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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.


 Controversial Tool Calls Out Thousands of Hackable Websites
From ACM News

Controversial Tool Calls Out Thousands of Hackable Websites

PunkSpider is back, and crawling hundreds of millions of sites for vulnerabilities.

Trucks Move Past Cars on the Road to Autonomy
From ACM News

Trucks Move Past Cars on the Road to Autonomy

Money is pouring into autonomous trucking startups, just as many are souring on the short-term prospects for self-driving cars.

The Pentagon Is Bolstering Its AI Systems—by Hacking Itself
From ACM News

The Pentagon Is Bolstering Its AI Systems—by Hacking Itself

A new "red team" will try to anticipate and thwart attacks on machine learning programs.

Rats Took Over This Pacific Island. Now Drones Are Leading the Fightback
From ACM TechNews

Rats Took Over This Pacific Island. Now Drones Are Leading the Fightback

The conservation group Island Conservation plans to use drones to try to eliminate rats on Tetiaroa atoll and two other islands in French Polynesia, beginning in...

U.S. Says Humans Will Always Be In Control of AI Weapons, but the Age of Autonomous War is Already Here
From ACM News

U.S. Says Humans Will Always Be In Control of AI Weapons, but the Age of Autonomous War is Already Here

The Pentagon says a ban on AI weapons isn't necessary, But missiles, guns and drones that think for themselves already kill people in combat, and have been for...

A Global Smart-City Competition Highlights China's Rise in AI
From ACM News

A Global Smart-City Competition Highlights China's Rise in AI

Chinese entrants swept all five categories, featuring technologies to improve civic life. But the advances could also be tools for surveillance.

Alondra Nelson Wants to Make Science and Tech More Just
From ACM News

Alondra Nelson Wants to Make Science and Tech More Just

The deputy director of the White House science office plans to tackle algorithmic bias and start candid conversations about the past.

NFC Flaws Let Researchers Hack ATMs by Waving a Phone
From ACM TechNews

NFC Flaws Let Researchers Hack ATMs by Waving a Phone

An Android app can exploit flaws in near-field communication systems, enabling ATMs and a variety of point-of-sale terminals to be hacked.

Algorithm That Predicts Deadly Infections Is Often Flawed
From ACM TechNews

Algorithm That Predicts Deadly Infections Is Often Flawed

An algorithm designed to forecast sepsis infections is significantly lacking in accuracy.

Algorithm that Predicts Deadly Infections is Often Flawed
From ACM News

Algorithm that Predicts Deadly Infections is Often Flawed

A study found that a system used to identify cases of sepsis missed most instances and frequently issued false alarms.

How Apps and VR Therapy Can Help OCD Patients
From ACM News

How Apps and VR Therapy Can Help OCD Patients

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often misunderstood. Here's what it is, and how those with OCD can use technology to help navigate uncertainty.

U.K. Has a Plan for a New 'Pandemic Radar' System
From ACM News

U.K. Has a Plan for a New 'Pandemic Radar' System

Disease surveillance schemes to catch the next rising virus already exist—they're just not communicating with each other.

Apple’s M1 Chip Has a Fascinating Flaw
From ACM News

Apple’s M1 Chip Has a Fascinating Flaw

The covert channel bug is harmless, but it demonstrates that even new CPUs have mistakes in them.

As Chips Shrink, Rowhammer Attacks Get Harder to Stop
From ACM News

As Chips Shrink, Rowhammer Attacks Get Harder to Stop

A full fix for the "Half-Double" technique will require rethinking how memory semiconductors are designed.

AI Could Soon Write Code Based on Ordinary Language
From ACM News

AI Could Soon Write Code Based on Ordinary Language

Microsoft reveals plans to bring GPT-3, best known for generating text, to programming. "The code writes itself," CEO Satya Nadella says.

Prabhakar Raghavan Isn't CEO of Google—He Just Runs the Place
From ACM News

Prabhakar Raghavan Isn't CEO of Google—He Just Runs the Place

In his first interview since taking a top job, Raghavan gets into the future of search, misinformation, employee ferment, and robots making phone calls.

The Pentagon Inches Toward Letting AI Control Weapons
From ACM News

The Pentagon Inches Toward Letting AI Control Weapons

Drills involving swarms of drones raise questions about whether machines could outperform a human operator in complex scenarios.

Ford's Ever-Smarter Robots Are Speeding Up the Assembly Line
From ACM News

Ford's Ever-Smarter Robots Are Speeding Up the Assembly Line

A transmission factory shows how artificial intelligence may creep into industrial processes in gradual and often imperceptible ways.

This Researcher Says AI Is Neither Artificial nor Intelligent
From ACM News

This Researcher Says AI Is Neither Artificial nor Intelligent

Kate Crawford, who holds positions at USC and Microsoft, says in a new book that even experts working on the technology misunderstand AI.

Now for AI's Latest Trick: Writing Computer Code
From ACM News

Now for AI's Latest Trick: Writing Computer Code

Programs such as GPT-3 can compose convincing text. Some people are using the tool to automate software development and hunt for bugs.
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