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Communications of the ACM

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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.


'Superhuman' AI Triumphs Playing the Toughest Board Games
From ACM TechNews

'Superhuman' AI Triumphs Playing the Toughest Board Games

DeepMind's self-learning AlphaZero algorithm has demonstrated superhuman success at complex board games including chess, shogi, and go.

Finding Alien Life May Require Giant Telescopes Built in Orbit
From ACM News

Finding Alien Life May Require Giant Telescopes Built in Orbit

After snapping the final piece into place with a satisfying "click" she feels through her spacesuit gloves, the astronaut pauses to appreciate the view.

Catching Whisky Fakers
From ACM TechNews

Catching Whisky Fakers

Researchers across Europe are applying multiple methods to combat food and beverage counterfeiting.

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts
From ACM News

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts

Behind a thin white veil separating his makeshift lab from joggers at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology indoor track, aerospace engineer Steven Barrett recently...

Will NASA's Next Mission to Venus Be a Balloon?
From ACM News

Will NASA's Next Mission to Venus Be a Balloon?

After decades of neglect, hellish and cloud-enveloped Venus—sometimes called Earth's evil twin—is a world ready and waiting for renewed exploration.

Artificial Intelligence Is Learning to Keep Learning
From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Is Learning to Keep Learning

What if you stopped learning after graduation? It sounds stultifying, but that is how most machine-learning systems are trained.

What Does a Crooked Election Look Like?
From ACM News

What Does a Crooked Election Look Like?

For voters around the world, including the millions of Americans who will cast ballots in the midterms up to and on November 6, an election is democracy in action—an...

'Optical Tweezers' and Tools Used for Laser Eye Surgery Snag Physics Nobel
From ACM News

'Optical Tweezers' and Tools Used for Laser Eye Surgery Snag Physics Nobel

Optical physicists Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland have won this year's Nobel Prize in Physics for "groundbreaking inventions in the field of...

How to Make a Robot Use Theory of Mind
From ACM News

How to Make a Robot Use Theory of Mind

Imagine standing in an elevator as the doors begin to close and suddenly seeing a couple at the end of the corridor running toward you.

How Cryptojacking Can Corrupt the Internet of Things
From ACM News

How Cryptojacking Can Corrupt the Internet of Things

Cyber criminals shut down parts of the Web in October 2016 by attacking the computers that serve as the internet's switchboard.

New AI System Can Imagine What It Hasn't Seen
From ACM News

New AI System Can Imagine What It Hasn't Seen

"Before we work on artificial intelligence, why don't we do something about natural stupidity?" computer scientist Steve Polyak once joked.

Gravitational Waves Reveal the Hearts of Neutron Stars
From ACM News

Gravitational Waves Reveal the Hearts of Neutron Stars

Inside a neutron star—the city-size, hyperdense cinder left after a supernova—modern physics plunges off the edge of the map.

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?
From ACM TechNews

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?

Intel Labs' Jim Clarke observes that the race to develop the first practical quantum computer is fraught with challenges.

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?
From ACM Opinion

How Close Are We, Really, to Building a Quantum Computer?

The race is on to build the world's first meaningful quantum computer—one that can deliver the technology's long-promised ability to help scientists do things like...

The Most Important Inventor You've Never Heard Of
From ACM Careers

The Most Important Inventor You've Never Heard Of

When The Economist called Stanford Ovshinsky "the Edison of our age," the name might have been unfamiliar to most people, but the comparison was apt.

The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery
From ACM News

The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery

Ken Shen was racing against the sun.

Human Brain Gain: Computer Models Hint at Why We Bested Neandertals
From ACM News

Human Brain Gain: Computer Models Hint at Why We Bested Neandertals

The parallel existence of an intelligent species closely related to us has long fascinated scientists and the public alike.

'Bar Codes' Could Trace Errant Brain Wiring in Autism and Schizophrenia
From ACM News

'Bar Codes' Could Trace Errant Brain Wiring in Autism and Schizophrenia

Neuroscientists today know a lot about how individual neurons operate but remarkably little about how large numbers of them work together to produce thoughts, feelings...

How Twitter Bots Help Fuel Political Feuds
From ACM TechNews

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.

Looking for Planet Nine, Astronomers Gaze into the Abyss
From ACM News

Looking for Planet Nine, Astronomers Gaze into the Abyss

It's been just over two years since Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin made an explosive claim: Based on the orbital motion of objects in the...
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