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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.

December 2020


From ACM TechNews

How Machines Are Changing the Way Companies Talk

How Machines Are Changing the Way Companies Talk

Economics and machine learning researchers have found artificial intelligence is making companies change how they communicate.


From ACM TechNews

First-Ever Quantum Chess Tournament Won by Amazon Researcher

First-Ever Quantum Chess Tournament Won by Amazon Researcher

Amazon researcher Aleksander Kubica won the world's first quantum chess tournament during the virtual Practical Quantum Computing (Q2B) conference.


From ACM TechNews

A Quick Look Under the Skin

A Quick Look Under the Skin

Researchers have developed self-learning algorithms that can help analyze medical image data.


From ACM TechNews

Tech Platforms Vowed to Address Racial Equity: How Have They Fared?

Tech Platforms Vowed to Address Racial Equity: How Have They Fared?

Facebook and other major technology platforms pledged to improve their diversity and antiracism efforts this year in response to racial unrest in the U.S. How have they fared?


From ACM TechNews

Battery-Free IoT: These Tiny Printable Computers Harvest Energy From Radio Waves

Battery-Free IoT: These Tiny Printable Computers Harvest Energy From Radio Waves

The Wiliot Internet of Things tag is a printable chip that harvests energy from ambient radio waves, so it requires no battery.


From ACM News

2020 Put Us On the Edge of a Processor Revolution

2020 Put Us On the Edge of a Processor Revolution

Upscaled looks back at a big year for CPUs.


From ACM News

Another Arrest, and Jail Time, Due to a Bad Facial Recognition Match

Another Arrest, and Jail Time, Due to a Bad Facial Recognition Match

A New Jersey man was accused of shoplifting and trying to hit an officer with a car. He is the third known Black man to be wrongfully arrested based on face recognition.


From ACM News

Tech's Biggest Winners in 2020

Tech's Biggest Winners in 2020

This year wasn't all bad.


From ACM TechNews

MIT Discovery Offers Promise for Nonsilicon Computer Transistors

MIT Discovery Offers Promise for Nonsilicon Computer Transistors

Researchers have discovered the alloy InGaAs could potentially lead to smaller, more energy-efficient nonsilicon transistors.


From ACM TechNews

Digital Transformation Is Lopsided, Even Within the Same Organization

Digital Transformation Is Lopsided, Even Within the Same Organization

A Harvard Business Review study of organizations found "a growing divide between teams with ready access to automation and AI tools and teams without."


From ACM TechNews

Apple, Google to Stop X-Mode From Collecting Location Data From Users' Phones

Apple, Google to Stop X-Mode From Collecting Location Data From Users' Phones

Apple and Google said they will bar data broker X-Mode Social from culling location information from mobile devices running their operating systems.


From ACM News

Adding AI to Education

Adding AI to Education

Some fear artificial intelligence could replace teachers, but it has a long way to go.


From ACM News

A Rare Pandemic Silver Lining: Mental Health Start-Ups

A Rare Pandemic Silver Lining: Mental Health Start-Ups

Using teletherapy, metrics, and matching algorithms, entrepreneurs are focusing on addressing aspects of the mental health care system that they view as broken.


From ACM News

Obituary: Edmund M. Clarke, CMU Professor who Won Computer Science’s Nobel Prize Equivalent

Obituary: Edmund M. Clarke, CMU Professor who Won Computer Science’s Nobel Prize Equivalent

Clarke was best known for his work in model checking, an automated method for detecting design errors in computer hardware and software.


From ACM TechNews

A Better Kind of Cybersecurity Strategy

A Better Kind of Cybersecurity Strategy

Researchers contend Russia's use of North Korean IP addresses for a 2018 cyberattack underscored the need for a new cybersecurity strategy involving selective retaliation.


From ACM TechNews

Getting the Right Grip: Designing Soft, Sensitive Robotic Fingers

Getting the Right Grip: Designing Soft, Sensitive Robotic Fingers

A three-dimensionally printed soft robotic finger features a built-in sensor with adjustable stiffness that could pave the way for more dexterous robotic handling.


