Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

February 23, 2024 / Technology News


Welcome to our latest round-up of news from the technology and hosting world. Here’s what we’ve discovered this month.

Campus Robot Deliveries

The University of Edinburgh is modernising the way students get their takeaways. Thanks to Pixconvey, a startup founded by Ebtehal Alotaibi, a PhD student in artificial intelligence and robotics, students can now have their campus café meals delivered directly to them by two robots, Pixie 1 and Pixie 2. Equipped with driverless technology, the robots not only make deliveries safer and more efficient; they also reduce delivery costs and greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring meals are hygienically stored.

Still in its pilot stage, the initiative showcases the university’s innovation in autonomous vehicles while serving as a platform for further research in machine learning and multi-agent systems. The project is supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the university’s commercialisation service, with hopes that it can be expanded across the city after the campus trial is completed.

AI Robocall Ban

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned the use of AI-generated voices in automated ‘robocalls’ within the United States. This new rule is in response to the rise in fraud cases where AI is used to mimic the voices of celebrities, political figures and even family members. Law enforcement agencies across the US have welcomed the stricter controls on AI in telemarketing as they not only target scams and fraud but also establish a broader legal framework to combat the exploitation of AI technology in misleading communications.

The new regulations come at a time of growing concerns surrounding deepfake technology and its potential to undermine elections and personal security. Globally, there are fears about the impact of AI-manipulated content on democracy, privacy and public order. The FCC’s decision is likely to spur other countries to consider similar legislation.

Fire & Rescue Drones

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service has invested £55,000 in five state-of-the-art drones in a bid to enhance their emergency response capabilities. These advanced drones are specifically designed to fly for extended periods, even in harsh weather. Equipped with live streaming features, they can transmit footage directly to the control centre in real time. The technology will be an indispensable tool for fire safety and can be deployed in a wide range of emergencies, including flooding, hazardous material incidents, wildfires and search operations for missing people.

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According to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, the drones will play a crucial role in improving incident management and will transform the service’s approach to mitigating fire risks and managing other emergencies. Incident commanders will now have access to vital information, enabling them to make rapid and well-informed decisions. Additionally, besides helping to swiftly locate and rescue casualties, the drones will significantly reduce the risks faced by crew members.

MoD Expands Cyber Defence

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is taking its cyber defence capabilities to the next level by extending its partnership with cybersecurity specialists HackerOne to include key suppliers. The move aims to enhance the cybersecurity framework across the entire military supply chain, building upon the success of HackerOne’s 2021 ethical hacking initiative which helped the MoD identify and fix over 100 vulnerabilities in its digital systems.

The programme’s expansion will now focus on promoting best practice and encouraging MoD suppliers to establish their own vulnerability disclosure initiatives. This should strengthen the supply chain’s cyber resilience and ensure an even more secure environment. As part of the extended programme, a bug bounty challenge was held at the MoD’s Defence Academy which showcased the robust security measures now in place. However, despite these proactive measures, the MoD still faces ongoing security challenges, with recent data breaches highlighting the critical need for continuous improvement in its cybersecurity efforts.

Google’s AI Skills Boost

Google has launched the AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe, a €25 million project that aims to enhance AI skills and workforce capabilities in the region. In order to support vulnerable communities, €10 million will be dedicated to ensuring that workers are equipped to keep pace with technological advancements. As a result, the initiative will provide free foundational AI courses in 18 different languages in a bid to make AI education more accessible.

In partnership with the Centre for Public Impact, Google is inviting social enterprises and non-profit organisations to take part and expand the programme’s reach. Google’s aim is to prevent AI from widening economic gaps and this initiative builds on its previous ‘Grow with Google’ project, which promoted AI adoption in the EU and trained 12 million people to bridge the digital skills gap.

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  • Niraj Chhajed

    I'm a SEO and SMM Specialist with a passion for sharing insights on website hosting, development, and technology to help businesses thrive online.