Tech Digest daily roundup: Elon Musk among those calling for halt in AI training


Key figures in artificial intelligence want training of powerful AI systems to be suspended amid fears of a threat to humanity. They have signed an open letter warning of potential risks, and say the race to develop AI systems is out of control. Twitter chief Elon Musk is among those who want training of AIs above a certain capacity to be halted for at least six months. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and some researchers at DeepMind also signed. The letter, from Future of Life Institute, warns of the risks future, more advanced systems might pose. BBC 

Electric vehicles are cheaper to ‘fuel’ using the fastest public charging devices than petrol cars for the first time due to falling energy prices… but only if you plug in during off-peak hours, says the AA. Its latest EV Recharge Report shows an 8p per kWh reduction in average costs to use ‘ultra-rapid’ chargers during off-peak times – and if EV owners can tap into the network during these hours it will cost just 11.69p per mile compared to 14.12p when filling up with petrol. ThisIsMoney

New emojis for iOS16.4

Apple released iOS 16.4 and it brings several minor updates to the mobile operating system. The big new addition here is the ability to receive notifications on web apps from Safari. Apple also added Voice Isolation for cellular calls which should offer improved ambient noise reduction. The feature was previously available on FaceTime and other third-party VoIP call apps. There’s a total of 21 new emoji symbols with the new iOS release including hand gestures, pink heart, jellyfish and a Wi-Fi symbol. Photos get a neat feature that can remove duplicate photos and videos across iCloud Share Photo Libraries. GSM Arena

Increasing numbers of children are “split-screening” so that they can watch multiple social media videos at a time, new research suggests. Not content with their endless feeds of single attention-sapping clips on apps like TikTok and Instagram, many youngsters are now dividing their smartphone screens to see two or more simultaneously. Some even stack videos on top of one another, according to Ofcom‘s report into children’s relationship with media. Sky News

Another ChatGPT app has arrived for your iPhone, enabling you to ask the AI questions and suggestions in an instant. Available on the App Store as a free download, Perplexity displays suggested queries that you can view, while typing in or speaking your own. The results were quick, although the formatting made it hard to read, especially when asking the app how to make chocolate pancakes. We’ve already seen a bunch of similar apps arrive on the Mac and Apple Watch, but this is one of the first apps for iOS that you can use without enabling a Siri Shortcut. iMore

The UK is set to campaign to protect the frequencies currently used for terrestrial television at this year’s World Radiocommunications Conference.The Conference, taking place this November and December in Dubai, will make internationally binding decisions on how frequencies used for telecommunications can be used. Mobile network operators are campaigning for another tranche of spectrum to be made available for mobile services. Currently, Freeview frequencies are only safe until 2030, although the UK government has authorised the extension of broadcasting licences until 2035. RXTV


Chris Price
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