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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.


How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out
From ACM News

How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out

Hal Abelson, a renowned computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was working the classroom, coffee cup in hand, pacing back and forth.

Washington Fears New Threat from 'Deepfake' Videos
From ACM News

Washington Fears New Threat from 'Deepfake' Videos

Lawmakers and experts are sounding the alarm about "deepfakes," forged videos that look remarkably real, warning they will be the next phase in disinformation campaigns...

Mysterious Planet Nine Hiding Beyond Neptune Might Not Be a Planet at All
From ACM News

Mysterious Planet Nine Hiding Beyond Neptune Might Not Be a Planet at All

Out past Neptune, something weird is happening to the orbits of a bunch of space rocks circling the sun. Something, scientists believed, that could only be described...

We'd Have More Quantum Computers If It Weren't So Hard to Find the Damn Cables
From ACM News

We'd Have More Quantum Computers If It Weren't So Hard to Find the Damn Cables

Blake Johnson spends a lot of time thinking about things like superconducting cables and supercooled refrigerators.

Giving Algorithms a Sense of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical
From ACM News

Giving Algorithms a Sense of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical

Algorithms are increasingly being used to make ethical decisions. Perhaps the best example of this is a high-tech take on the ethical dilemma known as the trolley...

Hidden History of the Milky Way Revealed by Extensive Star Maps
From ACM News

Hidden History of the Milky Way Revealed by Extensive Star Maps

Last April, Amina Helmi felt goose bumps while driving to work in the northern Netherlands. It had nothing to do with the weather—it was pure anticipation. Just...

Efficiency, Innovation Mark Research In Future Memories
From ACM News

Efficiency, Innovation Mark Research In Future Memories

The U.S. National Science Foundation is exploring multiple approaches.

Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object 'Oumuamua
From ACM Opinion

Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Object 'Oumuamua

On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as "a red...

Imaging Ever Closer to the Event Horizon
From ACM News

Imaging Ever Closer to the Event Horizon

While black holes themselves swallow any light beyond their event horizon, the area outside the event horizon tends to emit lots of light.

Mobile Providers at Center of Privacy Storm
From ACM News

Mobile Providers at Center of Privacy Storm

Major wireless providers are facing new scrutiny into their privacy practices after a bombshell report sparked a public outcry and questions from lawmakers.

Robotic Milkers and an Automated Greenhouse: Inside a High-Tech Small Farm
From ACM News

Robotic Milkers and an Automated Greenhouse: Inside a High-Tech Small Farm

About 150 Jersey cows in the rolling terrain at Rivendale Farms in Bulger, some 25 miles west of Pittsburgh, wear Fitbit-like collars that monitor their movement...

The Super-Secure Quantum Cable Hiding in the Holland Tunnel
From ACM News

The Super-Secure Quantum Cable Hiding in the Holland Tunnel

Commuters inching through rush-hour traffic in the Holland Tunnel between Lower Manhattan and New Jersey don't know it, but a technology likely to be the future...

A Neural Network Can Learn to Organize the World It Sees Into Concepts, Just Like We Do
From ACM News

A Neural Network Can Learn to Organize the World It Sees Into Concepts, Just Like We Do

GANs, or generative adversarial networks, are the social-media starlet of AI algorithms. They are responsible for creating the first AI painting ever sold at an ...

The Race to Develop the World's Best Quantum Tech
From ACM News

The Race to Develop the World's Best Quantum Tech

A few days before Christmas, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that devotes more than US $1.2 billion to a national effort dedicated to quantum...

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Acting Up and Geologists Don't Know Why
From ACM News

Earth's Magnetic Field Is Acting Up and Geologists Don't Know Why

Something strange is going on at the top of the world. Earth's north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron...

Machine Learning Can Offer New Tools, Fresh Insights for the Humanities
From ACM News

Machine Learning Can Offer New Tools, Fresh Insights for the Humanities

Truly revolutionary political transformations are naturally of great interest to historians, and the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century is widely...

Countering Russian Disinformation the Baltic Nations' Way
From ACM News

Countering Russian Disinformation the Baltic Nations' Way

As the new Congress begins, it will soon discuss the comprehensive reports to the U.S. Senate on the disinformation campaign of half-truths, outright fabrications...

Another Day, Another Exoplanet: NASA's TESS Keeps Counting More
From ACM News

Another Day, Another Exoplanet: NASA's TESS Keeps Counting More

NASA's new planet-hunting machine, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is racking up scores of alien worlds.

Milky Way to Face a One-Two Punch of Galaxy Collisions
From ACM News

Milky Way to Face a One-Two Punch of Galaxy Collisions

If our knowledge of galaxy structures was limited to the Milky Way, we'd get a lot of things wrong. The Milky Way, it turns out, is unusual.

Chinese Tech Investors Flee Silicon Valley as Trump Tightens Scrutiny
From ACM Careers

Chinese Tech Investors Flee Silicon Valley as Trump Tightens Scrutiny

New Trump administration policies aimed at curbing China's access to American innovation have all but halted Chinese investment in U.S. technology startups, as...
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