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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.

August 2017


From ACM TechNews

Computer Approaches Human Skill For First Time in Brain Challenge

Computer Approaches Human Skill For First Time in Brain Challenge

Researchers say they have developed an algorithm that can map brain neural networks with close to human-level accuracy.


From ACM Opinion

A Hunt For Ways to Combat Online Radicalization

A Hunt For Ways to Combat Online Radicalization

Law enforcement officials, technology companies and lawmakers have long tried to limit what they call the "radicalization" of young people over the internet.


From ACM News

Mysteries of Turbulence ­nravelled

Mysteries of Turbulence ­nravelled

"When I meet God, I'm going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he'll have an answer for the first."


From ACM News

Watch Hackers Hijack Three Robots For Spying and Espionage

Watch Hackers Hijack Three Robots For Spying and Espionage

The entire corpus of science fiction has trained humanity to fear the day when helpful household and industrial robots turn against it, in a Skynet-style uprising.


From ACM TechNews

Print No Evil: Three-Layer Technique Helps Secure Additive Manufacturing

Print No Evil: Three-Layer Technique Helps Secure Additive Manufacturing

Researchers have developed a three-layer system for validating that components produced via additive manufacturing have not been compromised.


From ACM TechNews

Are Your Tweets Feeling Well?

Are Your Tweets Feeling Well?

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conducted a study to understand patterns of how people behave differently on social media when they are ill.


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Assured Autonomy Seeks to Guarantee Safety of Learning-Enabled Autonomous Systems

DARPA Assured Autonomy Seeks to Guarantee Safety of Learning-Enabled Autonomous Systems

Researchers at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have launched a new research program that aims to advance the ways computing systems can learn.


From ACM News

Martian Weather Kicks Into High Gear at Night

Martian Weather Kicks Into High Gear at Night

When night arrives on Mars, plunging temperatures can lead to weather much worse than researchers previously thought was possible on the Red Planet.


From ACM News

Battery-Free Cellphones on the Horizon

Battery-Free Cellphones on the Horizon

Backscattering could eventually harness sufficient energy to power small devices.


From ACM Careers

End of the Checkout Line: The Looming Crisis For American Cashiers

End of the Checkout Line: The Looming Crisis For American Cashiers

The day before a fully automated grocery store opened its doors in 1939, the inventor Clarence Saunders took out a full page advertisement in the Memphis Press-Scimitar warning "old duds" with "cobwebby brains" to keep away.


From ACM Opinion

Tracing the Sources of Today's Russian cyberthreat

Tracing the Sources of Today's Russian cyberthreat

Beyond carrying all of our phone, text and internet communications, cyberspace is an active battleground, with cybercriminals, government agents and even military personnel probing weaknesses in corporate, national and even personal…


From ACM TechNews

Smart Computers

Smart Computers

Researchers at the University of Freiburg's excellence cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools in Germany are showing how ideas from computer science could revolutionize brain research.


From ACM TechNews

­sing Machine Learning to Improve Patient Care

­sing Machine Learning to Improve Patient Care

Researchers are investigating how computers can enhance medical decisions.


From ACM TechNews

Follow the Bitcoin to Find Victims of Human Trafficking

Follow the Bitcoin to Find Victims of Human Trafficking

Researchers say they have developed the first automated techniques to identify ads potentially tied to human trafficking rings and link them to public information from Bitcoin.


From ACM TechNews

Spotting a Social Bot Might Be Harder Than You Think

Spotting a Social Bot Might Be Harder Than You Think

Although savvy Internet users might think they can easily identify a social media bot, there are tricks a "bot army master" can use to make the accounts seem more human-like.


From ACM TechNews

AI Programs Are Learning to Exclude Some African-American Voices

AI Programs Are Learning to Exclude Some African-American Voices

Researchers warn some artificial intelligence programs are inheriting biases against certain dialects, which could lead to automatic discrimination as language-based AI systems proliferate.


From ACM TechNews

Google's New AI Learns By Baking Tasty Machine Learning Cookies

Google's New AI Learns By Baking Tasty Machine Learning Cookies

Google Vizier is an artificial intelligence system that automatically tunes other artificial intelligence programs.


From ACM News

Inside the Fighter Jet of the Future Where AI Is the Pilot 

Inside the Fighter Jet of the Future Where AI Is the Pilot 

I'm in the cockpit of a Typhoon fighter jet. It's an overwhelming sea of buttons, twiddly knobs and square screens displaying various diagrams and measurements.


From ACM Careers

The Loyal Engineers Steering Nasa's Voyager Probes Across the Universe

The Loyal Engineers Steering Nasa's Voyager Probes Across the Universe

In the early spring of 1977, Larry Zottarelli, a 40-year-old computer engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, set out for Cape Canaveral, Fla., in his Toyota Corolla.


From ACM News

Killer Robots: World’s Top AI and Robotics Companies Urge United Nations to Ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Killer Robots: World’s Top AI and Robotics Companies Urge United Nations to Ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons

An open letter by leaders of leading robotics and artificial intelligence companies is released as the United Nations delays meeting to discuss the robot arms race.


From ACM News

E-Zpass Could Kickstart Smart Cities

E-Zpass Could Kickstart Smart Cities

Everyone likes the idea of a smart city. Traffic lights would automatically adjust to optimize traffic flow, you could find parking spaces without circling for hours, and enforcing speed limits wouldn't require a cop on every…


From ACM News

The Origin of Complex Life on Earth Just Got a Little Less Mysterious

The Origin of Complex Life on Earth Just Got a Little Less Mysterious

Life on Earth goes back at least two billion years, but it was only in the last half-billion that it would have been visible to the naked eye.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Use Music to Covertly Track Body Movements, Activity

Computer Scientists Use Music to Covertly Track Body Movements, Activity

Researchers at the University of Washington have demonstrated the use of smart devices as surveillance tools to track a user's position, body movements, and activity. 


From ACM TechNews

Ap Computer Science Draws in More Girls, Minorities

Ap Computer Science Draws in More Girls, Minorities

More young women took an Advanced Placement computer science exam in 2016 than in 2007 through 2013 combined, mainly because of the College Board's new AP CS Principles course.


From ACM TechNews

Computers Will Stitch Together First-Ever Megamovie of Solar Eclipse

Computers Will Stitch Together First-Ever Megamovie of Solar Eclipse

Researchers are working on the "Eclipse Megamovie" project, in which volunteers take photos of the solar eclipse's path across the U.S. and upload the images to the Megamovie website.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Develops Tool to Repair Code

Microsoft Develops Tool to Repair Code

Researchers at Microsoft, Peking University, and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China have developed the Accurate Condition System, which automatically repairs defects in software systems. 


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Internet Is 13 Years Away. Wait, What's Quantum Internet?

Quantum Internet Is 13 Years Away. Wait, What's Quantum Internet?

Although some scientists expect a "quantum Internet" to exist in 13 years, its exact function remains vague due to the nascent stage of the technology. 


From ACM TechNews

Hpe and Nasa Experiment With a Supercomputer That Could Help US Get to Mars

Hpe and Nasa Experiment With a Supercomputer That Could Help US Get to Mars

Hewlett Packard Enterprise and NASA announced a year-long joint experiment in which a "Spaceborne Computer" will be set up at the International Space Station, with a goal of eventually sending a manned mission to Mars. 


From ACM News

Nasa's Voyager Missions Could Guide Aliens to Earth

Nasa's Voyager Missions Could Guide Aliens to Earth

The 40th anniversary of the launch of two of NASA's most remarkable spacecraft is fast approaching.


From ACM News

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a chip that uses light, not electrons, to crunch data.