Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence
Welcome to the June 5, 2024 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for computer professionals three times a week.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Legislation being considered in New York would ban social media companies from using algorithms to steer content to children and from sending notifications to minors during overnight hours without parental consent. The bill, like one advancing in California, does not restrict content, only how feeds are assembled. N.Y. Gov. Kathy Hochul (pictured) has said the measure would make social media less addictive, adding that heavy usage by teens has contributed to higher instances of mental illness.
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The Wall Street Journal; Jimmy Vielkind (June 3, 2024)

Prevalence of workers in STEM occupations A new report from the U.S. National Science Board (NSB) found that between 2011 and 2021, the percentage of U.S. workers in STEM occupations increased from 22% to 24%. The report noted, among other things, that in 2021, men outnumbered women in most STEM occupational groups, and the proportion of foreign-born workers in STEM occupations (26%) was greater than the proportion of U.S.-born workers (24%). Said NSB member Julia Phillips, “Going forward, it’s vital that we cultivate the diversity of our domestic STEM talent."
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National Science Foundation (May 30, 2024)

As China’s Internet Disappears A May 22 post on Chinese instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment app WeChat indicated almost all the information posted on Chinese news portals, blogs, forums, and social media sites between 1995 and 2005 has vanished. China's Internet regulator reported the number of websites in the country dropped from 5.3 million in 2017 to 3.9 million last year, while Web Technology Surveys found the number of Chinese-language websites in the world declined from 4.3% of the global total in 2013 to 1.3% in 2023.
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The New York Times; Li Yuan (June 4, 2024)

The Olympic rings near the Eiffel tower Microsoft researchers found a pro-Russia disinformation group used fake AI-generated audio to make it seem as though actor Tom Cruise narrated a video suggesting violence is likely at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. The video was presented as a Netflix documentary with falsified endorsements from well-known media outlets. A pro-Russia group also generated a video impersonating media outlet France24 to falsely report that nearly a quarter of Olympic ticket-buyers had sought refunds due to fears of terrorism in Paris.
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Bloomberg; Jeff Stone; Daniel Zuidijk; Hugo Miller (June 3, 2024); et al.

India Outpacing Asian Rivals in Datacenter Capacity A CBRE report found that India has surpassed Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong in datacenter investment. This comes amid substantial funding commitments from global players like Amazon and domestic conglomerates like Adani Group and Reliance Industries, among others. CBRE said India is on pace to add up to 850 megawatts (MW) of new capacity through 2026, compared to South Korea (495 MW), Japan (407 MW), and Australia (314 MW).
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Nikkei Asia (Japan); Akira Hayakawa; Sayan Chakraborty (June 3, 2024)
Researchers at Princeton University and the University of Southern California identified racial bias in Meta's algorithms for presenting educational ads. Their study found Black users were shown ads for for-profit universities and institutions with historically predatory marketing practices more often than ads for public universities. Princeton's Aleksandra Korolova said, "We suspect that Meta's algorithms are not using race directly, and the algorithmic effects we observe are driven by proxies and other historical data Meta may rely upon."
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The Register (U.K.); Thomas Claburn (June 4, 2024)

Generative AI Scans Your Amazon Packages Amazon has implemented an AI model called Project P.I., which uses generative AI and computer vision technology to ensure customers receive the correct order. Project P.I. can identify defective or damaged items, as well as detecting items that are the wrong size or color. Said Amazon’s Kara Hurst, the company “is using AI to reach our sustainability commitments with the urgency that climate change demands, while also improving the customer experience.”
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Fast Company; Sam Becker (June 3, 2024)
Polish Minister of Digital Affairs Krzysztof Gawkowski (pictured) said that nation will spend more than 3 billion zlotys ($760 million) to bolster cybersecurity following a cyberattack against state news agency PAP. Officials have expressed concerns about Russian interference in upcoming European Parliament elections being held in Poland. Gawkowski, who said the money would be put toward a "Cyber Shield," noted several cyberattacks on critical infrastructure June 2-3 were blocked.
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Reuters; Alan Charlish; Pawel Florkiewicz (June 3, 2024)

An overview of the digital twin system Singapore University of Technology and Design researchers used digital twins to demonstrate the value of built environment design guidelines for robots. The researchers developed a three-phase methodology: performing on-site documentation of the environment; reconstructing point cloud data into a digital space and producing 3D models of the built environment, and using the resulting digitized model in the robot simulation software to test robot behaviors and interactions.
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The Engineer (June 3, 2024)

First metal 3D printing on Space Station A small s-curve deposited in liquefied stainless steel became the first metal three-dimensional (3D) printing to take place on the International Space Station. The test line was made aboard the European Space Agency's (ESA) Columbus laboratory module. ESA's Rob Postema said, "The success of this first print, along with other reference lines, leaves us ready to print full parts in the near future." The Metal 3D Printer is operated in a sealed box overseen from Earth.
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The European Space Agency (June 3, 2024)
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently announced the three winners of its Voice Cloning Challenge, which involved developing strategies to prevent, monitor, and evaluate audio deepfakes. Researchers at Arizona State University won for OriginStory, a microphone with built-in sensors that detect and measure biosignals from human speakers to verify speech is human-generated. Software technology company OmniSpeech won for its AI Detect speech-processing software, which embeds machine learning algorithms into devices for real-time identification of AI-generated voices. Finally, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis were recognized for DeFake, which prevents cloning by adding tiny perturbations to human-voice recordings.
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IEEE Spectrum; Rina Diane Caballar (May 30, 2024)

The Novint Falcon Technology developed by researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering could allow stroke patients perform rehabilitation exercises at home. The technology tracks wrist movements through a smartphone strapped to the forearm and a low-cost gaming controller. The Novint Falcon controller can guide users through specific arm motions and track the trajectory of its controller, while smartphone sensors measure the angle of the user's wrist to provide data for therapists offering remote rehabilitation.
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NYU Tandon School of Engineering (May 30, 2024)
Computing Research Association (CRA) Practitioner to Professor (P2P) Survey
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