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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


The Race to Develop the World's Best Quantum Tech
From ACM News

The Race to Develop the World's Best Quantum Tech

A few days before Christmas, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that devotes more than US $1.2 billion to a national effort dedicated to quantum...

Ethereum Plans to Cut Its Absurd Energy Consumption by 99%
From ACM TechNews

Ethereum Plans to Cut Its Absurd Energy Consumption by 99%

The Ethereum Foundation, and the broader open source movement devoted to advancing the cryptocurrency bitcoin, plan to field-test an overhaul of Ethereum's code...

Searching for the Perfect Artificial Synapse for AI
From ACM News

Searching for the Perfect Artificial Synapse for AI

What's the best type of device from which to build a neural network? Of course, it should be fast, small, consume little power, have the ability to reliably store...

IHMC Teaches Atlas to Walk Like a Human
From ACM TechNews

IHMC Teaches Atlas to Walk Like a Human

Roboticists at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition are teaching Boston Dynamics' humanoid robot Atlas a more natural walking gait.

This Plant Is Driving Its Own Robot
From ACM TechNews

This Plant Is Driving Its Own Robot

Elowan is a mobile cybernetic plant with a robotic base.

The U.S. National Academies Reports on the Prospects for Quantum Computing
From ACM TechNews

The U.S. National Academies Reports on the Prospects for Quantum Computing

A task force evaluated the feasibility of developing a functional quantum computer, emphasizing "the time and resources required, and how to assess the probability...

DeepMind Achieves Holy Grail: An AI That Can Master Games Like Chess and Go Without Human Help
From ACM News

DeepMind Achieves Holy Grail: An AI That Can Master Games Like Chess and Go Without Human Help

DeepMind, the London-based subsidiary of Alphabet, has created a system that can quickly master any game in the class that includes chess, Go, and Shogi, and do...

The Challenges of Predicting Mob Behavior at Political Rallies
From ACM TechNews

The Challenges of Predicting Mob Behavior at Political Rallies

A new model can better predict social contagions that occur at political rallies than previous methods.

Quantum Computing: Atomic Clocks Make for Longer-Lasting Qubits
From ACM News

Quantum Computing: Atomic Clocks Make for Longer-Lasting Qubits

A decade ago, quantum computing was still something of a parlor game.

Maryland Test Confirms Drones Can Safely Deliver Human Organs
From ACM TechNews

Maryland Test Confirms Drones Can Safely Deliver Human Organs

University of Maryland researchers have tested organ delivery via aerial drone.

Robots Finally Learning to Clean the Bathroom
From ACM TechNews

Robots Finally Learning to Clean the Bathroom

Researchers at the University of Koblenz-Landa in Germany developed a robotic system that was able to successfully clean at least 80% of the liquid from on and...

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course
From ACM TechNews

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course

Researchers have created robots that can adapt to their environment based on centralized sensory processing, environmental perception, and decision-making software...

How to Encode a Secret Message in a Fingerprint
From ACM TechNews

How to Encode a Secret Message in a Fingerprint

Researchers have developed a method for constructing digital fingerprints that encode secret messages into the spiral points on the prints.

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course
From ACM News

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course

When you've got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but the world starts to look more interesting if your hammer can change shape.

Tiny Drones Team Up to Open Doors
From ACM TechNews

Tiny Drones Team Up to Open Doors

Researchers have developed palm-sized drones that can forcefully tug objects 40 times their own mass by anchoring themselves to the ground or to walls.

Baidu's AI Can Do Simultaneous Translation Between Any Two Languages
From ACM News

Baidu's AI Can Do Simultaneous Translation Between Any Two Languages

Would-be travelers of the galaxy, rejoice: The Chinese tech giant Baidu has invented a translation system that brings us one step closer to a software Babel fish...

AI on a MEMS Device Brings Neuromorphic Computing to the Edge
From ACM TechNews

AI on a MEMS Device Brings Neuromorphic Computing to the Edge

Researchers have outfitted a micro-electromechanical system with artificial intelligence, enabling neuromorphic computing in a microscale device and bringing edge...

How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Bots
From ACM News

How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Bots

In the summer of 2017, a group of young political activists in the United Kingdom figured out how to use the popular dating app Tinder to attract new supporters...

AI on a MEMS Device Brings Neuromorphic Computing to the Edge
From ACM News

AI on a MEMS Device Brings Neuromorphic Computing to the Edge

In order to achieve the edge computing that people talk about in a host of applications including 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT), you need to pack...

HyQ Steps Across Gaps Despite Getting Yanked Around
From ACM TechNews

HyQ Steps Across Gaps Despite Getting Yanked Around

Researchers used a convolutional neural network to reduce the amount of time the HyQ quadruped robot needs to plan its foot placement by several orders of magnitude...
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