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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.

March 2018


From ACM News

Need to Make a Molecule? Ask This AI for Instructions

Need to Make a Molecule? Ask This AI for Instructions

Chemists have a new lab assistant: artificial intelligence. Researchers have developed a "deep learning" computer program that produces blueprints for the sequences of reactions needed to create small organic molecules, such …


From ACM News

To Speed Up AI, Mix Memory and Processing

To Speed Up AI, Mix Memory and Processing

If John von Neumann were designing a computer today, there's no way he would build a thick wall between processing and memory. At least, that's what computer engineer Naresh Shanbhag of the ­University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign…


From ACM TechNews

Watch a Computer Learn to Play 'Doom' Inside a Dream

Watch a Computer Learn to Play 'Doom' Inside a Dream

Researchers taught a machine to "hallucinate" its idea of the video game "Doom," then got a virtual agent to play its own dream version of the game so it could learn to play the real thing.


From ACM TechNews

Overcoming a Battery's Fatal Flaw

Overcoming a Battery's Fatal Flaw

Researchers are using the Stampede and Lonestar supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to develop next-generation lithium-metal batteries.


From ACM TechNews

Future Electric Cars Could Recharge Wirelessly While You Drive

Future Electric Cars Could Recharge Wirelessly While You Drive

Researchers are working on the development of electric vehicles that one day may be able to charge while driving, by drawing wireless power from plates installed in the road.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Develop Tooth-Mounted Sensors That Can Track What You Eat

Scientists Develop Tooth-Mounted Sensors That Can Track What You Eat

Tufts University researchers have built tooth-mounted sensors that collect information on one's glucose, salt, and alcohol intake.


From ACM TechNews

Ultrasound Patch Could Make it Easier to Inspect Damage in Odd-Shaped Structures

Ultrasound Patch Could Make it Easier to Inspect Damage in Odd-Shaped Structures

A new flexible patch could help perform ultrasound imaging on objects difficult to inspect with conventional ultrasound equipment.


From ACM News

Companies Seek Ways to Hold On to Customer Data Under New EU Privacy Law

Companies Seek Ways to Hold On to Customer Data Under New EU Privacy Law

Nicholas Oliver gathers reams of personal information about users of his mobile app: age, sex, location, profession, relationship status, and more—and uses it to send them targeted advertising.


From ACM News

'Marsquakes' Could Shake Up Planetary Science

'Marsquakes' Could Shake Up Planetary Science

Starting next year, scientists will get their first look deep below the surface of Mars.


From ACM News

The Scant Science Behind Cambridge Analytica's Controversial Marketing Techniques 

The Scant Science Behind Cambridge Analytica's Controversial Marketing Techniques 

The practices of Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm involved in US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, have made headlines around the world this month.


From ACM TechNews

Weird Magnetic Behavior Could Improve Computer Memory

Weird Magnetic Behavior Could Improve Computer Memory

A new study suggests an unusual magnetic phenomenon could yield efficient, low-power computer memory.


From ACM TechNews

Princeton Senior Uses Big Data to Examine Global Digital Gender Gap

Princeton Senior Uses Big Data to Examine Global Digital Gender Gap

A Princeton University student used Facebook's advertising audience estimates to reveal insights on the global digital gender gap.


From ACM TechNews

Mobile Apps Could Hold Key to Parkinson's Research, Care

Mobile Apps Could Hold Key to Parkinson's Research, Care

Smartphone software and technology can furnish an objective measure of the progression of Parkinson's disease symptoms.


From ACM TechNews

Deep Learning Model as Accurate as Radiologists Determining Age of Child Bones

Deep Learning Model as Accurate as Radiologists Determining Age of Child Bones

Researchers have demonstrated that a deep learning convolutional network model can estimate bone age as well as human radiologists.


From ACM News

Earbud Translators: Not Perfect, Still Handy

Earbud Translators: Not Perfect, Still Handy

Utility is high, even though the translations may be limited.


