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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.


Distracted Driver and Braking Error Cited in Autonomous Uber Car's Fatal Crash
From ACM Careers

Distracted Driver and Braking Error Cited in Autonomous Uber Car's Fatal Crash

More than a second before a self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in March, the vehicle's computer system determined it needed to brake...

Computer Redesigns Enzyme
From ACM TechNews

Computer Redesigns Enzyme

Biotechnologists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands used a computational method to convert aspartase to a catalyst for asymmetric hydroamination...

Getting Hooked on Tech
From Communications of the ACM

Getting Hooked on Tech

Are technology companies maximizing profits by making users addicted to their products?

How AI and IoT Smart Sensors Are Preserving a Lake Ecosystem
From ACM TechNews

How AI and IoT Smart Sensors Are Preserving a Lake Ecosystem

Researchers have deployed a network composed of platforms, weather stations, tributary monitors, and acoustic Doppler current profiles to attain information on...

'Virtual Safe Space' to Help Bumblebees
From ACM TechNews

'Virtual Safe Space' to Help Bumblebees

A "virtual safe space" tests the threats that face bumblebees.

The Way Toddlers Waddle Can Teach Robot Footballers How to Play
From ACM TechNews

The Way Toddlers Waddle Can Teach Robot Footballers How to Play

A team of researchers has found that a team of robot football (soccer) players trained to mimic how infant humans walk can beat other robots trained on geometric...

New Toronto Declaration Calls on Algorithms to Respect Human Rights
From ACM News

New Toronto Declaration Calls on Algorithms to Respect Human Rights

"In a world of machine learning systems, who will bear accountability for harming human rights?"

What Is GDPR and How Will It Affect You?
From ACM News

What Is GDPR and How Will It Affect You?

You could be forgiven for thinking that Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law created to fill your inbox with identikit warnings from every...

Eye Scanner Can Tell If You've Mastered a Foreign Language
From ACM TechNews

Eye Scanner Can Tell If You've Mastered a Foreign Language

A new algorithm monitors a person's unconscious eye movements as they read, to assess their proficiency in a foreign language.

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect
From ACM News

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect

Judea Pearl, a pioneering figure in artificial intelligence, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut. His prescription for progress? Teach machines...

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI
From ACM News

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI

One day last summer, Microsoft's director of artificial intelligence research, Eric Horvitz, activated the Autopilot function of his Tesla sedan.

Robot Teaches Itself How to Dress People
From ACM TechNews

Robot Teaches Itself How to Dress People

A team of researchers says it has developed a robot that helps hospital patients slide on their gowns.

How Can We Be Sure AI Will Behave? Perhaps by Watching It Argue With Itself
From ACM TechNews

How Can We Be Sure AI Will Behave? Perhaps by Watching It Argue With Itself

Researchers say having two artificial intelligence systems debate a particular goal could ensure that they behave reliably when executing complex functions.

Inside Google, a Debate Rages: Should It Sell Artificial Intelligence to the Military?
From ACM Careers

Inside Google, a Debate Rages: Should It Sell Artificial Intelligence to the Military?

Last July, 13 U.S. military commanders and technology executives met at the Pentagon's Silicon Valley outpost, two miles from Google headquarters.

Critical PGP and S/MIME Bugs can Reveal Encrypted Emails—Uninstall Now
From ACM News

Critical PGP and S/MIME Bugs can Reveal Encrypted Emails—Uninstall Now

The flaws can expose emails sent in the past and "pose an immediate threat."

Why A.I. and Cryptocurrency Are Making One Type of Computer Chip Scarce
From ACM News

Why A.I. and Cryptocurrency Are Making One Type of Computer Chip Scarce

Two technology booms—some people might call them frenzies—are combining to turn a once-obscure type of microprocessor into a must-have but scarce commodity.

Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks
From ACM TechNews

Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks

Researchers in Singapore have developed cyborg flying beetles.

Are Human Brains Quantum Computers?
From ACM News

Are Human Brains Quantum Computers?

Research project could explain how memory, and the brain's biology, works.

Facebook Adds A.I. Labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Pressuring Local Universities
From ACM News

Facebook Adds A.I. Labs in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Pressuring Local Universities

At a conference in Silicon Valley this week, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, vowed that his company would "keep building" despite a swirl of questions...
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