Tech Digest daily roundup: UK set for ‘drone superhighway’

Image: BT

The UK is set to become home to the world’s largest automated drone superhighway within the next two years. The drones will be used on the 164-mile Skyway project connecting towns and cities, including Cambridge and Rugby. It is part of a £273m funding package for the aerospace sector which will be revealed by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday. Other projects include drones delivering mail to the Isles of Scilly and medication across Scotland. Mr Kwarteng is to announce the news at the Farnborough International Airshow – the first to be held since 2019. He will say the funding will “help the sector seize on the enormous opportunities for growth that exist as the world transitions to cleaner forms of flight”. BBC 

Internet providers have a moral obligation to help customers through the cost of living crisis, the regulator has said. More and more families are struggling with their internet bills, which often are linked to inflation and have been going up this year. Along with everything else. Ofcom’s networks and communications group director, Lindsey Fussell, told Sky News they know that people up and down the country are struggling with their bills at the moment. “It’s essential that broadband and mobile services are affordable,” she said. “Particularly for those who are really struggling with their finances at the moment, any bill can be a problem. Sky News

, the buy now, pay later app that was for a while Europe’s hottest tech start-up, is worth $40bn (£34bn). Or, er, perhaps only $6bn. Uber was worth $100bn at its peak but is now worth less than half of that. Hopin, the events app, might have been worth $7bn last year but right now it is laying off staff, and as for Theranos, the $9bn medical start-up that every venture capital fund in the world wanted a part of it is now worth precisely nothing. The value of many of the most highly rated, VC-backed companies is starting to crash at an alarming rate. Sure, it is very hard to value a brand new business. No one would try to claim that it is ever a precise science. Even so, these are hardly minor mistakes. Telegraph 

The tech industry’s latest artificial intelligence constructs can be pretty convincing if you ask them what it feels like to be a sentient computer, or maybe just a dinosaur or squirrel. But they’re not so good — and sometimes dangerously bad — at handling other seemingly straightforward tasks. Take, for instance, GPT-3, a Microsoft-controlled system that can generate paragraphs of human-like text based on what it’s learned from a vast database of digital books and online writings. But when Pomona College professor Gary Smith asked it a simple but nonsensical question about walking upstairs, GPT-3 muffed it. “Yes, it is safe to walk upstairs on your hands if you wash them first,” the AI replied. AP News

One of the reasons to be excited about a WWDC is previewing what’s coming to Apple Music. With iOS 16, unfortunately, Apple didn’t announce a ton of new features to its music streaming service – different from all the other years. That said, there are still a few functions and tweaks that users will love when using Apple Music with iOS 16, especially now that its first public beta is out. Apple Music on iOS 16 lets users sort playlists. Traditionally, all playlists in the Music app have been sorted by the order in which the songs were added to the playlist: the first songs added at the top and the songs added most recently at the bottom. 9 to 5 Mac

Chris Price
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