2019 Seton Hall First Online NJ

Welcome to the June 3, 2019 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for IT professionals three times a week.

ACM TechNews mobile apps are available for Android phones and tablets (click here) and for iPhones (click here) and iPads (click here).

To view "Headlines At A Glance," hit the link labeled "Click here to view this online" found at the top of the page in the html version. The online version now has a button at the top labeled "Show Headlines."

Academics and government officials meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington In White House Summit on Quantum Technology, Experts Map Next Steps
The Wall Street Journal
Sara Castellanos
May 31, 2019

Academics and government officials convened at a White House summit Friday, emphasizing collaboration for the advancement of U.S. quantum information technology. Participants said for quantum computing to interest a broader spectrum of learners, universities, national laboratories, and companies must guarantee they are exposing students to the technology. Said the University of Colorado Boulder's Terri Fiez, "It's really key that our high-strength quantum hubs are tied together so they're complementary instead of competitive." Participants added that academics and government agencies should consider extending quantum information science projects to students at smaller universities. Shaun Maguire at Alphabet venture capital investment branch GV said federal funding will be imperative in nurturing a robust supply chain of critical infrastructure components, if quantum computing is to succeed.

Full Article
*May Require Paid Registration

Pictures of a bird, one that was restored by AI New Algorithm May Help People Store More Pictures, Share Videos Faster
Penn State News
Matt Swayne
May 29, 2019

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) have developed an algorithm based on the human brain that could ease data bottlenecks that threaten the growth of the Internet by reducing the size of multimedia files and restoring them without losing much quality or information. The tool, which the researchers call an iterative refinement algorithm, features a recurrent neural network that compresses and restores the data. It is able to produce restored images that had better quality than the benchmarks selected for the study. Said Penn State’s David Miller, "The key advantage of recurrence in this image decoding context is that it exploits correlations over long spatial regions of the image than a conventional image decoder."

Full Article
CSL Researchers Add 'Time-Travel' Feature to Solid State Drives to Fight Ransomware Attacks
University of Illinois Coordinated Science Lab
Allie Arp
May 29, 2019

University of Illinois Coordinated Science Lab (CSL) researchers have demonstrated how to use the commodity storage devices already in conventional computers to save files without having to pay the ransom that comes with may cyberattacks. The researchers leveraged properties of flash-based storage that currently exist in most laptops, desktops, mobiles, and even Internet of Things devices. When a file is modified on a computer, rather than deleting the old file version immediately, a solid-state drive saves the updated version to a new location. If the system is hit with a ransomware attack, the tool can be used to revert to a previous version of the file. In addition, the tool would help in the case of a user accidentally deleting one of their own files.

Full Article
Taiwan Will Train 10,000 AI Workers Per Year to Meet Rising Demand
Ralph Jennings
May 26, 2019

Following investments in Taiwan by Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and others over the past year or two, Premier Su Tseng-chang announced that 10,000 people will be trained every year to work in artificial intelligence (AI) research and development. That goal extends naturally from decades of educating engineers at Taiwanese universities. Silicon Valley companies have set up AI "bases" in Taiwan that will raise industry competitiveness and improve the quality of life of Taiwanese citizens. In order to reach the AI talent goal, education in relevant subjects will "take root" in elementary and middle schools. In addition, about 1,000 people have signed up for government-cosponsored online AI-applications lessons.

Full Article

Three men standing with the 3-D printed bathroom unit NTU Singapore Technology Can 3D-Print a Bathroom Within a Day
Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
May 22, 2019

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a three-dimensional printing technology that can yield a complete unfurnished bathroom in less than 24 hours. The researchers spent four years formulating a novel concrete mix sufficiently fluid to stream through hoses and print nozzles, which hardens rapidly to allow the next layer to be printed on it. The team also designed new printing and control systems capable of matching the flow rate of the nozzle to the concrete's solidification properties. The researchers mounted the nozzle on a six-axis robotic arm, which deposited the concrete layer by layer, according to the digital template. The project’s goal was improve productivity in Singapore’s building and construction industry, by incorporating digital and robotic fabrication methods to reduce the need for skilled labor and manpower.

Full Article

Subaru’s “DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System,” using a dashboard camera to watch the driver’s eyes and face Mainstream Autos Get Driver-Monitoring Devices
Associated Press
Tom Krisher
May 29, 2019

Hyundai and Subaru unveiled distracted driver alert systems for their mainstream models last month at the New York International Auto Show. Subaru's "DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System" monitors a driver's eyes and face with a dashboard camera, and beeps and displays the message "Keep eyes on road" if it detects distraction from such indicators as heads nodding, someone talking on the phone, texting, or looking into the passenger compartment. Hyundai's system utilizes the same front-facing camera as the standard automatic emergency braking and lane assist featured on the Venue sport utility vehicle; swerving or veering causes the vehicle's software to ring a bell, while the dash display shows a coffee cup and the message "Take a Break." Kelley Blue Book publisher Karl Brauer said distracted driver alerts and other driver-monitoring devices are becoming more widespread as automobiles switch from human driving to automation.

