Headlines 

How a Flock of Drones Developed Collective Intelligence

The drones rise all at once, 30 strong, the domes of light on their undercarriages glowing 30 different hues—like luminescent candy sprinkles against the gray, dusky sky. Then they pause, suspended in the air. And after a couple seconds of hovering, they begin to move as one. As the newly-formed flock migrates, its members’ luminous underbellies all change to the same color: green. They've decided to head east. The drones at the front approach a barrier, and their tummies turn teal as they veer south. Soon, the trailing members' lights…

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Headlines 

Slime Molds RememberBut Do They Learn?

Slime molds are among the world’s strangest organisms. Long mistaken for fungi, they are now classed as a type of amoeba. As single-celled organisms, they have neither neurons nor brains. Yet for about a decade, scientists have debated whether slime molds have the capacity to learn about their environments and adjust their behavior accordingly. Audrey Dussutour/CNRS However, the notion that single-celled organisms can learn something and retain their memory of it at the cellular level is new and controversial. Traditionally, scientists have directly linked the phenomenon of learning to the…

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Odds and Ends 

Rulai launches low-code chatbot development tool and raises $6.5 million

Customer experience chatbot developer Rulai has launched a new low-code chatbot development tool and raised $6.5 million to roll it out. The development team at Rulai, with offices in Beijing and Campbell, Calif., is helmed by the renowned University of California, Santa Cruz, computer science professor Yi Zhang. Professor Zhang, the companys chief technologist, and her team are launching a productthat customer service managers can use to develop chatbots that will perform tasks based on customer conversations, and that can becreated without a single line of code. Its an example…

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