Police concerned AI chatbot wouldn’t understand Brummie accent, Google One gets free updates


West Midlands Police trialled a voice assistant
powered by artificial intelligence (AI) in a bid to deal with rising volumes of non-emergency calls. Sensitive technical details of the plan were erroneously published online in a document seen by the BBC. It set out potential risks of the AI, including whether the system, dubbed “Amy101”, would understand local “Brummie” accents. West Midlands Police has insisted “robust safeguards” were in place. “Bias will naturally occur within the “Amy” system based on accents/localisation – for example can she understand “Brummie” accents?” the document asks. BBC

Google is adding significant upgrades for Google One subscribers in the UK, surprisingly, at no extra cost. Users who subscribe to the 2TB Google One tier now get free access to Fitbit Premium and Nest Aware, which offers premium features for the smart home products. That’s a value of £7.99 a month for Fitbit Premium and £6 a month for Nest Aware. If you happen to be subscribing to both already, alongside your 2TB Google One subscription, that’s quite a saving over the course of the year. Trusted Reviews 

Police have completed an intense week of action across the UK in a bid to crack down on the supply of illegal streaming services — specifically Fire TV Sticks modified to watch copyrighted material for free. Fire TV Sticks are incredibly popular gadgets built and sold by Amazon to offer an affordable way to bring games and streaming services to any television with an HDMI port. However, this low-cost streaming hardware is often used by criminals to offer a painless way to watch copyrighted material at a fraction of the cost. GB News 

A hacking group has claimed credit for one of its biggest social media outages in years on Tuesday — when millions of accounts went down worldwide on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Threads, and WhatsApp. The ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous claimed it was a cyber attack, but Meta has been tight-lipped on what caused the outage, simply calling it a ‘technical issue.’ Meta’s loss of service came soon after the AT&T outage that some speculated was caused by malicious hackers, as well as the United Healthcare ransomware attack. Daily Mail 

Image: North West Motorway Police

A runaway electric car had to be boxed in between police cars after an electrical fault left the driver unable to brake on a motorway. The car was seen hurtling along the M62 between Liverpool and Manchester on Wednesday afternoon. It was finally halted between Junction 11 for Birchwood and 12 for Eccles, police said. In a post on X, North West Motorway Police said the vehicle was brought “to a safe stop”. BBC 

A Chinese software engineer working for Google was charged by the US Justice Department with stealing trade secrets for developing artificial intelligence from the company’s supercomputing data centres. Linwei Ding, 38, a Chinese national and resident of Newark, California, who was hired by Google in 2019, has been charged with four counts of trade secrets theft, the Justice Department said on Wednesday. Telegraph 

Donald Trump met with billionaire Elon Musk in Florida over the weekend as the former Republican president seeks a major cash infusion for his re-election campaign, The New York Times reported. According to the Times, Trump met with Musk – one of the world’s richest people – and a number of wealthy Republican donors on Sunday and hopes to have a one-on-one discussion soon with Musk, the CEO of both Tesla Inc and SpaceX, and the owner-executive chairman of X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. Guardian 

Chris Price
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