This week in Dutch tech

Friday is finally here and so is this week's round-up of tech news from the Netherlands.

We've had seven dynamic days of digital developments. From banking hacks and Booking fakes to malware and memes, the end of May's been action-packed. Here's our pick of the hottest stories, startups, and speeches.  

What we're writing

What we're reading

  • Geert Wilders deepfake slips through Meta and X filters (BNR)
  • Booking is misleading customers with fake discounts, incomplete prices, consumers association says (NL Times)
  • ABN Amro becomes latest European bank to suffer hack (Bloomberg)
  • Q*Bird raises €2.5M to accelerate its quantum security tech (q-bird.nl)
  • Dutch counter-terror office warns of extreme-right online memes (NL Times)

Dutch startup of the week: Monumental

Europe has a glaring shortage of construction workers. Dutch startup Monumental has a solution: AI-powered bricklaying robots.

The autonomous machines are built to work with humans. Equipped with sensors, computer vision, and small cranes, the robots place bricks and mortar in walls. According to Monumental, they work with “human-level” precision, accuracy, and efficiency.

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Research suggests they're set for a big future. The global construction market is forecast to expand by 85% to $15.5 trillion by 2030. Robots are expected to play a key role in that growth. A recent study estimated that they could increase productivity by 50-60%.

Monumental wants to accelerate this shift.

“Our agile, intelligent, and adaptable robots and software blend human expertise with robotic efficiency in a way that the industry has never seen before,” said Salar al Khafaji, the company's co-founder and CEO.

“They will revolutionise not just how buildings are constructed but transform the economics of the construction industry itself.”

TNW's Siôn Geschwindt dug into the plans. You can read his report on the startup here.

Conference speaker to watch

As we count down to TNW Conference in Amsterdam on June 20 and 21, each week we're spotlighting a must-see talk at the event. Today's pick comes from Ioanna Lykiardopoulou:

I'm extremely passionate about the intersection between language and technology. So naturally, I'm looking forward to hearing from Arne Schepker, CEO of Babbel.

Founded in 2017, Babbel claims to have introduced the world's first language-learning app. The launch marked a pivotal shift in language education.

That shift has raised big questions. How can we ensure that tech can serve the purpose of teaching languages? How can we employ new tools that further strengthen the value and process of language learning? And how can a company stay true to making an impact while achieving profit targets?

If you're as interested in these questions as I am, make sure not to miss Schepker's session on June 20.

If you want to attend the talk — and all the other festivities at TNW Conference — we've got a special offer for our readers. At the ticket checkout, use the code TNWXMEDIA to get 30% off your business pass, investor pass, or startup packages (Bootstrap and Scaleup).

That's all for this week's round-up. Until next Friday, tot ziens!

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