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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.

February 2019


From ACM News

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet

The DNA of life on Earth naturally stores its information in just four key chemicals—guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine, commonly referred to as G, C, A and T, respectively.


From ACM TechNews

After a Baby, 28% of New Parents Leave Full-Time STEM Work

After a Baby, 28% of New Parents Leave Full-Time STEM Work

After science, technology, engineering, and math professionals become parents, 43% of women and 23% of men change fields, become part-timers, or exit the workforce.


From ACM TechNews

'Tags' Let Your Phone Spot Counterfeit Stuff

'Tags' Let Your Phone Spot Counterfeit Stuff

A new system to prevent product counterfeiting gives individual items a unique label or "tag."


From ACM TechNews

A Crucial Step for Averting AI Disasters

A Crucial Step for Averting AI Disasters

Although technology companies are trying to recruit women and minorities, most computer and software professionals writing artificial intelligence programs remain white and male.


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Makeovers Are Better Than Ever. Beauty Companies Are Trying to Cash In

Virtual Makeovers Are Better Than Ever. Beauty Companies Are Trying to Cash In

Augmented reality is being pushed to the mainstream by apps in the beauty industry that serve as a consumer tool for trying on makeup.


From ACM TechNews

Audi's In-Car Information System Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights

Audi's In-Car Information System Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights

Audi's Traffic Light Information system can alert drivers to imminent red lights and other traffic signals.


From ACM News

Japan's Hayabusa2 Craft Touches Down on Asteroid Ryugu

Japan's Hayabusa2 Craft Touches Down on Asteroid Ryugu

It was a brief but historic tap on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, at 7:29 am Japan time on 22 February. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down at its target location, where it shot a projectile at the surface.


From ACM News

Huawei Founder Says ­S Treats 5G Like 'Military' Tech

Huawei Founder Says ­S Treats 5G Like 'Military' Tech

Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei is downplaying the idea that there's danger in his company's taking a lead role as 5G networks become a widespread reality.


From ACM News

InSight Is the Newest Mars Weather Service

InSight Is the Newest Mars Weather Service

No matter how cold your winter has been, it's probably not as chilly as Mars. Check for yourself: Starting today, the public can get a daily weather report from NASA's InSight lander.


From ACM TechNews

AI Shows Promise as Physician Assistant

AI Shows Promise as Physician Assistant

Researchers in the U.S. and China have developed a system that uses artificial intelligence to automatically diagnose common childhood conditions.


From ACM TechNews

North Dakota Looks to Teach Students About Cybersecurity

North Dakota Looks to Teach Students About Cybersecurity

North Dakota wants to provide statewide student access to computer science and cybersecurity courses.


From ACM TechNews

Robots Track Moving Objects With ­nprecedented Precision

Robots Track Moving Objects With ­nprecedented Precision

Researchers are employing radio-frequency identification tags to help track moving objects with unprecedented accuracy and speed.


From ACM TechNews

Meet Europe's 30 ­nder 30 in Technology 2019: Blossoming of a Talent Garden

Meet Europe's 30 ­nder 30 in Technology 2019: Blossoming of a Talent Garden

Young European entrepreneurs ranked in Forbes' latest 30 Under 30 list are pushing the envelope of artificial intelligence applications for consumers and companies.


From ACM News

ETH Zurich ­nveils the Future

ETH Zurich ­nveils the Future

Looking ahead to 2050 in electronics, robotics, and new materials.


From ACM News

For Gamers With Disabilities, Creative Controllers Open Worlds

For Gamers With Disabilities, Creative Controllers Open Worlds

Erin Hawley grew up immersed in video games, progressing from Pong on the Atari 2600 to Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis to Tomb Raider on the Sony PlayStation.


From ACM News

Researchers, Scared by Their Own Work, Hold Back 'Deepfakes for Text' AI

Researchers, Scared by Their Own Work, Hold Back 'Deepfakes for Text' AI

OpenAI, a non-profit research company investigating "the path to safe artificial intelligence," has developed a machine learning system called Generative Pre-trained Transformer-2 (GPT-2 ), capable of generating text based on…


From ACM TechNews

Is That a Robot? Dr. Bear Bot Helps Care for Kids at Local Hospital

Is That a Robot? Dr. Bear Bot Helps Care for Kids at Local Hospital

Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C., is the first pediatric hospital to deploy a remote-monitoring virtual liaison robot in its cardiac intensive care unit.


From ACM TechNews

These Android Apps Have Been Tracking You, Even When You Say Stop

These Android Apps Have Been Tracking You, Even When You Say Stop

International Computer Science Institute researchers estimated that about 17,000 Android apps collect identifying information.


From ACM TechNews

The AI That Can Write Fake News Stories From Handful of Words

The AI That Can Write Fake News Stories From Handful of Words

The OpenAI research group has demonstrated artificial intelligence that can compose authentic-looking fake news articles from a few fragments of information.


From ACM TechNews

Call to Ban Killer Robots in Wars

Call to Ban Killer Robots in Wars

A scientific coalition is urging a ban on the development of weapons governed by artificial intelligence.


From ACM TechNews

Coffee Farmers Bet on Blockchain to Boost Business

Coffee Farmers Bet on Blockchain to Boost Business

A report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says blockchain technology could address challenges faced by smallholder coffee farmers.


From ACM TechNews

Renewable Energy Generation With Kites and Drones

Renewable Energy Generation With Kites and Drones

Researchers have developed software for analyzing energy-generation systems based on kites and drones.


From ACM News

The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know

The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know

The College Board came up with a surprising conclusion about keys to success for college and life. By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.


From ACM News

Scientist Warns Against Discoveries Made With AI

Scientist Warns Against Discoveries Made With AI

Inaccurate findings are being made in some areas of biomedical research.


From ACM News

Farmworker vs Robot

Farmworker vs Robot

Both human and machine have 10 seconds per plant. They must find the ripe strawberries in the leaves, gently twist them off the stems and tuck them into a plastic clamshell. Repeat, repeat, repeat, before the fruit spoils.


From ACM News

NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of ­niverse

NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of ­niverse

NASA has selected a new space mission that will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy's planetary systems.


From ACM Opinion

The ­S Cannot Crush ­s, Says Huawei Founder

The ­S Cannot Crush ­s, Says Huawei Founder

The founder of Huawei has said there is "no way the US can crush" the company, in an exclusive interview with the BBC.


From ACM News

The Secret History of Women in Coding

The Secret History of Women in Coding

Computer programming once had much better gender balance than it does today. What went wrong?


From ACM News

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Spotting gravitational waves is due to become an almost hourly event in the next decade. Starting around 2023, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) will undergo its most significant upgrade since 2015…


From ACM News

An AI that Writes Convincing Prose Risks Mass-Producing Fake News

An AI that Writes Convincing Prose Risks Mass-Producing Fake News

Here's some breaking fake news … Russia has declared war on the United States after Donald Trump accidentally fired a missile in the air.