Authoritarian tech, and tower-building drones

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Regardless of President Biden’s assurances at Wednesday’s United Nations assembly that the US will not be searching for a brand new chilly warfare, one is brewing between the world’s autocracies and democracies—and expertise is fueling it.

Late final week, Iran, Turkey, Myanmar, and a handful of different international locations took steps towards turning into full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Group (SCO), an financial and political alliance led by the authoritarian regimes of China and Russia.

The vast majority of SCO member international locations, in addition to different authoritarian states, are following China’s lead and are trending towards extra digital rights abuses by growing the mass digital surveillance of residents, censorship, and controls on particular person expression.

And whereas democracies additionally use large quantities of surveillance expertise, it’s the tech commerce relationships between authoritarian international locations that’s enabling the rise of digitally enabled social management. Learn the complete story.

—Tate Ryan-Mosley

Watch this workforce of drones 3D-print a tower

The information: A mini-swarm’s price of drones have been skilled to work collectively to 3D-print some easy towers. Impressed by the way in which bees or wasps assemble giant nests, the method has a number of drones work collectively to construct from a single blueprint, with one primarily checking the others’ work because it goes. 

The way it works: One drone deposits a layer of constructing materials, and the opposite verifies the accuracy of every thing printed to date. The drones are absolutely autonomous whereas flying, however they’re monitored by a human who can step in if issues go awry.

Why it issues: At some point, the strategy may assist with difficult initiatives akin to post-disaster development and even repairs on buildings which can be too excessive to entry safely, the workforce behind it hopes—and will assemble buildings within the Arctic and even on Mars. Learn the complete story.

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