Tech and Hosting News Round-Up

April 29, 2024 / Technology News

tech news

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

UK’s Flying Taxis

After years of research and testing, it looks like the UK is on track to get its first flying taxi by 2026 and its first pilotless flying taxi by 2030. Resembling giant drones, these futuristic aircraft, known as eVTOLs, will function as an alternative to traditional helicopters and would be able to make a journey from Liverpool to Leeds in less than half an hour.

Their development is part of the Future of Flight action plan, a joint venture between the government and the UK aerospace industry, which aims to develop delivery drones and autonomous flying vehicles. The plan also includes allowing drones to operate beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight, opening up new possibilities for delivering post and medical supplies, and improving law enforcement and emergency services. While challenges such as infrastructure development and public acceptance still need to be overcome, the government is keen to showcase the practical and energy-efficiency benefits that these services have to offer.

Microsoft London Office

Microsoft is set to open a new London office that will carry out pioneering research and development in artificial intelligence. The move highlights the UK’s technology prowess and underlines Microsoft’s commitment to developing AI, building on its previous investments in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.

The London office, which will be headed by Jordan Hoffmann, an AI engineer with experience at DeepMind and Inflection, will focus on developing advanced language models and the infrastructure needed to operate them. This is part of Microsoft’s strategy to strengthen its AI capabilities worldwide and solidify its position as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. The London office is already preparing to recruit top AI talent.

AI Stabilises Grid

AI is being used more frequently to help power grids in the UK and overseas manage the growing demand for electricity and integrate more effectively with renewable energy sources. With data centres, air conditioning systems and electric vehicle chargers increasing the amount of electricity being used, the National Grid needs to manage how it distributes energy more effectively if it is to prevent blackouts. The Energy Secretary has already warned about the risk of blackouts without the UK having effective backup solutions, such as gas-powered stations or large-scale battery systems that can be charged during off-peak times to provide power during periods of high demand.

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AI technology is able to optimise battery usage by predicting future demand. This can be achieved by analysing factors like the weather and the timing of local or national events. Additionally, it is also being used to monitor and maintain the physical infrastructure of power grids, detecting potential issues that could cause an outage. With multiple applications, AI offers grid systems a variety of ways to ensure their networks stay safe and reliable.

Emergency Drones

The Welsh Ambulance Service aims to improve the survival chances of people experiencing cardiac arrest, particularly those in remote and inaccessible areas, by sending defibrillators using drones. The Drone-Delivered Defibrillators study, a groundbreaking collaboration between the Welsh Ambulance Service, the University of Warwick and the company, SkyBound, has already conducted initial test flights to determine the speed at which defibrillators can be deployed following an emergency call.

The next phase of the research will involve interviewing people who have been involved in cardiac emergencies, such as emergency services personnel, to understand the impact that drone-delivered defibrillators can have when they arrive quickly. Another area the project is exploring is the possibility of using long-distance drone flights to maintain communication with emergency control rooms. This has the potential to help bystanders perform vital chest compressions while emergency crews arrive.

The results of the study are expected in early 2025, with the Welsh Ambulance Service expecting them to help improve emergency medical responses and save more lives.

AI in Education

Some schools and colleges in the east of England are using AI to customise learning experiences and to help prevent students from falling behind. Supported by government funding, West Suffolk College’s state-of-the-art, £2m XR Virtual Reality Lab utilises AI to develop engaging 3D educational settings and incorporate game elements into the curriculum, something that has proved particularly beneficial for engineering students. The Bedford College Group, meanwhile, uses AI to improve GCSE Maths and English results by analysing students’ answers. This enables teachers to personalise learning and boost academic performance – so far, they have seen a 5% increase in Maths grades and a 10% rise in English grades.

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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.