensors Helps People Feel Every Step

A new artificial leg is equipped with sensors that allow users to feel when the leg flexes and lands on the ground.


From ACM TechNews

AI Technology Could Identify Those at Risk of Fatal Heart Attacks, Research Claims

AI Technology Could Identify Those at Risk of Fatal Heart Attacks, Research Claims

New artificial intelligence technology can help gauge a person's risk for suffering a deadly heart attack, years ahead of time.


From ACM TechNews

AI Facial Recognition Software Now Works for Wild Chimpanzees, Too

AI Facial Recognition Software Now Works for Wild Chimpanzees, Too

A new facial recognition artificial intelligence program can detect and identify individual chimpanzees captured in video footage recorded in the wild.


From ACM TechNews

2020 IT Budgets Increase as Priorities Grow

2020 IT Budgets Increase as Priorities Grow

A TechRepublic Premium survey found that information technology budgets plans for 2020 continue to grow year over year.


From ACM TechNews

Crime Prevention Through Crime Prediction

Crime Prevention Through Crime Prediction

Students in a Louisiana State University computer science class developed a crime-prediction software program.


From ACM News

Head in the Clouds

Head in the Clouds

Brain-computer interfaces, like so much else, may be migrating to the cloud.


From ACM TechNews

Objects Can Now Change Colors Like a Chameleon

Objects Can Now Change Colors Like a Chameleon

A new system uses reprogrammable ink to allow objects to change colors when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) and visible light sources.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Model Turns Text Into Animation

Computer Model Turns Text Into Animation

Scientists have developed a computer model that can directly render text describing physical movements as computer-generated animation, an initial step toward creating movies directly from scripts.


From ACM TechNews

Realistic Robots Provide Clues to Lizard Interaction

Realistic Robots Provide Clues to Lizard Interaction

Researchers have developed an interactive robot that responds to the immediate actions of live lava lizards on the Galapagos Islands.


From ACM TechNews

AIs That Deblur Faces Could Make People on CCTV Easier to Identify

AIs That Deblur Faces Could Make People on CCTV Easier to Identify

A new artificial intelligence system can automatically deblur photographs of people's faces.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Find the Skull of Humanity's Ancestor, on a Computer

Scientists Find the Skull of Humanity's Ancestor, on a Computer

Researchers reconstructed a virtual skull of the last common human ancestor using computerized-tomography scans of 260 modern-day skulls from various populations, and 100,000-year-old skulls from Israel.


From ACM TechNews

States Boost Computer Science Education Efforts

States Boost Computer Science Education Efforts

A new study found that only 45% of U.S. high schools offer classes in computer science, and that girls and minorities are underrepresented in those classes.


From ACM News

Making AI Systems Fairer Will Require Time, Guidelines

Making AI Systems Fairer Will Require Time, Guidelines

Director Christoph Lütge on the new Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich.


From ACM TechNews

The Next Hot Job: Pretending to Be a Robot

The Next Hot Job: Pretending to Be a Robot

Many robotic systems are not fully autonomous and require, at the very least, humans monitoring them from afar.


From ACM TechNews

How a Zebrafish Model May Hold a Key to Biology

How a Zebrafish Model May Hold a Key to Biology

Harvard University reseaerchers used open-source software tools to build a neural network with an architecture different from that of a zebrafish brain, for comparison purposes.


From ACM TechNews

Avast, French Police Take Over Malware Botnet, Disinfect 850,000 Computers

Avast, French Police Take Over Malware Botnet, Disinfect 850,000 Computers

Antivirus maker Avast and the French National Police neutralized the back-end infrastructure of a malware botnet.


From ACM News

COBOL Turns 60: Why It Will Outlive Us All

COBOL Turns 60: Why It Will Outlive Us All

In the beginning, there was machine languages and assembler. Neither was easy to use, but then along came COBOL, and everything changed.


From ACM TechNews

The Top Programming Languages 2019

The Top Programming Languages 2019

IEEE Spectrum's 2019 roster of leading programming languages once again ranks Python in the top slot.


From ACM TechNews

Get Ready for More Humanlike Bots, Better Deep-Fake Videos, Wall-to-Wall Disinformation in 2020 Race

Get Ready for More Humanlike Bots, Better Deep-Fake Videos, Wall-to-Wall Disinformation in 2020 Race

Two new studies anticipate that foreign and domestic actors will ramp up efforts to disseminate disinformation and fake news in order to manipulate voters in the 2020 election.


From ACM TechNews

Why Mastercard Is Betting on Middle School Girls to Detect Cyberthreats

Why Mastercard Is Betting on Middle School Girls to Detect Cyberthreats

Mastercard's Girls4Tech program aims to inspire middle school girls worldwide to pursue careers in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, with the goal of recruiting 1 million girls by 2025.


From ACM TechNews

Schools Pushed for Tech in Every Classroom. Now Parents Are Pushing Back.

Schools Pushed for Tech in Every Classroom. Now Parents Are Pushing Back.

U.S. schools have made huge technology investments in the last 10 years, but now parents and educators question whether the effect of technology on education has been beneficial.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Pilot That Can Grab the Controls Gets Its License

Robot Pilot That Can Grab the Controls Gets Its License

The ROBOpilot Unmanned Aircraft Conversion System passed the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Practical Test for piloting light aircraft and completed its first flight on August 9.


From ACM TechNews

One in Five U.K. Schools Says Students Have Broken Into Computer Systems

One in Five U.K. Schools Says Students Have Broken Into Computer Systems

A cybersecurity audit found 21% of 430 U.K. schools had their computers, networks, or servers hacked by students.


From ACM News

Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill

Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill

Tomorrow's wars will be faster, more high-tech, and less human than ever before. Welcome to a new era of machine-driven warfare.


From ACM News

Google Wants to Help Tech Companies Know Less About You

Google Wants to Help Tech Companies Know Less About You

By releasing its homegrown differential privacy tool, Google will make it easier for any company to boost its privacy bona fides.


From ACM TechNews

Amazon Tests Tool That Scans Your Hand to Let You Pay at Whole Foods

Amazon Tests Tool That Scans Your Hand to Let You Pay at Whole Foods

Amazon is reportedly testing a hand-scanning payments system to enable shoppers to pay for groceries at Whole Foods markets.


From ACM TechNews

How America's First Digitally Operated Reactor Could Push Nuclear Technology Forward

How America's First Digitally Operated Reactor Could Push Nuclear Technology Forward

The Purdue University Reactor Number One nuclear plant has switched over from analog to all-digital operation as a testbed for the technology.


From ACM TechNews

MIT's Fleet of Autonomous Boats Can Now Shapeshift

MIT's Fleet of Autonomous Boats Can Now Shapeshift

Scientists have upgraded a fleet of autonomous boats to autonomously disconnect and reassemble into different forms of floating platforms, in the canals of Amsterdam.


From ACM TechNews

An AI First: Voice-Mimicking Software Reportedly Used in a Major Theft

An AI First: Voice-Mimicking Software Reportedly Used in a Major Theft

A French insurance company said one of its clients had been victimized by thieves using voice-mimicking software to imitate a company executive and dupe an employee into sending money to a secret account.


From ACM TechNews

British Farm Moo-ves into New Tech with 5G Collars on Cows

British Farm Moo-ves into New Tech with 5G Collars on Cows

Researchers at the Agricultural Engineering Precision Innovation Center in the U.K. are testing next-generation 5G mobile technology aimed at helping make dairy farming more efficient.