Welcome to Silicon Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 09/06/2023.
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.
Boots, British Airways and the BBC were among several big companies hit by a major data hack.
It compromised a tool used by businesses to securely transfer sensitive data, affecting payroll provider Zellis, which is used by the three British firms.
In all, Zellis said eight of its clients had been affected.
The provincial government of Novia Scotia also said it was hit by the hack, while there were reports that Aer Lingus had stolen data.
Microsoft said a Russian group called Lace Tempest is believed to be behind it.
Powerful AI systems might need to be banned.
That’s according to a Government advisor who’s spoken out this week.
Marc Warner is also the chief exec of Faculty AI.
He said that artificial general intelligence systems designed to mimic humans are of real concern – and that ‘sensible decisions’ on the tech are needed within the next year.
That comes as it’s revealed the UK will host a global AI summit this autumn.
The event will evaluate the risks posed by the technology.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants the UK to be at the forefront of the efforts to make sure AI is used for good.
It comes after warnings from several high-profile figures about the threats artificial intelligence carries.
Crypto companies have been told they have to introduce a 24-hour ‘cooling off period’ in the UK.
It’s part of sweeping changes to how digital assets like Bitcoin can be marketed here.
The changes kick in this October – and bosses are being warned they could face up to two years in prison if they don’t comply with the new rules.
‘Refer a friend’ adverts are also being banned.
Apple’s announced a new VR headset.
It was pretty much the worst-kept secret, with rumours for a while now about the company making its first move into the market.
It’s revealed Vision Pro – which it says is all about ‘spatial computing.’
When it starts up, we see our surroundings as normal with an overlay of apps very similar to how they appear on an iPhone or iPad.
Apple’s chief exec Tim Cook said Vision Pro ‘seamlessly blends the real world and the virtual world’
Critics, though, say demand for VR devices isn’t currently there.
And there’s the price tag to consider – a cool $3,500.
Perhaps the more significant news for Apple users this week though is…
No more ducking hell!
The next version of its iOS software will overhaul its autocorrect feature.
Previously, erm, well, let’s just say one of the most common swear words would automatically get changed.
But it’ll now use AI to figure out if you really do mean to use the expletive.
Both the VR headset and iOS 17 were announced at Apple’s developers’ conference in California this week.
Some senior changes at Twitter this week…
New chief exec Linda Yarrarino started – ushering in a new era for the platform after a chaotic few months after Elon Musk’s takeover.
That came as Ella Irwin quit as head of trust and safety.
She was the second person in the role since Musk took over.
Her resignation was a few days after Twitter withdrew from the European code of practice on disinformation.
Lots more goings on as ever at Twitter this week – could fill the whole bulletin with them, to be fair – head to silicon.co.uk for a full rundown.
Microsoft’s landed a hefty fine after it was found to have illegally collected data on children who started Xbox accounts.
It’s been ordered to pay 20 million dollars after the Federal Trade Commission in the US reached a settlement.
It found that the firm hadn’t told parents about its data collection policies among other violations.
It follows a similar action against Amazon last week over its Echo devices.
Now if you’re in Brighton – and you’re on O2 – it’s not just you!
The network has apologised and admitted it’s suffering intermittent service issues.
This also applies to Giffgaff, which runs on the O2 network.
It’s put up a new temporary mast and has plans for a second one.
We now have a robot that can cook!
This is at the University of Cambridge.
Researchers programmed the robotic chef with eight fairly simple salad recipes.
It then watched videos of humans making the salads – and was then able to do them itself.
And it managed to come up with a ninth recipe on its own.
It’s hoped the technology could help in automated food production.
And no more telling Samuel L Jackson to order new paper clips, or asking Melissa McCarthy what the weather’s going to be like today.
Amazon has confirmed it’s removing the option to have celebrity voices on their Alexa devices.
It was back in 2019 when Samuel L Jackson was added – for a fee, he’d take the place of the standard voice and even had a few slightly rude, choice responses, shall we say.
In 2021 Melissa McCarthy was added along with Shaq O’Neal.
It comes amid a major restructuring, including some 27,000 job cuts at Amazon.
That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk