Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

This is your weekly round-up of the top tech news stories.

Every Friday, Silicon UK surveys the week’s tech news.

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or sector.

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.


Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.

It’s been a turbulent week at OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT.

It all started last Friday when the non-profit board of directors shocked the entire tech industry, by unexpectedly firing CEO Sam Altman, who has been the public face of the firm since 2019.

Apparently, an internal review found he “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board.”

Co-founder and former president Greg Brockman, then resigned on Friday in solidarity with Altman.

Both then joined Microsoft.

Things soon spiralled, with 743 out of 770 staff at the firm threatening to resign en masse unless the pair were reinstated, with them all apparently promised roles at Microsoft.

On Wednesday, OpenAI confirmed that Altman would return, and a new board of directors put in place.

That will be chaired by former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, who also chaired Twitter’s board before its takeover by Elon Musk last year. The other members will be former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo.

£500m is being invested in AI in the UK.

In his autumn statement, the chancellor announced the money will be invested over the next two years.

It’s to fund more ‘innovation centres’ to help make the UK an ‘AI powerhouse.’

In his speech, he said that ‘AI will be at the heart of any future growth.’

The move follows the success of supercomputing centres in Edinburgh and Bristol.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has provisionally pledged £20m towards the first phase of a £1bn cyber centre.

The Golden Valley development aims to confirm Cheltenham as the UK’s cyber capital.

It’ll be built on a plot next to GCHQ – the Government’s cyber scecurity agency.

Cheltenham Borough Council has already invested £130m in the scheme.

The development is expected to create 12,000 new jobs and 3,700 houses.

Good news for the mobile phone sector this week after an analyst recorded a healthy growth in smartphone shipments in October.

Counterpoint Research announced that October saw the global monthly smartphone market record year on year growth for the first time since June 2021.

That ends 27 months of consecutive decline.

Counterpoint Research’s Smartphone 360 Monthly Tracker found that in October, global smartphone shipments grew 5% year on year, with emerging markets leading the recovery.

The British Library has been hit by a cyberattack.

Its confirmed staff data was compromised in a ransomware attack at the end of last month.

Apparently ‘technical issues’ it has been experiencing since the end of October are down to the incident.

The library’s main website was down for nearly a month and the attack has affected online systems and services such as book ordering.

The institution says data on staff appears to have been stolen and is being auctioned by the attack group Rhysida this week, according to a dark web post by the group.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics has reportedly begun notifying some of its UK customers of a data breach that has exposed their personal information to an unauthorised individual.

A cyberattack is reported to have resulted in a data breach impacting people who made purchases from the Samsung UK online store between 1 July 2019, and 30 June 2020.

The notification to customers reportedly says that exposed data may include names, phone numbers, postal and email addresses, but it appears no financial information has been exposed.

Legal action is being launched by X over what it called an “intentionally deceptive report” alleging pro-Nazi content had appeared alongside mainstream advertising.

Elon Musk is suing the non-profit Media Matters over the report released last week, which included screenshots showing advertisements from major companies appearing alongside accounts praising Nazism and denying the Holocaust.

This week, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton opened an investigation into “potential fraudulent activity” by the non-profit.

Following the report, several advertisers, including IBM, Apple and Disney, suspended advertising on the platform.

Now, could the cookie be about to crumble for some UK websites?

Well, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says some major sites could be fined unless they make it clear that cookies are optional.

The ICO has given sites 30 days to comply with the law.

But the watchdog hasn’t publicly named the sites which have been handed enforcement notices.

One of the world’s biggest E-sports has announced it’ll hold its 2024 grand final in London.

League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena game that pits two teams of five against each other.

This year’s finals have just been held in South Korea.

Next November, they’ll be at the O2 Arena in London.

And SpaceX is calling its latest spaceship test flight a success.

The 120 metres tall rocket, called Starship, launched its second test flight from Texas this week.

The first was cut short after a few seconds because of technical issues.

This one lasted several minutes, but it was clear that those previous launch issues had been resolved.

The aim is to use a version of Starship to land humans on the Moon later this decade.

That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk

David Howell

Dave Howell is a freelance journalist and writer. His work has appeared across the national press and in industry-leading magazines and websites. He specialises in technology and business. Read more about Dave on his website: Nexus Publishing. https://www.nexuspublishing.co.uk.

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