Tech Digest daily roundup: App can detect COVID in your voice


A mobile phone app can detect COVID in people’s voices with “potentially high precision” using artificial intelligence (AI), according to researchers. An AI model was said to be 89% accurate and is cheap to use, which means it could be adopted in low-income countries where PCR tests are more expensive. Results can be provided in less than a minute and are said to be a “significant improvement” on the accuracy of lateral flow tests, scientists said. Infection normally impacts the upper respiratory tract and the vocal cords and so researchers decided to analyse changes in voices using an AI model to detect COVID. Sky News 

A British smartphone maker hopes to steal a march on Apple and Tesla boss Elon Musk with a new satellite-connected handset, the BBC has learned. If there is no wi-fi or mobile network signal, the idea is the Bullitt phone will automatically link to one of two global satellite networks. There is speculation that Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 14 could have emergency satellite connectivity. Mr Musk is also working on a satellite phone service with T-Mobile. However, last month he said plans were hampered by “regulatory approval” of satellite launches and added that the service would be unlikely to become available before the end of 2023. BBC

An alleged hack of TikTok may have exposed the data of more than 1 billion users, cyber security researchers have warned. Reports of a data breach first emerged on a popular hacking forum over the weekend, with hackers claiming to have exploited an insecure server containing personal information of TikTok users. The claims coincided with a security alert from Microsoft warning of a “high-security vulnerability” in TikTok’s Android app, which could have allowed attackers to “compromise users’ accounts with a single click.” Independent

While the Android ecosystem as a whole has been getting better about long-term support and the speed of updates, EU lawmakers are now pushing for a set standard for Android updates that just so happens to mirror what Google offers on the Pixel 6. A draft regulation currently on the table in the EU looks to establish “ecodesign requirements for mobile phones, cordless phones, and slate tablets.” The inspiration for the regulation comes from the speed at which smartphones and similar devices are left behind by buyers, which can often lead to e-waste. 

Apple’s next big product event is set for September 7th. It’s the company’s third live event of the year, and we’re expecting to see quite a few big announcements, from the iPhone 14 lineup to a new “Pro” Apple Watch model to the next generation of AirPods Pro — plus a bunch more. The event is being held in person for select members of the media, but it’s also going to be streaming online for everyone else. Here are the details for you to watch the event from wherever you are. The Verge

Chris Price
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