Tech Digest daily roundup: OpenAI opens London office – first outside US


The company behind ChatGPT is opening an office in London, its first outside the US, in a boost to Rishi Sunak’s bid to make Britain an artificial intelligence hub. OpenAI said it had chosen the capital as its base due to a “vibrant technology ecosystem” and “exceptional talent” in London. The company is also hiring lobbyists in the UK, coming as ministers seek to make Britain a beacon for laws governing artificial intelligence. OpenAI has become the most prominent artificial intelligence company in the world after the release of ChatGPT last November. Telegraph 

Cornwall is blessed. Lithium is everywhere, but there are very few places in the world with the vital geology where it can be successfully extracted. In a China Clay pit in St Austell, the scramble for one of the world’s most economically precious minerals is underway. Imerys, a French mineral processing company, has just announced plans to invest more than 600 million Euros (£520m) in a joint venture with British Lithium to develop the UK’s first commercial lithium mine.

Google has scrapped its latest augmented reality (AR) headset that was meant to rival headsets from Apple and Meta, according to reports. The search giant’s ‘Project Iris’ was abandoned earlier this year, Insider reported, making it the second major set of smart glasses to be ditched following Google Glass. The latest AR glasses were first teased last year at Google I/O, with a video showing wearers using the device to translate conversations in real-time. “What we’re working on is technology that enables us to break down language barriers,” Max Spear, a product manager at Google, said in the video. Independent

Special internet deals for those on benefits should be free of VAT to get more people online, peers have urged. Those without internet are at a disadvantage when looking for jobs, for example, a report by a Lords committee said. “The government does not have a credible strategy to tackle digital exclusion,” the report said. But the government said it is committed to ensuring no one is left behind in the digital age. It says it has worked “to bring a range of social broadband and mobile tariffs, available across 99% of the UK and starting from as low as £10 per month”. BBC 

Virgin Galactic is due to send its first commercial flight
into space later today. The spaceflight, dubbed the Galactic 01 by Sir Richard Branson’s private space tourism company, is set for take off at 4pm UK time. But what is a commercial spaceflight? Put simply, it’s a flight into space that people pay for. But while Galactic 01 is being billed as Virgin Galactic’s first commercial flight, it won’t have tourists on board. Instead, crew members will embark on a scientific research mission. Sky News 

Google may have misled dozens of business and government advertisers about the viewership of ads running on third party websites and apps, while charging for them, a new report has claimed. Google’s TrueView is the company’s proprietary video ad product that is displayed not only in YouTube but on third party sites and apps across the internet. Advertising research organisation Adalytics reported this week that its research identified that many advertisers paying for TrueView ads running outside YouTube on other websites and apps might not be getting what they paid for. The Guardian 

Chris Price
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