Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 03/11/2023.
Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse
I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.
AI has been the main focus this week – with the UK holding its first ever AI Safety Summit on Wednesday and Thursday.
It was held at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes and was a real landmark event, the first global summit about Artificial Intelligence.
Around 100 world leaders, tech bosses, academics and AI researchers were there to discuss how to maximise the benefits of the technology while keeping the risks as low as possible.
Among the highlights was a taped address to attendees by King Charles.
He said that AI posed risks which need to be tackled with ‘a sense of urgency, unity and collective strength.’
That came as the UK Government unveiled the Bletchley Declaration – a world first agreement on how to manage AI risks.
The US, EU and China have all signed up.
X owner Elon Musk was there of course – ahead of the summit he claimed that AI could lead to ‘humanity’s extinction.’
But he also said it’s too early to regulate it.
As the summit wrapped up on Thursday night, Musk was due to hold a live interview with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
In the audience was rumoured to be US vice president Kamala Harris and Meta’s Nick Clegg.
It was due to happen after our deadline for this bulletin so we’ll bring you all the big headlines from it next week – and keep an eye on our website as well.
We’re not quite done with artificial intelligence news just yet.
This week – AI was named ‘word of the year’ by Collins Dictionary.
The publisher says use of term’s quadrupled in 2023.
Among the other shortlisted words this year was debanking – taking away someone’s bank account; Ulez – ultra low emissions zone; and deinfluencing – high profile social media users telling followers to avoid certain products.
Sam Bankman-Fried took to the stand this week as his fraud trial reached its conclusion.
Prosecutors in New York finished questioning the 31-year-old, who took the somewhat risky decision to testify in his own defence.
The former billionaire is accused of stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers and lying to investors and lenders.
FTX went bankrupt leaving more than a million people out of pocket.
He denies the charges but faces over 100 years in prison if he’s convicted.
Meta is to offer an ad-free paid subscription option for Facebook and Instagram, to comply with European privacy legislation.
The new paid subscription is for Facebook and Instagram users (aged 18 and over) in the EU and EEA – but that of course doesn’t include the UK.
It’ll cost just over €10 to subscribe through the website – or €3 more on iOS or Android.
Big name tech firms have all warned about a new type of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that began in late August.
Alphabet’s Google, Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services all released details on Tuesday.
It’s the largest ever attack of its kind.
Google revealed this incident utilised a new technique.
Broadband providers in the UK have blocked access to a controversial website which has been linked to 50 deaths.
It’s understood the forum promotes suicide.
Sky and Virgin Media were among the companies to say they had now put blocks in place.
A forecast from a well-known analyst house has predicted strong spending on IT in 2024, despite concerns about the state of the global economy.
The forecast from Gartner says that worldwide IT spending will total $5.1 trillion in 2024, an increase of 8% from 2023.
It comes after IT spending rose 4.3% in 2023, compared to spending levels in 2022 as the world recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new scheme in the city of Preston will help people who can’t afford the internet to get online.
Preston Digital Cooperative will include WI-Fi fibre ‘hubs’ to give discounted or even free internet access to low income households.
And the scheme will also see old hardware reconditioned and given to people who need them.
And we’re only just into November but already we’ve got some early rumours about next year’s Apple Watch.
2024 marks the ten-year anniversary of the first model.
And the new one could include a blood pressure sensor, and a system for detecting sleep apnoea.
There’s also talk that Apple could launch a health subscription service as well.