ACM TechNews

Welcome to the May 29, 2024 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for computer professionals three times a week.

brain organoids Swiss biocomputing startup FinalSpark said its bioprocessor is the first online platform to provide in vitro access to biological neurons while consuming "a million times less power than traditional digital processors." Neuroplatform offers remote access to 16 human brain organoids. The platform features four multi-electrode arrays that each contain four organoids and are interfaced by eight electrodes for stimulation and recording.
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Tom's Hardware; Mark Tyson (May 26, 2024)

The China Institute of Cybersecurity Affairs announced that its latest AI chatbot, launched for internal use, was trained on seven databases, including one focused on President Xi Jinping's doctrine. The Xi Jinping Thought database is comprised of 14 principles, including ensuring the absolute power of the Chinese Communist Party, strengthening national security and socialist values, and improving people's livelihoods and well-being.
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Associated Press (May 24, 2024)
Guinness World Records awarded a certificate of recognition to Mitsubishi Electric after its TOKUI Fast Accurate Synchronized Motion Testing Robot solved the Rubik's Cube in a record 0.305 seconds. The previous record by a machine was 0.38 seconds, while the fastest recorded human time is 3.13 seconds. The Mitsubishi Electric device can process color at high speed via a color-recognition algorithm; features compact, high-powered, signal-responsive servomotors; and can rotate an object 90 degrees in 0.009 seconds.
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The Japan Times; Elizabeth Beattie (May 27, 2024)

The EU is in talks with Telegram Messaging platform Telegram risks being hit by an EU crackdown on online platforms being used to funnel illegal or harmful content. Sources say regulators are examining whether the service should qualify as a major online platform under the Digital Services Act, which has stricter compliance rules to prevent the spread of misinformation for platforms with over 45 million active users.
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Bloomberg; Samuel Stolton; Alberto Nardelli (May 28, 2024)

updates devasted many website owners Small and independent website owners argue that Google Search algorithm updates over the last two years have shifted traffic to websites with established brands. Google said its changes were intended to stop search engine optimization abuse, but the changes boosted traffic for user-generated sites like Reddit, Quora, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia at the expense of small bloggers. Regarding AI Overviews, content creators say AI search results prevent users from clicking on their websites, provide answers that are largely incorrect, or essentially steal their content.
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BBC; Thomas Germain (May 25, 2024)
Big tech companies are increasing their spending on AI infrastructure outside the U.S. Microsoft announced over $16 billion in investments in France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, and Indonesia during the next several years, while Amazon will invest $15 billion in Japan, $9 billion in Singapore, $5 billion in Mexico, and $1.3 billion in France. Said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, who expects Alphabet and Meta to follow suit, "This is a $1-trillion spending jump ball over the next decade."
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The Wall Street Journal; Zaeem Shoaib (May 23, 2024)

Moth on a window An algorithm developed by researchers at Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem is intended to provide a cost-effective means of managing invasive species. By calculating optimal spatial distribution of treatment to slow the target species' propagation, the algorithm can help allocate limited resources to protect ecosystems, agriculture, and public health.
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The Jerusalem Post (Israel); Judy Siegel-Itzkovich (May 24, 2024)

A Brinc drone Tech startup Brinc has rolled out drones specifically designed to respond to 911 emergency calls. The Responder drones can arrive at an emergency scene quickly and send a live video feed while delivering medical supplies. The Hawthorne Police Department in California will be the first to test a small fleet of Responder drones, stationing them throughout the city at charging "nests."
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Los Angeles Times; Caroline Petrow-Cohen (May 23, 2024)

Absolics’ glass substrate The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Absolics, a subsidiary of the South Korean chemical firm SKC, will receive $75 million in U.S. CHIPS Act subsidies. The funding will be put toward an expansion of its Covington, GA, manufacturing site to develop and produce glass semiconductor substrates. Glass is looking increasing attractive as a substrate layer upon which advanced silicon dies sit.
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The Register (U.K.); Brandon Vigliarolo (May 23, 2024)

soft and stretchy ultrasound patch A wearable ultrasound patch developed by University of California San Diego engineers provides a non-invasive method for continuous cerebral blood flow monitoring. Worn on the temple, the postage stamp-sized patch is made from a silicone elastomer with a layer of piezoelectric transducers, a layer of copper mesh, and layers of stretchable electrodes. Integrated ultrafast ultrasound imaging allows for the collection of thousands of images per second, and custom algorithms use those images to produce 3D reconstructions of the cerebral vasculature.
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UC San Diego Today; Liezel Labios (May 22, 2024)

Ukrainian soldier Valera Kucherenko working with his bionic hands AI and bionics advancements are helping some Ukrainian soldiers who have lost limbs in the war with Russia return to their military duties. Esper Bionics' Esper Hand uses AI to enable the prosthetic to learn the user's behavior. It also features six motors that allow each digit to move separately. Esper has partnered with the Protez Foundation in Minnesota, which purchases the $20,000 Esper Hands at manufacturing cost and fits them to users for free.
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CNN; Ryan Bergeron (May 22, 2024)

Tape shipments increased Despite being considered a "dead" digital storage medium, 152.9 exabytes of magnetic tape capacity (compressed) was shipped by manufacturers last year, up 3.14% from 2022. Information provided by HPE, IBM, and Quantum, the three remaining LTO (Linear Tape-Open) Program Technology Partners, attributes some of that growth to "rapid data generation and the increased infrastructure requirements of hyperscalers and enterprises," meaning AI storage requirements.
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Tom's Hardware; Jeff Butts (May 27, 2024)
Purdue University researchers found 52% of the answers generated by ChatGPT to programming questions were incorrect. Of 517 questions in Stack Overflow included in the study, the researchers found 77% were more verbose and 78% exhibited different degrees of inconsistency compared to human answers. Meanwhile, a linguistic analysis of 2,000 randomly selected ChatGPT answers concluded they portrayed "less negative sentiment" in a "more formal and analytical" fashion. The researchers found ChatGPT's "polite language, articulated and text-book style answers, and comprehensiveness" contributed to some participants overlooking misinformation in its responses.
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Yahoo! News; Sharon Adarlo (May 23, 2024)
Computing Research Association (CRA) Practitioner to Professor (P2P) Survey
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