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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.


Replacing Your Boss With a Cruel Robot Could Make You Concentrate More
From ACM TechNews

Replacing Your Boss With a Cruel Robot Could Make You Concentrate More

A mean robot could motivate human employees to improve their cognitive performance, compared to supervision by a friendly robot or no robot supervision, researchers...

The Underwater Drones That Hunt for Oil Spills
From ACM TechNews

The Underwater Drones That Hunt for Oil Spills

Researchers at the Technical University of Cartagena in Spain deployed five autonomous underwater vehicles to locate and track oil spills below the surface of the...

AI Camera to Help Spot the Best Grapes for Making Pesticide-Free Wine
From ACM TechNews

AI Camera to Help Spot the Best Grapes for Making Pesticide-Free Wine

Researchers in Germany have developed a mobile laboratory to automate and accelerate the process of checking the wax coverage of grapes, a task prone to human error...

Think Your Surfing Is Secret in Private Browsing Mode? Think Again
From ACM TechNews

Think Your Surfing Is Secret in Private Browsing Mode? Think Again

Many computer users incorrectly believe private browsing protects them against computer viruses, targeted ads, geolocation, and tracking by employers and governments...

Delivery Drones Can Learn to See, Dodge Obstacles In-Flight
From ACM TechNews

Delivery Drones Can Learn to See, Dodge Obstacles In-Flight

The University of Zurich in Switzerland and Intel  jointly developed a method to enable aerial drones to learn to avoid in-flight collisions.

How to Stop Artificial Intelligence Being Biased
From ACM TechNews

How to Stop Artificial Intelligence Being Biased

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany have developed a new method to avoid embedding bias into machine learning algorithms....

4 Tweets Can Reveal the Identity of an Anonymous Troll
From ACM TechNews

4 Tweets Can Reveal the Identity of an Anonymous Troll

Four geotagged posts are sufficient to identify an anonymous account from a telephone company's database of customers.

A Robot Has Performed Eye Surgery on Humans for the First Time
From ACM TechNews

A Robot Has Performed Eye Surgery on Humans for the First Time

Researchers used a robot developed to can perform eye surgery on humans to help six patients who needed a membrane removed from their retina to improve their vision...

Underwater Robot Finds Second World War Bomber Plane on Seabed
From ACM TechNews

Underwater Robot Finds Second World War Bomber Plane on Seabed

Harvey Mudd College researchers have developed a novel autonomous underwater vehicle that can explore the sea floor looking for signs of wrecked ships.

Anti-Swearing AI Takes the Edge Off Abuse on Reddit and Twitter
From ACM TechNews

Anti-Swearing AI Takes the Edge Off Abuse on Reddit and Twitter

IBM researchers have developed a system that translates offensive comments on social media into more polite language, while keeping the content intact.

Watch Real Football Matches in Miniature Played on Your Desk
From ACM TechNews

Watch Real Football Matches in Miniature Played on Your Desk

Researchers have taught a machine learning neural network algorithm to render two-dimensional video clips posted on YouTube as three-dimensional  images.

The Way Toddlers Waddle Can Teach Robot Footballers How to Play
From ACM TechNews

The Way Toddlers Waddle Can Teach Robot Footballers How to Play

A team of researchers has found that a team of robot football (soccer) players trained to mimic how infant humans walk can beat other robots trained on geometric...

Eye Scanner Can Tell If You've Mastered a Foreign Language
From ACM TechNews

Eye Scanner Can Tell If You've Mastered a Foreign Language

A new algorithm monitors a person's unconscious eye movements as they read, to assess their proficiency in a foreign language.

Monkey Face Recognition App Can Help Spot Endangered Primates
From ACM TechNews

Monkey Face Recognition App Can Help Spot Endangered Primates

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a mobile application that can identify and track primates in the wild from facial photos.

Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks
From ACM TechNews

Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks

Researchers in Singapore have developed cyborg flying beetles.

U.S. Army Makes a Virtual North Korea for Training
From ACM TechNews

U.S. Army Makes a Virtual North Korea for Training

The U.S. Army is creating a virtual duplicate of our planet in which to drill troops.

Making Custom Qubits by Pushing Together Two Individual Atoms
From ACM TechNews

Making Custom Qubits by Pushing Together Two Individual Atoms

Researchers have used laser beams to manipulate a sodium atom and a caesium atom into a single, asymmetrical molecule, making it potentially useful for quantum...

Need a New Look? Facebook's AI Fashion Designer Has Some Ideas
From ACM TechNews

Need a New Look? Facebook's AI Fashion Designer Has Some Ideas

Researchers used generative adversarial networks to produce fashion items including handbags, jumpers, and T-shirts.

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

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.

AI Cheats at Old Atari Games by Finding Unknown Bugs in the Code
From ACM TechNews

AI Cheats at Old Atari Games by Finding Unknown Bugs in the Code

A new algorithm plays Atari games and advances within them either by baiting an enemy to kill itself, or by exploiting bugs that allow the algorithm to cheat.
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