Flock of US Navy drones, and inside animals’ minds

The US Navy is looking to build, deploy and fly thousands of small drones that can cluster together to overwhelm air defenses in sheer numbers, budget documents reveal.

The conflict in Ukraine has proven the value of small drones, which have carried out reconnaissance, guided artillery fire and destroyed tanks. Such drones are currently limited by the fact that each needs its own operator. However, in a swarm, hundreds or thousands of drones are controlled as a single unit.

Many countries are working with such groups, including China, Russia, India, UK, Turkey and Israel, which in 2021 will become the first to use drones in combat. . But the U.S. Navy has always been a leader in the field, and budget documents read by MIT Technology Review reveal ambitious plans for larger swarms than anything seen before. Read full story.

—David Hambling

Inside the mysterious mind of animals

More than ever, we feel an obligation and a desire to extend our sympathy to neighbors who are not our own. Over the past three years, more than 30 countries have officially recognized other animals – including gorillas, lobsters, crows and octopuses – as sentient beings.

The new trilogy by Ed Yong, Jackie Higgins, and Philip Ball, details the rich inner worlds of organisms and captures what has led to these developments: an emerging field of experimental research. explosively challenged the long-held view that animals have no combinatorial consciousness or consciousness.

But even though all three gather a plethora of fascinating studies that provide windows into the lives of animals, we still wonder how close we really are to the connection between species. Read full story.

—Matthew Ponsford

This piece is on our upcoming mortality theme, coming out this Wednesday. If you want to read it when it comes out, you can ordered for MIT Technology Review for as little as $80 a year.

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