Welcome to Silicon Pulse – your roundup of the latest tech news and developments impacting your business for the week ending 16/06/2023.
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.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has laid out his desire for the UK to be the home of Global AI Safety Regulation.
He was speaking at London Tech Week on Monday.
He said the “tectonic plates of technology are shifting” and that the “possibilities” of AI are “extraordinary”.
“But we must – and we will – do it safely,” – his words
It comes as the UK confirms it’ll host the first international summit on AI safety later this year.
The UK’s media regulator Ofcom has confirmed that it was among the organisations hit by a Russian ransomware attack.
It says that confidential data about some of the companies it regulates had been compromised, along with personal data on over 400 staff.
Transport for London and Ernst and Young have also admitted they were targeted in the hack by the group known as Clop.
We already knew the BBC, British Airways, Aer Lingus and Boots had been victims.
The group had set a deadline which has now passed for the organisations to begin negotiations by email, otherwise the stolen information would be released online.
Meanwhile this week – The University of Manchester has been the target of a cyber attack.
Just to be clear – this isn’t related to the Russian hack we’ve just been talking about – separate incident.
Uni bosses say data might have been stolen after some systems were ‘accessed by an unauthorised party.
They’re now working with the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency to resolve things.
Mobile phone operators Vodafone and Three have announced plans to merge.
The deal would make it the UK’s biggest mobile network, with around 27 million customers.
Separately, they’re currently the third and fourth biggest.
Vodafone will own 51% of the new business, while Three’s owner will control the remaining stake.
They also said they would invest £11bn in 5G in the UK over 10 years.
The deal though, of course, has to be approved by regulators, who’ll look at whether it could have a negative impact on the prices customers pay.
Loads happening at Twitter again this week.
It’s facing eviction from its office in Colorado in the States after Elon Musk stopped paying the rent.
More legal issues – Twitter’s being sued for 250 million dollars by music publishers over what’s described as a ‘massive’ copyright infringement.
This is led by the National Music Publishers Association on behalf of 17 groups.
And new CEO Linda Yaccarino has outlined her plans for Twitter 2.0.
She says the company is “on a mission to become the world’s most accurate real-time information source”.
Amazon could be planning an ad-supported tier on its Prime Video platform.
Netflix and Disney have already done something similar.
Currently Prime is commercial-free for anyone who pays for the Prime package.
That comes as the company announces plans to clampdown on fake reviews.
It’s introduced a new AI tool which can weed out the non-genuine reviews.
Quick update now on the Microsoft takeover of the games manufacturer Activision Blizzard.
The US regulator has applied for a restraining order and injunction to stop the 55 billion pound acquisition going through.
The two companies set a deadline of 18 July to close the deal.
The UK also opposes the takeover from happening, but the EU has given its seal of approval.
The European Union is reportedly considering expanding its guidelines against some ‘high risk’ Chinese communication equipment suppliers.
The Financial Times this week reported that the European Union is considering a mandatory ban on member-states using companies that might pose a security risk in their 5G networks.
This includes firms such as China’s Huawei Technologies, which has already been banned by a number of countries in 5G networks.
People in one of the remotest parts of the UK are finally going to get high-speed broadband.
This is Papa Stour – an island just off Shetland.
Population there: wait for it… 23. No no, not 23 thousand – twenty three!
For years they’ve struggled with sluggish internet speeds.
But they’re going to get a satellite link so they can effectively get broadband… from space (pretty cool!)
Work to connect the island to a Low Earth Orbit or LEO satellite has been going on all week.
Now, how do you fancy popping down to the shops on a bus.. with no driver?
Sounds a bit bonkers but this is what’s happening in Oxfordshire.
The UK’s first fully electric self-driving bus has launched – covering a six mile route from Didcot Parkway railway station to Milton Park.
And I realise we seem to cover a lot of AI stories – feels like it’s the big news EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – but sometimes, well, you’ve just gotta LET IT BE.
So there’s only one story we could end on.
Sir Paul McCartney has revealed that he’s created a new Beatles song using Artificial Intelligence.
He says they were able to take John Lennon’s voice from an old demo and use the tech to finish off the track.
Sir Paul is calling it ‘the final Beatles record’.