Tech Digest daily roundup: Musk launches ‘pro-humanity’ AI startup, xAI


Elon Musk
Elon Musk (above) has launched an artificial intelligence startup
that will be “pro-humanity”, as he said the world needed to worry about the prospect of a “terminator future” in order to avoid the most apocalyptic AI scenarios. Musk said xAI would seek to build a system that would be safe because it was “maximally curious” about humanity rather than having moral guidelines programmed into it. The world’s wealthiest person was one of the signatories to a letter this year that called for a pause in building large AI models such as ChatGPT. The Guardian 

Twitter faces legal action over allegedly owing around $500m (£385m) in severance pay promised to thousands of workers sacked by Elon Musk. The lawsuit has accused Twitter of handing staff at most one month of severance pay, with many not receiving anything at all. Mr Musk has fired more than half of Twitter’s 7,500-strong workforce since acquiring the social network for $44bn last year. Telegraph 

Google’s parent company Alphabet is rolling out its artificial intelligence chatbot Bard in Europe and Brazil. It is the product’s biggest expansion since its March launch in the US and the UK and heats up the rivalry with Microsoft’s ChatGPT. Both are examples of generative AI that can respond to questions in a human-like way. Bard’s launch in the EU had been held up after the main data regulator in the bloc raised privacy concerns. BBC 

Renault has announced it will unveil the production version of the Scénic Vision concept on 4 September at this year’s Munich motor show. The Scénic Vision previews a spacious family SUV positioned above the existing Mégane E-Tech Electric crossover and measuring 4490mm long, 1900mm wide and 1590mm tall. Its exterior design is “90% ready” for production, according to Renault design chief Gilles Vidal. Autocar

A start-up which uses technology to map complicated sub-surface and unseen locations to help major infrastructure projects save time and money is raising a seven-figure sum to accelerate the supply of its quantum sensors. Sky News understands that Delta g, which was spun out of the University of Birmingham, will announce on Friday that it has secured £1.5m from a syndicate of investors. Sky News 

iOS 17 is one of the best iPhone updates in years, and I can’t give you a single good reason why. There are lots of little tweaks but no single feature that stands out above the rest — though StandBy mode gets an honorable mention. Keyboard improvements, live voicemail and new stickers don’t sound all that compelling. It’s the total effect of these incremental updates that I’m excited about. There are a handful of new features that fall a little flat. Dropping the “Hey” from “Hey Siri” feels a little “meh” when it wasn’t really a problem to say “Hey Siri” in the first place. The Verge

Apple has announced the launch of Tap to Pay on iPhone in the United Kingdom, allowing independent sellers, small merchants, and large retailers in the country to use ‌iPhones‌ as a payment terminal.

Apple Tap to Pay on iPhone avail UK transaction
The feature allows compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, using only an ‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌ – no additional hardware or credit card machine is required‌. Revolut and Tyl by NatWest are the first payment platforms to offer Tap to Pay on ‌iPhone‌ to their UK business customers. Mac Rumors

Chris Price
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