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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

December 2017


From ACM News

Scientists Are Designing Artisanal Proteins For Your Body

Scientists Are Designing Artisanal Proteins For Your Body

Our bodies make roughly 20,000 different kinds of proteins, from the collagen in our skin to the hemoglobin in our blood. Some take the shape of molecular sheets. Others are sculpted into fibers, boxes, tunnels, even scissors…


From ACM News

Physics Found Gravitational Waves. Now Come the Existential Questions

Physics Found Gravitational Waves. Now Come the Existential Questions

On September 14, 2015, at 3:50 AM Central time, a tiny vibration shuddered down the 2.5-mile-long arms of a massive machine in Livingston, Louisiana.


From ACM TechNews

Can Computers Help US Synthesize New Materials?

Can Computers Help US Synthesize New Materials?

Following their proposal of a neural network-based artificial intelligence system that sifts through scientific papers and finds "recipes" for specific types of materials, researchers at MIT say they have developed an AI that…


From ACM TechNews

Twitter + Citizen Science + AI = Improved Flood Data Collection

Twitter + Citizen Science + AI = Improved Flood Data Collection

Researchers at the University of Dundee in the U.K. are developing an early-warning system for flood-prone communities using a combination of Twitter, citizen science, and artificial intelligence techniques. 


From ACM TechNews

A 'stem' Parent Boosts Girls' Participation in Science Degrees

A 'stem' Parent Boosts Girls' Participation in Science Degrees

Researchers at the universities of Michigan and Arkansas recently conducted a study showing that having one parent or guardian work in a STEM field makes it more likely for girls to enroll in a "hard sciences" college degree …


From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning Will Change Jobs

Machine Learning Will Change Jobs

Carnegie Mellon University professor Tom Mitchell and MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson expect machine-learning computer systems to have a transformative economic impact, and have outlined 21 criteria for assessing whether a task or occupation…


From ACM News

Cracking the Brain's Enigma Code

Cracking the Brain's Enigma Code

Brain-controlled prosthetic devices have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of people with limited mobility resulting from injury or disease.


From ACM News

The Robots Are Coming, and Sweden Is Fine

The Robots Are Coming, and Sweden Is Fine

From inside the control room carved into the rock more than half a mile underground, Mika Persson can see the robots on the march, supposedly coming for his job here at the New Boliden mine.


From ACM News

Blockchain Pumping New Life Into Old-School Companies Like IBM

Blockchain Pumping New Life Into Old-School Companies Like IBM

Blockchain is getting bigger at Big Blue.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Develop Method to Track Human Movements More Accurately

Scientists Develop Method to Track Human Movements More Accurately

Researchers at the North China Institute of Aerospace Engineering, Hefei University of Technology in China, and the University of North Texas have developed a data-driven method to better detect and track human movements for …


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Discover a Valleytronics Route Towards Reversible Computer

Researchers Discover a Valleytronics Route Towards Reversible Computer

Researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design have detailed a solid working design of a valleytronic logic gate that executes the full set of two-input Boolean logics. 


From ACM TechNews

Hacked Dog Pics Can Play Tricks on Computer Vision AI

Hacked Dog Pics Can Play Tricks on Computer Vision AI

Researchers at MIT have demonstrated a new way to fool computer vision algorithms that enable artificial intelligence systems to see. 


From ACM TechNews

Watch Robots Do Chin-Ups, Push-Ups, and Sit-Ups For the Sake of Science

Watch Robots Do Chin-Ups, Push-Ups, and Sit-Ups For the Sake of Science

A team of Japanese researchers has developed Kengoro and Kenshiro, two humanoid robots that can perform push-ups, do crunches, stretch, and even sweat while exercising. With human-like movements, the robots could help scientists…


From ACM TechNews

Metal Printing Offers Low-Cost Way to Make Flexible, Stretchable Electronics

Metal Printing Offers Low-Cost Way to Make Flexible, Stretchable Electronics

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a method for directly printing metal circuits, creating flexible, stretchable electronics.


From ACM TechNews

Quick-Learning Neural Network Powered By Memristors

Quick-Learning Neural Network Powered By Memristors

Researchers at the University of Michigan say they have invented a memristor-assembled reservoir computing system that reduces training time and enhances the capacity of similar neural networks.