Full Article

Quicker Eye for Robotics to Help in Our Cluttered, Human Environments Quicker Eye for Robotics to Help in Our Cluttered, Human Environments
University of Michigan News
May 23, 2019

University of Michigan (UM) researchers have developed an algorithm that permits machines to sense their surroundings faster, which could help assistive robots operate more efficiently in unstructured environments. The Pull Message Passing for Nonparametric Belief Propagation algorithm can precisely calculate an object's pose, or position and orientation, within 10 minutes, while previous approaches require more than 90 minutes. The algorithm is designed to use "pull messaging" to condense the clutter of data-intensive messages about an object's various elements and relationships with each other into a concise dialogue between those elements. UM's Karthik Desingh said, "We want to scale our work up to multiple objects and tracking them during action execution, and even if the robot is not currently looking at an object. Then, the robot can use this ability to continually observe the world for goal-oriented manipulation and successfully complete tasks."

Full Article
Tech Giant Brings Software to a Gun Fight
The Washington Post
Jay Greene
May 30, 2019

Salesforce.com is pressuring sporting-goods retailers and other customers of its business-management and e-commerce software to stop selling a range of firearms, or be prohibited from using its products. Some industry proponents criticize this move, calling it "corporate-policy virtue signaling" that is biased against gun owners. Technology companies' activism also has stoked claims of overreach, with Facebook, Google, and Twitter accused of censorship for cracking down on what they designate as hate speech or dangerous individuals. The activist actions of technology giants are amplified, because customers rely on their critical software and services. Consumers, meanwhile, are frequently unaware that they are engaging with other companies when they put items in their online shopping cart, or talk to a customer service representative.

Full Article
*May Require Paid Registration
Model Identifies High-Risk Areas for Lumpy Skin Disease in Cattle
NC State University News Services
Tracey Peake
May 29, 2019

An international team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has integrated two computer models to highlight regions at highest risk for lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) epidemics in cattle. The combined models included a risk model to analyze spatiotemporal dynamics within affected regions, and a suitability model that studies ecological conditions in those regions, to ascertain where LSDV would most likely flourish. The researchers segmented study areas into 20- by 20-kilometer zones, and added data for those zones on cattle populations and ecological conditions. The model cited regions of heightened risk in Russia, Turkey, Serbia, and Bulgaria, and positively associated risk with rainfall and temperature, with wind a negative risk factor. The models could help officials determine where to dispatch resources ahead of outbreaks, and warn cattle farmers in high-risk areas before outbreaks occur.

Full Article
Seattle U Breaking Ground on 'New Heart' of Campus With $100M Center for Science, Innovation
Kurt Schlosser
May 30, 2019

Seattle University (Seattle U) has broken ground on the "new heart" of its Capitol Hill campus, the $100-million Center for Science & Innovation (CSI) scheduled to open in 2021. Said dean of Seattle U's College of Science and Engineering Mike Quinn, "This facility represents the growing importance of [science, technology, engineering, and math] disciplines, both here at Seattle University and in the modern economy." The CSI will host Seattle U's biology, chemistry, and computer science programs, and feature 13 teaching laboratories to enhance hands-on course activities. The university said the College of Science and Engineering is its fastest-growing college/school, with 1,272 students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, mathematics, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and environmental science in the 2018-2019 academic year.

Full Article

A display showing a facial recognition system New York School District's Facial Recognition System Sparks Privacy Fears
The Guardian
Erin Durkin
May 31, 2019

The Lockport, NY, city school district launch of a facial recognition system has resulted in some pushback from privacy advocates. The Aegis facial recognition system is designed to detect the faces of people barred from Lockport schools, sex offenders, suspended students, and staff members, as well as others deemed to be a threat. The system can detect guns and alert officials if barred individuals are found on schools grounds. The system will place cameras in hallways throughout school buildings, rather than just at the doors, but not in classrooms because that would violate teachers' contracts. Lockport resident Jim Schultz described the system as “an unprecedented invasion of privacy on our students. ...That’s an insane thing to make a precondition of getting a high school education.”

Full Article
MIT, U.S. Air Force Team Up to Launch AI Accelerator
Danny Crichton
May 20, 2019

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will jointly launch a new artificial intelligence (AI) accelerator, with the USAF to spend $15 million on about 10 MIT projects annually. The MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator will be based at MIT's new computing college, which is expected to launch in the fall. In announcing the partnership, MIT said, "In addition to disaster relief and medical readiness, other possible research areas may include data management, maintenance and logistics, vehicle safety, and cyber resiliency." MIT vice president for research Maria Zuber responded to concerns about the relationship with USAF that “MIT does not do weapons research …Only those researchers who want to participate will do so.” In addition, Zuber said, the work of the AI Accelerator “will be unclassified and open to publication, as is other research within that space.”

Full Article
ACM Transactions on Data Science
ACM Career & Job Center

Association for Computing Machinery

2 Penn Plaza, Suite 701
New York, NY 10121-0701

ACM Media Sales

If you are interested in advertising in ACM TechNews or other ACM publications, please contact ACM Media Sales or (212) 626-0686, or visit ACM Media for more information.

To submit feedback about ACM TechNews, contact: technews@hq.acm.org

About ACM | Contact us | Boards & Committees | Press Room | Membership | Privacy Policy | Code of Ethics | System Availability | Copyright © 2019, ACM, Inc.