Tech Digest daily roundup: Study finds Facebook not linked to psychological harm


There is no evidence the global spread of Facebook is linked to widespread psychological harm, an Oxford Internet Institute (OII) study suggests. The research looked at how wellbeing changed in 72 countries as use of the social media platform grew. It counters the common belief that social media is psychologically harmful, the researchers argue. Several countries, including the UK, are considering legislation to protect social media users from online harms. Meta, which owns Facebook, has faced scrutiny following testimony from whistle-blowers and press reports based on leaks that suggested the company’s own research pointed to negative impacts on some users. BBC 

Publishers should be able to opt out of having their works mined by generative artificial intelligence systems, according to Google, but the company has not said how such a system would work. In its submission to the Australian government’s review of the regulatory framework around AI, Google said that copyright law should be altered to allow for generative AI systems to scrape the internet. The company has called for Australian policymakers to promote “copyright systems that enable appropriate and fair use of copyrighted content to enable the training of AI models. The Guardian 

Artists could be paid royalties under plans to allow artificial intelligence to mimic their voice as record labels attempt to benefit from one of the music industry’s biggest threats. Google and Johnny Cash’s label Universal Music Group (UMG) are in talks to licence artists’ songs and voices to allow people to legally make AI ‘deep fake’ tracks. The move comes after an AI-generated parody of the Hurt singer appearing to sing the lyrics to Aqua’s Barbie Girl went viral. Telegraph 

Apple is planning a host of powerful new Macs, according to new rumours. The company is testing a high-end MacBook Pro, powered by a new M3 chip with more cores than in the existing M2 line, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. And it is also testing a new version of the Mac Mini, due for release next year, he reported. Apple has updated nearly all of its current Macs to the M2 line of chips – which also includes the M2 Pro, Max and Ultra – over recent months. That includes the Mac Pro, which had been long neglected. Independent 

The ABC is shutting down almost all of its official accounts on Twitter – now known as X under Elon Musk’s ownership – citing “toxic interactions”, cost and better interaction with ABC content on other social media platforms. There will only be four remaining official accounts for Australia’s public broadcaster: @abcnews, @abcsport, @abcchinese and the master @abcaustralia account. ABC Chinese reaches Chinese-speaking audiences on X. Guardian 

Image: Apple TV +

Gizmodo editor-in-chief Daniel Ackerman has sued Apple and other parties over the 2023 Apple TV Plus film Tetris, alleging it rips off his 2016 book The Tetris Effect. Ackerman claims Apple, Tetris rightsholder the Tetris Company, the Tetris film’s producers, and screenwriter Noah Pink copied “the exact same feel, tone, approach, and scenes” from The Tetris Effect — particularly its framing of the game’s release as a “Cold War spy thriller.” The Verge

Forget what the sleek ships of Star Trek would have you believe, it turns out humanity’s most famous spacecraft is even dustier than the average home. The International Space Station (ISS) may not be a hunk of junk, but – 25 years after its initial launch – it’s become chock-full of potentially harmful chemicals. In a first of its kind study, UK and US researchers teamed up to analyse dust samples from air filters on board and compared them to organic contaminants found in our Earthly homes. Sky News 

Chris Price
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