From ACM TechNews

VR Battlefield Technology Designed to Train Military Leaders

VR Battlefield Technology Designed to Train Military Leaders

Purdue University innovators generated a virtual reality model of the D-Day beaches in Normandy, France, using battlefield simulations designed to train future military leaders.


From ACM TechNews

How We Can Be Manipulated Into Sharing Private Information Online

How We Can Be Manipulated Into Sharing Private Information Online

Researchers found online users are more likely to expose private information based on the structuring of website forms.


From ACM TechNews

CIOs Expect Tech Investments to Climb in 2021

CIOs Expect Tech Investments to Climb in 2021

A survey of 45 information technology executives found that many expect tech investment will grow next year, crediting the Covid-19 pandemic for justifying more investment.


From ACM TechNews

DeepMind's AI Masters Games Without Even Being Taught the Rules

DeepMind's AI Masters Games Without Even Being Taught the Rules

The MuZero artificial intelligence developed by Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind can master games without learning their rules beforehand.


From ACM News

The Secret History of the First Microprocessor, the F-14, and Me

The Secret History of the First Microprocessor, the F-14, and Me

In a weird way, I've known Ray Holt all my life, but I never knew what he had accomplished—or how his inventions wove their way into my own family.


From ACM News

Our Digital Lives Drive a Brick-and-Mortar Boom in Datacenters

Our Digital Lives Drive a Brick-and-Mortar Boom in Datacenters

Developers and investors see more opportunities in commercial real estate as businesses and consumers gobble up more data.


From ACM TechNews

Students Find Creating Covid-19 Tracing App for School Was Easy. Navigating Fault Lines of the Teenage Pull to Socializing Was More Treacherous.

Students Find Creating Covid-19 Tracing App for School Was Easy. Navigating Fault Lines of the Teenage Pull to Socializing Was More Treacherous.

Two Marin County, CA, high school students built apps to help local schools contain the spread of Covid-19, hoping to encourage in-person attendance while maintaining pandemic safety.


From ACM TechNews

Does the Shoe Fit? Try It On with Augmented Reality

Does the Shoe Fit? Try It On with Augmented Reality

Retailers are increasingly reliant on augmented reality technology to help consumers try on products, hoping to virtually recreate the real-world shopping experience during the  pandemic.


From ACM TechNews

Farmers Get Their Own Security Advice as Cyberattacks Increase

Farmers Get Their Own Security Advice as Cyberattacks Increase

The U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center has published guidance for farmers to help guard against cyberattacks.


From ACM TechNews

Underwater Robot Designed to keep Tabs on Fish Farms

Underwater Robot Designed to keep Tabs on Fish Farms

Researchers at Norway's SINTEF institute are designing an underwater robot to autonomously inspect fish farms.


From ACM TechNews

AI, Drones, 4K Cameras: New Tech Boosts Security Systems in Japan

AI, Drones, 4K Cameras: New Tech Boosts Security Systems in Japan

Shortages of security personnel in Japan have prompted adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones, and 4K video cameras.


From ACM News

A Touch of Reality

A Touch of Reality

The field of haptics—the use of technology to simulate touch, feeling, and motion—is finally hitting its stride.


From ACM TechNews

Kazakhstan Spies on Citizens' HTTPS Traffic; Browser-Makers Fight Back

Kazakhstan Spies on Citizens' HTTPS Traffic; Browser-Makers Fight Back

Google, Mozilla, Apple, and Microsoft are partnering to stop Kazakhstan'€™s government from decrypting and reading HTTPS-encrypted traffic between citizens and overseas social media sites.


From ACM TechNews

Social Work Faculty Uses AI to Fight Substance Abuse in Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Social Work Faculty Uses AI to Fight Substance Abuse in Youth Experiencing Homelessness

The University of Pittsburgh recently received an $8-million+ National Institutes of Health grant to develop brain-computer interfaces.

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