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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.


Robot Unties Knotted Cables but Can't Pick Them Up
From ACM TechNews

Robot Unties Knotted Cables but Can't Pick Them Up

University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) researchers have developed a robot that can untie knotted cables using the grippers on its arms.

How the Secrets of Ancient Cuneiform Texts Are Being Revealed by AI
From ACM TechNews

How the Secrets of Ancient Cuneiform Texts Are Being Revealed by AI

Artificial intelligence is being used to read and translate cuneiform, helping to recreate ancient libraries by piecing together fragmented tablets and predicting...

Flexible Robot Hand with Precise Grip Lifts 1,000 Times Its Own Weight
From ACM TechNews

Flexible Robot Hand with Precise Grip Lifts 1,000 Times Its Own Weight

Researchers have developed artificial muscles using a three-dimensional printer and tiny actuators that convert energy into movement.

AI Learns to Recognize Species of Splatted Mosquitoes
From ACM TechNews

AI Learns to Recognize Species of Splatted Mosquitoes

Artificial intelligence taught to identify living and dead mosquitoes could help monitor the species most complicit in transmitting diseases.

Fiber-Optic Cables Could Be Used for Spying
From ACM TechNews

Fiber-Optic Cables Could Be Used for Spying

Device can eavesdrop on people up to 1 km away using existing fiber-optic cables.

Headline Tricks Make People Share News Stories on Facebook
From ACM TechNews

Headline Tricks Make People Share News Stories on Facebook

Usual punctuation in headlines can make people more likely to share news stories on Facebook, although asking questions is less likely to encourage engagement. ...

Computer Component Could Use as Little Energy as Physically Possible
From ACM TechNews

Computer Component Could Use as Little Energy as Physically Possible

Researchers built a nanomechanical logic gate that uses vibrations for information processing rather than electrons.

Quantum Computer Cools Itself by Performing Calculations
From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computer Cools Itself by Performing Calculations

A small diamond-based quantum computer performs a sequence of mathematical operations to cool itself.

Acoustic Levitation Used to Build Complex Structures in Mid-Air
From ACM TechNews

Acoustic Levitation Used to Build Complex Structures in Mid-Air

A new system incorporates a robotic arm that generates sound waves to levitate and move objects to build complex structures in mid-air without touching the parts...

Seventy-Five Percent of the World's Top Websites Allow Bad Passwords
From ACM TechNews

Seventy-Five Percent of the World's Top Websites Allow Bad Passwords

Princeton University's Arvind Narayanan and colleagues found 75% of 120 top-ranked English-language websites permit weak passwords.

Google Wants to Challenge AI with 200 Tasks, to Replace the Turing Test
From ACM TechNews

Google Wants to Challenge AI with 200 Tasks, to Replace the Turing Test

Artificial intelligence researchers have proposed an update to the Turing test for rating the capabilities of AI technology.

3D Rabbit 'Hologram' Created by Levitating Screen Using Sound Waves
From ACM TechNews

3D Rabbit 'Hologram' Created by Levitating Screen Using Sound Waves

An algorithm developed by researchers at the U.K.'s University College London can generate "holograms" by acoustically levitating objects.

Global Satellite Map Will Help Hunt Down Illegal Fishing Vessels
From ACM TechNews

Global Satellite Map Will Help Hunt Down Illegal Fishing Vessels

A new digital map uses satellite radar imagery to identify potential illegal fishing vessels.

Robot Can Find Keys in a Bag by Listening as It Rummages
From ACM TechNews

Robot Can Find Keys in a Bag by Listening as It Rummages

Stanford University researchers trained a microphone-outfitted robotic arm to locate objects like keys in a handbag by listening for telltale sounds while searching...

AI Translates Math Problems into Code to Make Them Easier to Solve
From ACM TechNews

AI Translates Math Problems into Code to Make Them Easier to Solve

Researchers used the Codex neural network of artificial intelligence research company OpenAI to translate mathematical problems from plain English into formal code...

Advanced Quantum Computer Available to the Public
From ACM TechNews

Advanced Quantum Computer Available to the Public

The researchers behind a quantum computer that encodes data in pulses of light have connected it to the Internet and made it available for public use.

Quantum Computer Could Catch Its Own Errors
From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computer Could Catch Its Own Errors

A team of Austrian and German scientists has constructed a 16-quantum bit computer that runs error-free calculations.

Smart Contact Lens for Glaucoma Could Release Drugs When Needed
From ACM TechNews

Smart Contact Lens for Glaucoma Could Release Drugs When Needed

A prototype wireless contact lens could help treat glaucoma by automatically dispensing drugs when pressure inside the eye becomes excessive.

Virtual Tennis Racket Uses Air Jet to Recreate Feel of Hitting Ball
From ACM TechNews

Virtual Tennis Racket Uses Air Jet to Recreate Feel of Hitting Ball

Researchers have developed the AirRacket, a virtual reality controller that emits bursts of compressed air to simulate a ball's impact in racket sports.

AIs Could Be Hacked with Undetectable Backdoors to Make Bad Decisions
From ACM TechNews

AIs Could Be Hacked with Undetectable Backdoors to Make Bad Decisions

Renegade staff theoretically could insert undetectable backdoors in third-party artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, enabling hackers to commandeer the AIs...
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