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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.


Face Recognition for Pigs Could Improve Welfare on Farms
From ACM TechNews

Face Recognition for Pigs Could Improve Welfare on Farms

Wenhao Zhang and colleagues at the U.K.'s University of the West of England have developed a facial recognition system for pigs.

Sensory Trick Makes Objects Seem Heavy or Light in VR
From ACM TechNews

Sensory Trick Makes Objects Seem Heavy or Light in VR

Vibrating pads on people's arms can support a more convincing illusion of weight in virtual reality by fooling the brain into ignoring certain sensory input.

Apps Used as Alternatives to Prison in U.S. Have Privacy Flaws
From ACM TechNews

Apps Used as Alternatives to Prison in U.S. Have Privacy Flaws

Researchers found privacy flaws in apps used in the U.S. to track people waiting for immigration court dates, those in juvenile detention systems, and those on...

DeepMind AI Learns to Play Soccer Using Decades of Match Simulations
From ACM TechNews

DeepMind AI Learns to Play Soccer Using Decades of Match Simulations

Researchers trained an artificial intellgence to play soccer using an athletic curriculum resembling an accelerated model of a human baby maturing into a soccer...

Earthquakes Seem to Come in a More Predictable Pattern Than We Thought
From ACM TechNews

Earthquakes Seem to Come in a More Predictable Pattern Than We Thought

A machine learning model developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis can analyze decades of earthquake data to predict future earthquakes.

Computer Runs Calculations Depending on How You Squish It
From ACM TechNews

Computer Runs Calculations Depending on How You Squish It

Pennsylvania State University researchers built a soft computer from rows of rubber blocks that performs different calculations based on how it is squished.

Your Smartphone Could Recognize You by How You Hold It
From ACM TechNews

Your Smartphone Could Recognize You by How You Hold It

Researchers trained an artificial intelligence-powered algorithm to identify individuals based their hand vibrations when holding a smartphone.

Quantum Computers Might Not Offer Extreme Speed Boost for Chemistry
From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computers Might Not Offer Extreme Speed Boost for Chemistry

New research suggests the required computing power could diminish quantum computing's exponential speed advantage.

Artificial Neuron Swaps Dopamine with Rat Brain Cells Like a Real One
From ACM TechNews

Artificial Neuron Swaps Dopamine with Rat Brain Cells Like a Real One

Could be incorporated into future human-machine interfaces.

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.
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