ACM TechNews

Welcome to the June 14, 2024 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for computer professionals three times a week.

Karlstrom Educator Award Goes to Alicia Nicki Washington and Shaundra Daily ACM announced Duke University's Alicia Nicki Washington and Shaundra Daily as recipients of the Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for developing the Cultural Competence in Computing Fellows program. The University of Virginia's Aidong Zhang was recognized with the ACM Distinguished Service Award, while the University of Virginia's Jack W. Davidson was honored with the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award for contributions to ACM's Publications Program. Cornell University's John M. Abowd received the ACM Policy Award for his work on data privacy at the U.S. Census Bureau. Persistent Systems' Anand Deshpande and University of Waterloo's M. Tamer Özsu were named recipients of the ACM Presidential Award.
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ACM Media Center (June 12, 2024)

French police have tested AI-assisted video surveillance French authorities plan to use AI surveillance systems during the Olympics in Paris. The systems, already tested at train stations, concerts, and sporting events, will be used by police, fire and rescue services, and some French transport security agents when the games commence in late July. While the systems will scan for potential threats, they cannot be used for gait detection, facial recognition, and other processes used for identification.
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The Japan Times; Adam Smith (June 13, 2024)

Across China, at least 16 cities have allowed companies to test robot taxis on public roads The largest global experiment in driverless cars is underway on the streets of Wuhan, China, where a fleet of 500 taxis navigate by computer, often with no safety drivers in them for backup. Across China, at least 16 cities have allowed companies to test driverless vehicles on public roads, as at least 19 Chinese automakers and their suppliers are competing to establish global leadership in the field.
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The New York Times; Keith Bradsher (June 13, 2024)

testing with human subjects Using AI and computer simulations, North Carolina State University researchers trained robotic exoskeletons to autonomously help wearers save energy when walking, running, and climbing stairs. The new training method lets users employ the exoskeletons right away, without the need for lengthy testing and adjustment. Study participants used 24.3% less metabolic energy when walking, 13.1% less when running, and 15.4% less when climbing stairs while wearing the exoskeleton compared to users not wearing an exoskeleton.
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SciTechDaily (June 12, 2024)
The total number of internships listed on Handshake, a job search platform for college students, fell more than 7% from last June through May compared with the same period a year earlier. The trend reflects companies’ move to temper entry-level hiring in certain sectors, including technology, which saw a 14% drop in internships listed on Handshake for the 12 months that ended in May.
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Bloomberg; Jo Constantz (June 13, 2024)

A simple sensor system installed on existing high voltage lines Minnesota's Great River Energy is installing 52 smart sensor motes ("neurons") on aging high-voltage transmission lines to increase their capacity by up to 40% while more efficiently managing power transmission. The soccer ball-sized neurons from Heimdall Power, which can be mounted on transmission lines using autonomous drones, feature sensors that can monitor electrical current and temperature, as well as performing fault detection, ice monitoring, and other tasks. The data is processed in the cloud and delivered to operators in real time.
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IEEE Spectrum; Alfred Poor (June 13, 2024)
The Brazilian government plans to use OpenAI's services to speed up the process of screening and analyzing lawsuits. The technology will be used to flag actions that must be taken before final decisions are issued, and map trends and possible action areas for the solicitor general's office. The goal is to prevent court-ordered debt payments from taking a toll on the federal budget.
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Reuters; Marcela Ayres; Bernardo Caram (June 11, 2024)

The analysis unfolds in distinct stages New York University researchers identified shortcomings in popular Web browser extensions used to safeguard privacy and block ads. The study covered "Ad-Blockers & Privacy Protection" extensions, including AdBlock Plus, uBloc Origin, Adguard, and Ghostery, and "Privacy Protection" extensions including Privacy Badger, Decentraleyes, and Disconnect. The researchers built a benchmarking framework for assessing browser extensions' strengths and weaknesses, using smart crawlers to analyze more than 1,500 websites for performance hits, compatibility issues, privacy policy strengths, ad-blocking capabilities, and filter list configurations.
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NYU Tandon School of Engineering (June 11, 2024)

Autonomous driving by musculoskeletal humanoids Researchers at Japan's University of Tokyo developed and trained a humanoid robot to drive a car. The Musashi robot is equipped with two cameras that allow it to see the road in front of the vehicle and views reflected in its side mirrors; it also has hands to start the car, pull the handbrake, or operate the turn signal, and anti-slip feet that can operate the accelerator and brake pedals.
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Tech Crunch; Kyle Wiggers (June 12, 2024)
University of Southern California and Kaiser Permanente researchers used AI to improve the quality of results produced by the latest version of Kaiser's Find Doctors & Locations tool. The tool employs semantic search, using a knowledge graph to understand the context and relationship between words in a query. The researchers also leveraged ChatGPT to map body organ terms to related medical specialties. The tool produces results in milliseconds and increases the chances patients will identify a relevant doctor in their region by 20%.
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USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Stephanie Lee (June 11, 2024)

The Smart, Cheap Fix for Slow, Dumb Traffic Lights Data from new cars and drivers’ smartphones can improve the performance of old-fashioned traffic lights and reduce expenses for new hardware. Google is expanding its Green Light project, which uses data gathered from users of Google Maps, to create “green waves” in 14 cities where the system is already deployed, while researchers at the University of Michigan (U-M) used telemetry data from connected General Motors vehicles to help the Detroit suburb of Birmingham, MI, evaluate the timing of 34 traffic signals in 2022.
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The Wall Street Journal; Christopher Mims (June 7, 2024)

removing bad weather from images Images from the Arctic were used to train an algorithm to filter out visual impediments caused by bad weather to improve the safety of Arctic shipping traffic. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) made the images available online, in a ‘clean’ version with a clear view, and one that is unclear due to weather conditions. “We can use this information to develop advanced systems to avoid collisions, for safer navigation, and the best sailing routes possible,” said NTNU's Nabil Panchi.
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Norwegian SciTech News; Sølvi Normannsen (June 11, 2024)
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