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Inspired by the collective intelligence of termites, researchers have created an autonomous robotic construction crew -- no supervisor, no communication, no advanced planning needed -- an important proof of concept for scalable, distributed artificial intelligence. 

"Normally, at the beginning, you have a blueprint and a detailed plan of how to execute it, and the foreman goes out and directs his crew, supervising them as they do it," Harvard’s Justin Werfel says in a press release. "In insect colonies, it’s not as if the queen is giving them all individual instructions. Each termite doesn’t know what the others are doing or what the current overall state of the mound is."

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