Tech Digest daily roundup: Scramble for more power for Rishi Sunak’s AI lab


Officials are scrambling to secure extra electricity capacity for the likely home of Britain’s new sovereign artificial intelligence (AI) lab, amid fears the overloaded grid could undermine Rishi Sunak’s ambitions for the technology. The Prime Minister is understood to have become personally interested in efforts to secure extra grid capacity for a supercomputing lab in Bristol, which is the leading contender for a taxpayer-funded £100m “AI Research Resource”. Telegraph

After years of arguing against EU’s push for a common phone charger, Apple will finally make the switch to USB-C this year. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts that the September 12 event will present the change with a smile, focusing on the benefits to consumers that this brings – but there is some worry behind the scenes too. The obvious things are losing the revenue from MFi licenses and apparently Apple execs are worried about another backlash from fans like when they first introduced the Lightning port (and removed the established 30-pin connector). GSM Arena 

A military takeover of Taiwan is likely, according to one of many Chinese government-approved artificial intelligence chatbots that seem to toe the ruling Communist Party’s official line. The island nation has been a self-governing democracy since its separation from the mainland following a civil war in 1949, but China has claimed it as part of its national territory. The chatbots have dubbed Taiwan an inseparable part of China. Independent 

Volkswagen has previewed a feisty, affordable performance variant of the upcoming ID 2 with the new ID GTI concept – a car that unashamedly harks back to the original Golf GTI, both in spirit and styling. A headliner at the 2023 Munich motor show, the compact front-wheel-drive hot hatch is earmarked to head Volkswagen’s new entry-level electric car line-up with a front-mounted electric motor, specially tuned sport suspension, traditional GTI design elements and a price tag expected to start at around €30,000 (£26,000). Autocar

Nasa’s Space-X Crew-6 splashed back down on Earth after a six-month stay at the International Space Station. Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Sultan al-Neyadi, the first Arab person to spend an extended time in orbit, was among the members of the Crew-6 mission run jointly by NASA and SpaceX. He was joined by NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg and Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev. Sky News 

Efforts by Conservative MPs to block the development of solar farms on agricultural land could cost bill payers £5bn, new analysis has found. An amendment to the Energy Bill, currently passing through Parliament, by Alicia Kearns, the MP for Rutland and Melton, aims to stop solar farms from being built on high-quality agricultural land. Analysis by the ECIU, a climate think tank, found that if successful, the effort would add between £3bn and £5bn to consumer bills, around £180 per household. inews

Scientists have developed an energy source which could allow astronauts to live on the Moon for long periods of time. The Nasa-led Artemis Program hopes for an outpost on the Moon by around 2030. Bangor University has designed nuclear fuel cells, the size of poppy seeds, to produce the energy needed to sustain life there. Prof Simon Middleburgh from the university said the work was a challenge – “but it was a fun one”. BBC