Collaborating Authors

Falling funds and the rise of AI are top of the menu at London tech talks

The Guardian

For some companies attending London Tech Week this Monday, just being there is an achievement. The sudden failure in March of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a financial cornerstone for the UK and US tech industries, had left many British companies wondering how they were going to see out that month. Ashley Ramrachia, chief executive of Academy, a tech company with headquarters in Manchester, said the first he knew of SVB's troubles was on Wednesday 8 March. By Thursday, Ramrachia and others were trying, unsuccessfully, to withdraw funds. By Friday, the Bank of England said it planned to put SVB's UK operation into insolvency and Ramrachia was one of 3,500 customers in Britain scrambling to deal with the consequences.

Microsoft adds AI voice chat to Bing on desktop


You can now talk to Bing on desktop, and it can even read its replies to you out loud. Microsoft has rolled out voice support for the search engine's chatbot on Edge for PCs, which is powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 technology. "We know many of you love using voice input for chat on mobile," the tech giant wrote in its latest Bing preview release notes. The feature first became available on Bing's AI chatbot for its mobile apps. Now it's also available on desktop -- you just need to tap on the mic icon in the Bing Chat box to talk to the AI-powered bot.

Who needs the Metaverse? Meet the people still living on Second Life

The Guardian

On 14 November 2006, 5,000 IBM employees assembled in a digital recreation of the 15th-century Chinese imperial palace known as the Forbidden City. They had come to hear IBM's CEO, Sam Palmisano, deliver a speech. Palmisano's physical body was in Beijing at the time, but he addressed most of his audience inside Second Life, the online social world that had launched three years earlier. Palmisano's trim avatar wore tortoiseshell-frame glasses and a tailored pinstripe suit. He faced a crowd of digital, animated dolls dressed in the business attire of the day: black heels, pencil-line shirts, Windsor-knotted ties. Looming out of the throng at the back stood a 10ft IBM employee, his digital face plastered in Gene Simmons-style white makeup, with shoulder-length, Sonic-blue hair. It was a historic moment, a journalist for Bloomberg reported at the time: Palmisano was "the first big-league CEO" to stage a company-wide meeting in Second Life – "the most popular of a handful of new-fangled 3D online virtual worlds". IBM, just like any other denizen of Second Life, paid ground rent to own a "region" of the game, one region representing 6.5 hectares of digital turf, currently rented at $166 (£134) a month.

Can YOU guess who these celebrity babies are? AI-generated pics show stars as youngsters

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Not every performer began their career as a child star -- but thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) we can now all catch a glimpse of what their childhood fame might have looked like. It comes after an image of an infant Elon Musk -- showing the billionaire as a toddler wearing brown overalls -- gave the internet baby fever. The adorable (or possibly disturbing?) photo is not from the billionaire's own family archives, however. Like these celebrities, it too was made with the help of artificial intelligence. The AI-made toddler version of Ed Sheeran has his soulful blue eye and his vibrant red hair.

AI-powered robots are giving eyelash extensions. It's cheaper and quicker.

Washington Post - Technology News

AI technology has been catapulted into popular discourse in recent months with the rise of natural language processing like ChatGPT. Computer vision, though, is even older. It is used in Roomba vacuums and surgical settings, according to Kris Hauser, a computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign whose research specializes in open-world robotics. But this is one of the first AI robots to be used in the consumer beauty space, Hauser said.

17 fatalities, 736 crashes: The shocking toll of Tesla's Autopilot

Washington Post - Technology News

The crash in North Carolina's Halifax County, where a futuristic technology came barreling down a rural highway with devastating consequences, was one of 736 crashes since 2019 involving Teslas in Autopilot mode -- far more than previously reported, according to a Washington Post analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. The number of such crashes has surged over the past four years, the data show, reflecting the hazards associated with increasingly widespread use of Tesla's futuristic driver-assistance technology as well as the growing presence of the cars on the nation's roadways.

The AI apocalypse: Imminent risk or misdirection?

Al Jazeera

Discussions about artificial intelligence (AI) have quickly turned from the excited to the apocalyptic. Are warnings that AI could pose an existential threat valid, or do they distract from the real danger AI is already causing? A year on from the murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira, producer Flo Phillips reports on the justice being served and how their work goes on, done by others. Eight decades after the first train of prisoners arrived at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, Holocaust survivors – and their testimonies – are dwindling. Producer Johanna Hoes explores the politics of memory and the importance of recounting history, so it doesn't repeat itself.

Former California deputy shocked at acquittal of attacker who shot at her: 'It just blows my mind'

FOX News

Former San Bernardino Sheriff's deputy Meagan McCarthy tells'Fox News @ Night' the not guilty verdict in her attacker's case sets a bad'precedent.' A former California Sheriff's deputy is speaking out after her attacker was acquitted despite a shocking video showing him brutally beating her, taking her gun and firing at her. The suspect, Ari Young, was acquitted of attempted murder and assault by a jury in connection with the 2019 incident. The beating, caught on camera, shows the pair wrestling as they fell to the ground, shortly before he grabbed her firearm and shot at her while she attempted to flee the scene. Former San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputy Meagan McCarthy joined "Fox News @ Night" to discuss the harrowing incident, recounting the frightening moment she said her own gun was pointed in her face.

OpenAI CEO Calls for Collaboration With China to Counter AI Risks WSJD - Technology

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OpenAI's CEO calls on China to help shape AI safety guidelines

The Japan Times

China should play a key role in shaping the artificial intelligence guardrails needed to ensure the safety of transformative new systems, OpenAI Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman said. "With the emergence of the increasingly powerful AI systems, the stakes for global cooperation have never been higher," Altman, whose company kick-started an AI frenzy in China with last year's launch of ChatGPT, told a Beijing conference via video link on Saturday. In both China and Silicon Valley, talent and investments are flowing into AI, a strategic area that will help define the deepening tech rivalry between the world's two largest economies. Advances in the emerging technology have also highlighted tensions in how governments are seeking to regulate the sector, one that Chinese leader Xi Jinping has said requires greater state oversight to mitigate national security risks. This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.