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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 Opinion

Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano

Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano

People get up to weird things in New Zealand.


From ACM News

Our Weather-Prediction Models Keep Getting Better, and Hurricane Irma Is the Proof

Our Weather-Prediction Models Keep Getting Better, and Hurricane Irma Is the Proof

By Wednesday of last week, even as Tropical Storm Harvey continued to rain devastation on the Gulf Coast, a new storm, Irma, was taking shape in the eastern Atlantic.


From ACM News

Massive Genetic Study Shows How Humans Are Evolving

Massive Genetic Study Shows How Humans Are Evolving

A huge genetic study that sought to pinpoint how the human genome is evolving suggests that natural selection is getting rid of harmful genetic mutations that shorten people's lives.


From ACM Careers

In a High-Tech World, Car Designers Still Rely on Clay

In a High-Tech World, Car Designers Still Rely on Clay

Car designers have every kind of software and virtual reality tool. But when they want to make sure a car's curves look just right, they rely on one of the world's oldest materials: clay.


From ACM TechNews

Radiation Analysis Software Makes Emergency Responders' Jobs Quicker, Easier

Radiation Analysis Software Makes Emergency Responders' Jobs Quicker, Easier

InterSpec is a program for mobile and traditional computing devices designed to analye gamma radiation data at the scene of a disaster.


From ACM TechNews

ASU Researcher Works to Design Algorithms for More Robust Networks

ASU Researcher Works to Design Algorithms for More Robust Networks

Researchers at Arizona State University say they are trying to design effective intervention strategies and algorithms when networks are likely to fail.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft and Cornell Tech Announce New Partnership

Microsoft and Cornell Tech Announce New Partnership

Microsoft is partnering with the Cornell Tech-based Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts.


From ACM TechNews

How to Make Robots That We Can Trust

How to Make Robots That We Can Trust

The design of trustworthy autonomous systems must entail consideration of the ability to explain decisions and recourse options when things go awry.


From ACM News

The Effectiveness of Coding Camps

The Effectiveness of Coding Camps

Do coding schools really get you working faster, with better pay, than college computer science courses?


From ACM News

How Apple Finally Made Siri Sound More Human

How Apple Finally Made Siri Sound More Human

The first time Alex Acero saw Her, he watched it like a normal person.


From ACM News

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype

There's something not quite right about humanoid robots.


From ACM News

Why John Deere Just Spent $305 Million on a Lettuce-Farming Robot

Why John Deere Just Spent $305 Million on a Lettuce-Farming Robot

Tractor giant John Deere just spent $305 million to acquire Blue River Technology, a startup that makes robots capable of identifying unwanted plants and shooting them with deadly, high-precision squirts of herbicide.


From ACM News

Plot a Course Through the Genome

Plot a Course Through the Genome

Chromatin does much more than just keep DNA neat and tidy.


From ACM News

Jupiter's Aurora Presents a Powerful Mystery

Jupiter's Aurora Presents a Powerful Mystery

Scientists on NASA''s Juno mission have observed massive amounts of energy swirling over Jupiter's polar regions that contribute to the giant planet's powerful aurora—only not in ways the researchers expected.


From ACM Careers

Fear of Robots Taking Jobs Spurs a Bold Idea: Guaranteed Pay

Fear of Robots Taking Jobs Spurs a Bold Idea: Guaranteed Pay

Driverless trucks. Factory robots. Delivery drones. Virtual personal assistants.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputers Take Big Green Leap in 2017

Supercomputers Take Big Green Leap in 2017

The most environmentally-friendly supercomputers more than doubled their energy efficiency in 2017.


From ACM TechNews

Most TV Computer Scientists Are Still White Men. Google Wants to Change That

Most TV Computer Scientists Are Still White Men. Google Wants to Change That

Google is urging Hollywood to diversify the gender and ethnicity of computer scientists appearing on TV and film.


From ACM TechNews

Neuroscientist Harnesses the Power of Virtual Reality to Unlock the Mysteries of Memory

Neuroscientist Harnesses the Power of Virtual Reality to Unlock the Mysteries of Memory

Researchers are using virtual reality to study how a person's brain encodes and retrieves memories while they explore a new virtual environment.


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Cyberattacks Are Coming--but What Does That Mean?

Artificial Intelligence Cyberattacks Are Coming--but What Does That Mean?

Artificial intelligence could play a key role in the next major cyberattack.


From ACM TechNews

Flip-Flop Qubits: Radical New Quantum Design Invented

Flip-Flop Qubits: Radical New Quantum Design Invented

Researchers have created a new quantum computing architecture based on "flip-flop quantum bits (qubits)."


From ACM News

Google's New Street View Cameras Will Help Algorithms Index the Real World

Google's New Street View Cameras Will Help Algorithms Index the Real World

Steve Silverman helped build cameras for two NASA rovers that went to Mars.


From ACM News

The Smartphone's Future: It's All About the Camera

The Smartphone's Future: It's All About the Camera

We all know the drill. For the last decade, smartphones have gotten thinner and faster and thinner and faster and, well, you get the picture.


From ACM News

Can AI Solve Poverty?

Can AI Solve Poverty?

Researchers are turning to artificial intelligence to gain insights into factors that lead to poverty and other social problems.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype

Researchers at Facebook's Artificial Intelligence lab have developed an expressive animated bot controlled by an artificially intelligent algorithm trained on hundreds of Skype conversations.


From ACM TechNews

Unlocking Wind's Potential: Supercomputing's Grand Challenge

Unlocking Wind's Potential: Supercomputing's Grand Challenge

Supercomputing-led scientific advances could halve the cost of wind energy by 2030.


From ACM TechNews

Ames Laboratory Scientists Move Graphene Closer to Transistor Applications

Ames Laboratory Scientists Move Graphene Closer to Transistor Applications

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have successfully manipulated the electronic structure of graphene.


From ACM News

EU Drafting Rules to Protect Technology From Foreign Takeovers

EU Drafting Rules to Protect Technology From Foreign Takeovers

Law might follow German rules that let Berlin veto takeover.


From ACM News

What the Industrial Revolution Really Tells Us About the Future of Automation and Work

What the Industrial Revolution Really Tells Us About the Future of Automation and Work

The Industrial Revolution led to centuries of social and economic upheaval. Are economists telling us not to worry about workplace automation because things will be better in a couple hundred years?


From ACM News

Why a 24-Year-Old Chipmaker Is One of Tech's Hot Prospects

Why a 24-Year-Old Chipmaker Is One of Tech's Hot Prospects

Engineers at CTA.ai, an imaging-technology start-up in Poland, are trying to popularize a more comfortable alternative to the colonoscopy.


From ACM News

Calhoun Who? Yale Drops Name of Slavery Advocate for Computer Pioneer

Calhoun Who? Yale Drops Name of Slavery Advocate for Computer Pioneer

Yale University's Calhoun College today will be dedicated as Hopper College, after Grace Murray Hopper.