From ACM News

Are We Already Living in Virtual Reality?

Are We Already Living in Virtual Reality?

Thomas Metzinger had his first out-of-body experience when he was nineteen.


From ACM News

A Needle in a Legal Haystack Could Sink a Major Supreme Court Privacy Case

A Needle in a Legal Haystack Could Sink a Major Supreme Court Privacy Case

It looks like one of the marquee cases before the U.S. Supreme Court is about to go bust—sabotaged by a needle in a legislative haystack.


From ACM TechNews

How Twitter Bots Help Fuel Political Feuds

How Twitter Bots Help Fuel Political Feuds

Researchers in the U.S. and China are studying a "misinformation network" related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


From ACM TechNews

Atomically Thin Light-Emitting Device Opens the Possibility for 'Invisible' Displays

Atomically Thin Light-Emitting Device Opens the Possibility for 'Invisible' Displays

Engineers have built a millimeters-wide bright-light-emitting device that is fully transparent when deactivated.


From ACM TechNews

UCR Researchers Take Up Fight Against Fake News

UCR Researchers Take Up Fight Against Fake News

Researchers are developing ways to address problems in social network analysis, including dissemination of malicious misinformation.


From ACM TechNews

Could These Grain-Sized Computers Using Blockchain Networks Thwart Counterfeiters?

Could These Grain-Sized Computers Using Blockchain Networks Thwart Counterfeiters?

IBM researchers have developed granular microcomputers that could work with a blockchain electronic ledger to verify and track any product.


From ACM TechNews

Meet the Robot That Can Mimic Human Emotion

Meet the Robot That Can Mimic Human Emotion

Charles is a robot that can mimic human facial expressions.


From ACM TechNews

Computers Made From Human Cells Could Tell You When You're Sick

Computers Made From Human Cells Could Tell You When You're Sick

Researchers say they have created the world's most complex biological computer, a group of engineered cells that could be implanted into the human body.


From ACM News

NSA Funds Summer Camp for Girls at SD Mines to Train the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Experts

NSA Funds Summer Camp for Girls at SD Mines to Train the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Experts


From ACM News

What Lies Beneath: The Things Facebook Knows Go Beyond User Data

What Lies Beneath: The Things Facebook Knows Go Beyond User Data

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations regarding the exposure of profile data for millions of users, Facebook is now facing an investigation into its data-collection practices by the Federal Trade Commission.


From ACM News

Kepler Beyond Planets: Finding Exploding Stars

Kepler Beyond Planets: Finding Exploding Stars

Astronomer Ed Shaya was in his office looking at data from NASA's Kepler space telescope in 2012 when he noticed something unusual: The light from a galaxy had quickly brightened by 10 percent.


From ACM News

The Secret Science That Rules Crowds

The Secret Science That Rules Crowds

Sometimes, being part of a large crowd can be worse than uncomfortable: it can turn lethal. Deadly crowd crushes that occurred in 2017 include incidents in an Angolan football stadium, an Italian piazza and a Moroccan food aid…


From ACM TechNews

USC ISI Researchers Develop Computational Methods to Uncover Hidden Trends in Human Behavior

USC ISI Researchers Develop Computational Methods to Uncover Hidden Trends in Human Behavior

Researchers have mined sensor data collected from volunteers to discover hidden trends in well-being, academic performance, and behavior.


From ACM TechNews

Not Even AI Can Make Total Sense of a Privacy Policy

Not Even AI Can Make Total Sense of a Privacy Policy

A new tool uses artificial intelligence to crawl 7,000 of the Web's most popular sites to flag privacy policy issues of potential concern to specific users.


From ACM TechNews

These Micro-Robots Do the Breaststoke

These Micro-Robots Do the Breaststoke

Researchers placed magnetized spheres into a solution and subjected them to an "eccentric magnetic field" so they self-assemble with smaller spheres, attached by virtual hinges.

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