Tech Digest daily roundup: Grooming cases hit record high as Online Safety Bill delayed


Tens of thousands of online grooming crimes have been recorded during the wait for updated online safety laws. Campaigners are urging tech companies and MPs to back the Online Safety Bill and are calling for no more hold-ups. The bill, which aims to crack down on illegal content, has faced repeated delays and amendments. Children’s charity the NPSCC says 34,000 online grooming crimes had been recorded by UK police forces since it first called for tougher laws in 2017. The proposed new rules state that tech companies should be able to access the content of private messages if there is a child safety concern. BBC 

Disgraced crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried used stolen customer money to make political donations, prosecutors have alleged. The 31-year-old, whose £21bn FTX empire collapsed last year, is accused of making north of $100bn (£79bn) in campaign contributions during the 2022 US midterms. He is said to have directed two of his company’s executives to send cash to both Democrats and Republicans to evade contribution limits and conceal where the funds had come from. Sky News 

Architecture bodies including RIBA and AIA are putting together guidance and policy requests to governments to help the profession deal with the potential risks and benefits of AI. Artificial-intelligence (AI) technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, with the emergence of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney raising serious questions for the creative industries. Architecture-specific AI models like LookX promise to revolutionise the process of designing buildings, but there have also been warnings that architects’ jobs could become at risk. Dezeen

US private equity business was today shocked after a fake press release appeared on the London Stock Exchange website alleging that the firm was planning to invest $1 billion into ChatGPT owner OpenAI. The announcement, which appeared on the LSE’s regulatory news site, claimed that New York-based Ripplewood “would like to set up the software as a driving force in the fund” and that “in the event of a possible IPO a ChatGPT stake is a giant valuable asset…[a] bargain for investors.” Evening Standard 

If you like to charge your phone overnight so that you can wake up with a full battery, you might want to think again – as Apple has issued iPhone users a stark warning about the dangers of leaving your phone charging while you sleep. Manufacturers of the popular mobile phone have said the common sleep mistake could even be deadly. For many of us, leaving our phones charging overnight is the most convenient time to replenish their batteries, as there’s no chance of us needing to unplug it before it’s finished. However, Apple has warned you must never sleep with your iPhone when it’s charging. The Mirror

Weight-loss jabs
are set to be prescribed on apps by the NHS under new plans to tackle the obesity crisis. As many as 50,000 people could benefit from new online clinics with hospitals “unable to keep up with demand” for the injections. Ministers believe weight-loss drugs are a crucial weapon in tackling Britain’s obesity epidemic with two in three people classed as overweight or obese. Excess weight is estimated to cost the economy £27 billion a year in health care and benefits for the out of work. Telegraph 

Chris Price
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