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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.


An Extra Challenge in a Crisis: Dealing With Rare Languages
From ACM TechNews

An Extra Challenge in a Crisis: Dealing With Rare Languages

Researchers at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute are building machine-learning systems to quickly translate any of the world's...

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains
From ACM News

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

We expect a lot from our computers these days. They should talk to us, recognize everything from faces to flowers, and maybe soon do the driving.

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm
From ACM TechNews

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved Using Computer Algorithm

Researchers at the University of Illinois have proposed a computer algorithm that could ease congressional districting and make the process fairer for constituents...

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans
From ACM News

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Everyone knows that distracted driving is a problem, but it tends to fall in the "other people/not me" category of personal risk assessment among drivers.

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Says We Need to Start Over
From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Says We Need to Start Over

Hinton suggested that, to get to where neural networks are able to become intelligent on their own, "I suspect that means getting rid of back-propagation."

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . .  How AI Protects Us
From ACM News

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . . How AI Protects Us

For some, the spread of artificial intelligence and robotics poses a threat to our privacy, our jobs – even our safety, as more and more tasks are handed over to...

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not
From ACM News

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

A whiff of dystopian creepiness has long wafted in the air whenever facial recognition has come up. Books, movies and television shows have portrayed the technology...

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke
From ACM Opinion

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke

Creating noodling piano tunes and endless configurations of cat drawings with AI may not sound like an obvious project for Google, but it makes a lot of sense to...

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB
From ACM News

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB

The chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday "operational limitations" in the Tesla Model S played a "major role" in a May...

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles
From ACM News

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles

Nissa Scott started working at the cavernous Amazon warehouse in southern New Jersey late last year, stacking plastic bins the size of small ottomans.

In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own
From ACM News

In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own

The robot was perched over a bin filled with random objects, from a box of instant oatmeal to a small toy shark.

Geneticists Pan Paper that Claims to Predict a Person's Face from Their DNA
From ACM News

Geneticists Pan Paper that Claims to Predict a Person's Face from Their DNA

A storm of criticism has rained down on a paper by genome-sequencing pioneer Craig Venter that claims to predict people's physical traits from their DNA.

New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools
From ACM TechNews

New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools

Syncphonia is a new application that enables a music teacher to deconstruct a piece of music into its component parts, so each player's part is displayed individually...

New Software Can Detect When People Text and Drive
From ACM TechNews

New Software Can Detect When People Text and Drive

New algorithms can accurately determine when drivers are texting or engaged in other distracting activities.

For Superpowers, Artificial Intelligence Fuels New Global Arms Race
From ACM News

For Superpowers, Artificial Intelligence Fuels New Global Arms Race

For many Russian students, the academic year started last Friday with tips on planetary domination from President Vladimir Putin.

Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano
From ACM Opinion

Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano

People get up to weird things in New Zealand.

In a High-Tech World, Car Designers Still Rely on Clay
From ACM Careers

In a High-Tech World, Car Designers Still Rely on Clay

Car designers have every kind of software and virtual reality tool. But when they want to make sure a car's curves look just right, they rely on one of the world's...

How to Make Robots That We Can Trust
From ACM TechNews

How to Make Robots That We Can Trust

The design of trustworthy autonomous systems must entail consideration of the ability to explain decisions and recourse options when things go awry.

How Apple Finally Made Siri Sound More Human
From ACM News

How Apple Finally Made Siri Sound More Human

The first time Alex Acero saw Her, he watched it like a normal person.

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype
From ACM News

Facebook AI Learns Human Reactions After Watching Hours of Skype

There's something not quite right about humanoid robots.
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