Tech Digest daily roundup: Google’s Bard chatbot launches

Image: Google

Google’s Bard chatbot launched on Tuesday in the UK and US, as the company completes its dash to release a competitor to Bing Chat and ChatGPT. It is seen as a do-or-die moment for the company, whose profitable web search service risks being outcompeted by artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots – even if those chatbots currently have problems in consistently returning accurate and useful results. Describing the service as an “experiment”, Google’s Jack Krawczyk, the product lead for Bard, said the company was “extremely excited … watching how people are using this product in a way that’s boosting their creativity.” The Guardian

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says the development of artificial intelligence (AI) is the most important technological advance in decades. In a blog post on Tuesday, he called it as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone. “It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other,” he said. He was writing about the technology used by tools such as chatbot ChatGPT. Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is an AI chatbot which is programmed to answer questions online using natural, human-like language. BBC 

Second-hand electric car prices are tumbling amid a glut of stock as drivers trade their cars in. The average price of a pre-owned electric vehicle has fallen by 13pc over the last year to £33,060, AutoTrader found. The second-hand car marketplace said prices were coming down as more supply comes onto the market. Many new cars bought between 2018 to 2020 are now being sold on by owners whose financing schemes have come to an end. The number of second-hand battery powered vehicles listed on AutoTrader has jumped by 261pc over the last 12 months. Demand has not kept up, with buyer searches for electric cars only rising 47pc. Telegraph 

It seems that the iPhone 15 will finally ditch the dreadful Lightning port and enter the modern USB-C age. Apple will have to comply with the EU’s legislation and equip its phones with the standard port, if the company wants to sell its phones in Europe. According to all the leaks and rumors from the past couple of months, Apple is indeed going that route, and the iPhone 15 will come with a USB-C port. However, there’s a catch that might not make users happy. According to Kuo (via 9to5Mac), Apple will physically restrict the cables that users will be able to use with the new port. Phone Arena 

Virgin Orbit Holdings Inc. said it’s targeting “an incremental resumption of operations” after temporarily halting activities last week in the wake of a failed satellite launch a few months ago that threw the ambitious space program off course. “Our first step will begin Thursday of this week, when we plan to return a subset of our team to focus on critical areas for our next mission,” Virgin Orbit said in a statement. “We are looking forward to getting back to our mission and returning to orbit.” Bloomberg UK 

Alongside the new Find X6 and Find X6 Pro flagship smartphones, Oppo announced its third Android tablet – the Oppo Pad 2 which comes as a sequel to last year’s Oppo Pad. Oppo also introduced its latest TWS earbuds in its Enco series – the Enco Free3. Oppo Pad 2 brings a nearly identical design and spec sheet to the recently launched OnePlus Pad tablet. Oppo Pad 2 boasts the same 11.6-inch LTPS LCD with a 2000 x 2800 px resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to