From ACM News

Finalists in Nasa's Spacecraft Sweepstakes: A Drone on Titan, and a Comet-Chaser

Finalists in Nasa's Spacecraft Sweepstakes: A Drone on Titan, and a Comet-Chaser

Would you like NASA to fly a drone across Saturn's largest moon, or to send a probe to collect samples from a duck-shaped comet?


From ACM News

Can America's Power Grid Survive an Electromagnetic Attack? 

Can America's Power Grid Survive an Electromagnetic Attack? 

Last month, federal agencies and utility executives held GridEx IV, a biennial event where officials responsible for hundreds of local utilities game out scenarios in which North America's power grid could fail.


From ACM TechNews

Science Application Developers Share Pioneering Strategies For Exascale Computing

Science Application Developers Share Pioneering Strategies For Exascale Computing

Three U.S. Department of Energy scientists discuss providing scalability and performance portability to prepare for exascale computing. 


From ACM TechNews

'listening' Drone Helps Find Victims Needing Rescue in Disasters

'listening' Drone Helps Find Victims Needing Rescue in Disasters

Researchers in Japan say they have developed technology capable of distinguishing simultaneous speech from multiple persons, demonstrating simultaneous meal ordering by 11 people and creating a robot game show host that manages…


From ACM TechNews

73 Percent of Developers Who Don't Use AI Plan to Learn How in 2018

73 Percent of Developers Who Don't Use AI Plan to Learn How in 2018

Although only 17 percent of software developers worked with artificial intelligence or machine learning this year, 73 percent of those who did not say they are planning to learn about the technologies next year, according to …


From ACM News

How Facebook's Political Unit Enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda

How Facebook's Political Unit Enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda

Under fire for Facebook Inc.'s role as a platform for political propaganda, co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has punched back, saying his mission is above partisanship.


From ACM TechNews

Unhackable Computer Under Development With $3.6m DARPA Grant

Unhackable Computer Under Development With $3.6m DARPA Grant

Engineers at the University of Michigan are using a $3.6-million grant from DARPA to create an impenetrable computer by turning computer circuits into unsolvable puzzles. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Steer the Flow of Electrical Current With Spinning Light

Researchers Steer the Flow of Electrical Current With Spinning Light

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a device to demonstrate a way to control the direction of the photocurrent within semiconductor materials without deploying an electric voltage. 


From ACM TechNews

An Early Flu Season Thwarts Cdc's Forecasting Challenge

An Early Flu Season Thwarts Cdc's Forecasting Challenge

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has hosted a flu forecasting challenge for the last five years in which academic and industry participants organize predictive models then assesses them at the end of the season…


From ACM TechNews

This Slightly Haunting Childlike Robot Has Helped Scientists Crowdsource Research For Over a Decade

This Slightly Haunting Childlike Robot Has Helped Scientists Crowdsource Research For Over a Decade

Over the last 13 years, the iCub robot developed by researchers at the Italian Technology Institute has enabled researchers from around the world to conduct a range of studies, from language acquisition to fine motor skills. 


From ACM News

Researchers Fooled a Google AI Into Thinking a Rifle Was a Helicopter

Researchers Fooled a Google AI Into Thinking a Rifle Was a Helicopter

Tech giants love to tout how good their computers are at identifying what's depicted in a photograph.


From ACM Careers

Why Doesn't the N.f.l. Use Tracking Technology For First-Down Calls?

Why Doesn't the N.f.l. Use Tracking Technology For First-Down Calls?

It was a scene almost designed to show the folly of the N.F.L.'s first-down measurement system.


From ACM TechNews

Improving Traffic--By Tailgating Less

Improving Traffic--By Tailgating Less

Researchers have shown that there would be fewer traffic jams if drivers would stop tailgating.


From ACM TechNews

AI Insights Could Help Reduce Injuries in Construction Industry

AI Insights Could Help Reduce Injuries in Construction Industry

Researchers are using artificial intelligence to gain new insights into ways to help reduce wear-and-tear injuries and boost the productivity of construction workers.


From ACM TechNews

How Do You Spot a Russian Bot? Answer Goes Beyond Kremlin Watching

How Do You Spot a Russian Bot? Answer Goes Beyond Kremlin Watching

Researchers have isolated the characteristics of bots on Twitter by studying bot activity related to Russian political discussions.

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