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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.

May 2018


From ACM Careers

The Surprising Return of the Repo Man

The Surprising Return of the Repo Man

The computer in the spotter car shouted "Hide!," and repo agent Derek Lewis knew that meant to keep driving like nothing had happened.


From ACM News

Gilles Brassard to Receive the Wolf Prize in Physics

Gilles Brassard to Receive the Wolf Prize in Physics

Brassard, a cryptologist, is the co-winner of the 2018 Wolf Prize in Physics, which he is sharing with Charles Bennett of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.


From ACM News

It Takes a Single Autonomous Car to Prevent Phantom Traffic Jams

It Takes a Single Autonomous Car to Prevent Phantom Traffic Jams

Honk if you've heard this one before: Autonomous and connected cars will make driving less of a drudge by handling the stop-n-go mundanity of your commute for you.


From ACM News

NASA Asks Scientists How Its Lander Should Look for Life on Europa

NASA Asks Scientists How Its Lander Should Look for Life on Europa

NASA is in various stages of planning two multi-billion dollar missions to Jupiter's intriguing, ice-covered moon of Europa.


From ACM TechNews

New Device Could Increase Battery Life of Electronic Devices by More Than a Hundred-Fold

New Device Could Increase Battery Life of Electronic Devices by More Than a Hundred-Fold

Researchers have developed a material that could extend battery life and reduce the heat generation of battery-powered electronic devices.


From ACM TechNews

Making Radio Chips for Hell

Making Radio Chips for Hell

A new wireless radio mixer integrated circuit can operate at temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius.


From ACM TechNews

In a First, Students Will Be Able to Major in AI at CMU

In a First, Students Will Be Able to Major in AI at CMU

Carnegie Mellon University this fall will launch the first undergraduate degree program in artificial intelligence in the U.S.


From ACM TechNews

AI Generates New Doom Levels for Humans to Play

AI Generates New Doom Levels for Humans to Play

Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy have found it is possible to have a deep learning algorithm create compelling new game levels in Doom automatically.


From ACM TechNews

An Electronic Rescue Dog

An Electronic Rescue Dog

ETH Zurich researchers in Switzerland have created technology that can detect human metabolic emissions, which could potentially aid search and rescue teams.


From ACM Careers

The Most Important Inventor You've Never Heard Of

The Most Important Inventor You've Never Heard Of

When The Economist called Stanford Ovshinsky "the Edison of our age," the name might have been unfamiliar to most people, but the comparison was apt.


From ACM News

AI Made These Paintings

AI Made These Paintings

In Bloomberg Businessweek's annual Sooner Than You Think issue, artificial intelligence is also driving cars, making money, exploring oceans … and freaking people out.


From ACM News

Apple and Its Rivals Bet Their Futures on These Men's Dreams

Apple and Its Rivals Bet Their Futures on These Men's Dreams

Over the past five years, artificial intelligence has gone from perennial vaporware to one of the technology industry's brightest hopes.


From ACM Careers

In Silicon Valley, Chinese 'Accelerators' Aim to Bring Startups Home

In Silicon Valley, Chinese 'Accelerators' Aim to Bring Startups Home

Beijing's unslakeable thirst for the latest technology has spurred a proliferation of "accelerators" in Silicon Valley that aim to identify promising startups and bring them to China.


From ACM TechNews

Feel What This Robot Feels Through Tactile Expressions

Feel What This Robot Feels Through Tactile Expressions

Cornell University's Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship Lab is developing a robot designed to explore textual communication.


From ACM TechNews

Penn Staters Create Smart Mirror to Match Tech With Beauty in Global Competition

Penn Staters Create Smart Mirror to Match Tech With Beauty in Global Competition

Three Pennsylvania State University researchers will participate this week in the world finals of the 2018 L'Oreal Brandstorm contest in Paris.


From ACM TechNews

AI Detects Patterns of Gut Microbes for Cholera Risk

AI Detects Patterns of Gut Microbes for Cholera Risk

Researchers used algorithms to identify patterns within communities of bacteria in the human gut that could not be detected with the naked eye.


From ACM News

Fear of Job Loss to Automation Hurts Productivity

Fear of Job Loss to Automation Hurts Productivity

Fear of job loss due to automation, combined with confusion over which skill sets one will be needed to be employable in the future, is affecting worker health and productivity.


From ACM News

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect

Judea Pearl, a pioneering figure in artificial intelligence, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut. His prescription for progress? Teach machines to understand the question why.


From ACM News

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI

One day last summer, Microsoft's director of artificial intelligence research, Eric Horvitz, activated the Autopilot function of his Tesla sedan.


From ACM News

Silicon Valley Faces Regulatory Fight on Its Home Turf

Silicon Valley Faces Regulatory Fight on Its Home Turf

The staging ground for one of the biggest regulatory fights facing the technology industry is far removed from Washington or Brussels, tucked into an alley next to a wine and cheese shop about 30 miles from Silicon Valley.


From ACM TechNews

During Disasters, Active Twitter ­sers Likely to Spread Falsehoods

During Disasters, Active Twitter ­sers Likely to Spread Falsehoods

Researchers examining more than 20,000 tweets sent during Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing found up to 91% of users spread falsehoods.


From ACM TechNews

Eye Scanner Can Tell If You've Mastered a Foreign Language

Eye Scanner Can Tell If You've Mastered a Foreign Language

A new algorithm monitors a person's unconscious eye movements as they read, to assess their proficiency in a foreign language.


From ACM TechNews

Graphene-Based Sensor Learns to Feel Like a Human

Graphene-Based Sensor Learns to Feel Like a Human

An electric sensor has been integrated with a machine learning program to create a device that can differentiate between surface textures.


From ACM TechNews

Email Encryption Standards Hacked

Email Encryption Standards Hacked

A team of researchers successfully hacked the popular Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions and OpenPGP email encryption standards.


From ACM TechNews

Big Data Tool Predicts Best Lung Cancer Treatment

Big Data Tool Predicts Best Lung Cancer Treatment

Researchers have developed a personalized risk assessment tool designed to predict the survival rate and treatment outcomes of early-stage lung cancer patients.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Teaches Itself How to Dress People

Robot Teaches Itself How to Dress People

A team of researchers says it has developed a robot that helps hospital patients slide on their gowns.


From ACM News

Hiding Information in Plain Text

Hiding Information in Plain Text

Computer scientists have now invented a way to hide secret messages in ordinary text by imperceptibly changing the shapes of letters.


From ACM News

AI Researchers Allege that Machine Learning Is Alchemy

AI Researchers Allege that Machine Learning Is Alchemy

Ali Rahimi, a researcher in artificial intelligence (AI) at Google in San Francisco, California, took a swipe at his field last December—and received a 40-second ovation for it.


From ACM News

Old Data Reveal New Evidence of Europa Plumes

Old Data Reveal New Evidence of Europa Plumes

Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter's moon Europa has the ingredients to support life.


From ACM TechNews

Fundamental Equations Guide Marine Robots to Optimal Sampling Sites

Fundamental Equations Guide Marine Robots to Optimal Sampling Sites

Systems of mathematical equations can forecast the most informative data to collect for an autonomous underwater vehicle mission and the best way to reach the sampling sites.