Robotic bees, and China’s surveillance state
Something was wrong, but Thomas Schmickl couldn’t put his finger on it. It was 2007, and the Austrian biologist spent part of the year at East Tennessee State University. During his daily walks, he realized that there seemed to be no insects.
Schmickl, who now leads the Artificial Life Laboratory at the University of Graz in Austria, was not wrong. Insect populations are actually declining or changing around the world.
He believes robotic bees can help both real objects and the nature around them, a concept he calls ecosystem hacking. Some companies now offer enhanced beehives that monitor the conditions inside, or even monitor the beehives robotically. Now Schmickl and his colleagues want to go a step further and use technology to manipulate insect behavior. Read full story.
China’s surveillance state proves that the idea of privacy is “more malleable” than you might expect
Over the past decade, the United States – and the world at large – have watched with growing alarm as China has emerged as a global leader in surveillance technology. While this has led to a series of human rights violations, the state has also used surveillance technology for good: finding kidnapped children, for example, and improving traffic control and management. garbage in cities.
As Wall Street Journal reporters Josh Chin and Liza Lin argue in their new book on the State of Surveillance, the Chinese government has built a new social contract with its citizens: their data. in exchange for more precise management, ideally making their lives safer and easier (even if it’s not always so straightforward in practice).
MIT Technology Review recently spoke with Chin and Lin about the misconception that privacy is not taken seriously in China, how the pandemic has spurred the use of surveillance technology in China, and whether the whether this technology body can remain neutral or not. Read full story.