Global Survey Reveals 87% Believe Online Disinformation Harms Politics
Over 85% of individuals worldwide express concern about the detrimental effects of online disinformation, with 87% acknowledging its harmful impact on politics in their respective countries, according to a global survey. As the United Nations (UN) unveiled plans to address this issue, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, emphasized the risks posed by false information and hate speech online, further amplified by social media platforms. Azoulay stressed the need for urgent regulation to safeguard access to information while simultaneously protecting freedom of expression and human rights.
WeWork Files for Bankruptcy, Reflecting a Sharp Decline
WeWork, the shared office space provider once valued at $47 billion (£38 billion), has been compelled to file for bankruptcy in the United States. This decision marks a significant downturn for a company that was once regarded as the future of the modern workplace. By initiating the bankruptcy process, WeWork aims to seek protection from its creditors and landlords as it undergoes a comprehensive restructuring of its sizeable debts. Based on its current share price, WeWork’s valuation has plummeted and now stands at less than $50 million. This bankruptcy declaration primarily affects the firm’s operations in the United States and Canada, with its co-working spaces in the United Kingdom remaining open and operational.
YouTube Experiments with Conversational AI to Enhance User Experience
As part of its ongoing efforts to augment user engagement, YouTube is testing a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) feature that enables viewers to ask questions about videos and navigate comments more seamlessly. By incorporating an Ask button on the video page, users can interact with AI to gain further insights into the content they are viewing. Responses generated by large language models (LLMs) draw on information from YouTube, as well as the internet at large. For instance, users can inquire about the video in question or seek recommendations for related content, selecting from suggested prompts.
Bolstered Legislation to Facilitate the Introduction of Driverless Vehicles
Reports indicate that forthcoming legislation, anticipated to be announced in the King’s Speech, will pave the way for the integration of autonomous buses, delivery vans, and farm machinery in the United Kingdom. The proposed laws aim to make self-driving vehicles more prevalent in select sectors of the economy by the end of the decade. A source cited potential benefits ranging from consumer advantages to reduced road fatalities and advancements in decarbonizing transport. Chancellor Rishi Sunak reportedly intends to expedite the passage of this bill through Parliament.
Strong October for UK Car Market Amidst Ongoing Pandemic
In a positive development, the UK’s new car market recorded its most robust October performance since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In October 2023, showrooms witnessed the sale of 153,529 vehicle models, signifying a 14.3% increase compared to the same period the previous year and a 7.2% surge compared to October 2019. To provide a historical reference, October 2018 saw 153,599 new car sales in the UK. Petrol-based powertrains, including mild hybrids, remained the most favored choice, with sales reaching 84,451. Electric vehicles followed closely behind, with 23,943 sales, while parallel hybrids accounted for 19,574 units sold.
TSB Highlights Surge in Online Purchase Fraud, Points to Facebook Marketplace
TSB, the UK bank, has reported a sharp 35% rise in cases of online purchase fraud, which now represents more than half of all scam incidents. Such fraud typically involves scammers deceiving individuals into paying for goods and services that do not exist, leading to a surge in scam cases across the banking sector. Online purchase fraud is responsible for over 400 cases per day, totaling 77,000 cases recorded in the first half of 2023. TSB’s research further reveals that victims of social media scams lose an average of £500 per case. Facebook Marketplace stands out as the primary platform driving online purchase fraud, accounting for 77% of purchase scams originating on the platform.