Tech Digest daily roundup: Should scientists have AI licences?


Scientists should have licences to be allowed to develop AI products,
the professional body for tech workers has urged. Rashik Parmar, chief executive of British Computer Society (BCS), the chartered institute for IT staff, made his comments after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched a review into the AI market. The regulator’s review comes amid fears that big tech companies such as Microsoft are becoming too dominant in the fast-moving field. Mr Parmar said: “I would not want a surgeon to operate on me that wasn’t competent, ethical … And yet we allow IT professionals to build and deploy complex technologies without the same level of professionalism. Telegraph 

Geoffrey Hinton, dubbed the “godfather of AI”, has joined a growing chorus of voices urging more caution in the development of artificial intelligence, warning that it is hard to “prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things”. But it’s not just the despots and tyrants who keep me awake at night – it’s the engineers, executives and politicians tasked with making science fiction a reality. The loudest voices in the AI discourse tend to exhibit a startling level of misplaced certainty about what AI is capable of and how the technology can be controlled. Independent 

A privacy breach at Twitter published tweets that were never supposed to be seen by anyone but the poster’s closest friends to the site at large, the company has admitted after weeks of stonewalling reports. The site’s Circles feature allows users to set an exclusive list of friends and post tweets that only they can read. Similar to Instagram’s Close Friends setting, it allows users to share private thoughts, explicit images or unprofessional statements without risking sharing them with their wider network. But, in an email to affected users seen by the Guardian, Twitter admitted tweets had escaped this containment. The Guardian 

Tesla sent ripples through car showrooms across the world when it started cutting prices this year. Rival manufacturers from Detroit to Japan began seeing the second-hand values of their own battery models fall, while their share prices began slipping amid expectations of an electric vehicle price war. Tesla has now promised to go even further. Elon Musk’s group is willing to sacrifice profitability to spur demand for its models as it tries to hit ambitious sales goals that would make it the world’s largest carmaker by the end of the decade.

According to an early Amazon listing that has since been removed, the Pixel Tablet will be released on June 20 in Japan, while other key specs have also now emerged thanks to this leak. As captured in a screenshot (via Reddit), Amazon Japan briefly posted a full Pixel Tablet listing that included the scheduled release and several images of the device in Porcelain (beige rear with white bezel) and Hazel (green/black). The Pixel Tablet is priced at ¥79,800 (or $591~) for 128GB of (UFS 3.1) storage, with a previous leak from April pegged European pricing at €600-650 ($657~ to $711~). 9to5Google

Uber’s former chief security officer has avoided jail and been sentenced to three years’ probation for covering up a cyber-attack from authorities. Joseph Sullivan was found guilty of paying hackers $100,000 (£79,000) after they gained access to 57 million records of Uber customers, including names and phone numbers. He must also pay a fine of $50,000, and serve 200 hours of community service. Prosecutors originally asked for a 15-month prison sentence. BBC

Chris Price
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