Tech News : Musk’s Brain Chips Ready For Humans

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface device company has been given the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin a clinical study with humans as subjects.

What Is Neuralink? 

Neuralink is a neurotechnology company co-founded by Elon Musk in 2016. The company aims to develop high-bandwidth brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) with the goal of merging the human brain with artificial intelligence (AI) and thereby advance human capabilities.

The primary objective of Neuralink is to create a safe and effective means of connecting the human brain to computers or other external devices, e.g. enabling people who can’t use their hands to use their mobile-phone or other devices simply by thinking about it.

Device Implanted 

This involves developing a device described as a “a general-purpose, high-bandwidth interface to the brain” with tiny, flexible electrode threads that can be implanted into the brain to establish a high-resolution interface with neural circuits. These threads are thinner than a human hair and can potentially record and stimulate electrical activity in the brain.

Previous Test – Pigs 

Back in August 2020 there was news that neuralink was being tested in an experiment involving three pigs. One pig named Gertrude had the device implanted while another pig had previously been implanted with the device but had the device removed.  This pig was present to illustrate that the device could be removed safely and that this may be necessary as the hardware is updated over time and better versions become available.  The third pig had no implant fitted.

The demonstration showed how the neural activity of Gertrude the pig could be sent wirelessly to a screen, and a series of bleeps sounded when the pig touched anything with her snout. This indicated that the device could read brain activity related to the search for food.


At the time of the pig experiment, Neuralink received a Breakthrough Device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration although some commentators have noted the potential dystopian possibilities of implants that could potentially be used for control, while People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reacted very angrily to Mr Musk’s use of pigs. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement saying, “PETA challenges Elon Musk to behave like a pioneer and implant the Neuralink chip in his own brain.” 

In December 2022, Mr Musk was reported as saying that he’d be happy for a Neuralink to be implanted into the brain of one of his own children!


Also in 2022, it was reported that Neuralink had killed about 1,500 animals in its experiments which prompted the USDA’s inspector general to begin investigation for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Now Ready For Human Test – FDA Approval 

In the latest Neuralink progress announcement, Elon Musk has said that Neuralink  has been given the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (following a previous rejection last year) to begin an in-human clinical study, something that’s been promised four times since 2019. In a statement on Twitter, Neuralink announced: “We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study! This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people. Recruitment is not yet open for our clinical trial. We’ll announce more information on this soon!”

Issues To Address First 

The FDA’s approval was, however, accompanied by the need to address issues beforehand such as issues around the lithium battery of the device, whether the implant’s wires could migrate within the brain, and how the device could be removed safely without damaging the brain.

What Are The Goals? 

The Neuralink project aims to achieve various goals, such as:

– Medical Applications. Neuralink’s technology could potentially help individuals with neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, or other conditions by providing a direct interface to their brain, bypassing damaged or nonfunctional parts of the nervous system. It could enable communication between the brain and external devices, offering new possibilities for treatment and rehabilitation. For example, the neuralink device could be used help deal with serious conditions such as Parkinson’s by helping sufferers to control their movement instead of relying on strong medication. It is also envisioned that it could help with conditions like obesity, autism, depression, and schizophrenia.

– Brain-Computer Interface. Neuralink seeks to develop a means for individuals to control computers or other devices using their thoughts. This could have transformative implications for individuals with motor impairments or disabilities, allowing them to interact with technology more seamlessly, e.g. web browsing. More far-fetched suggested applications of Neuralink include enabling a kind of telepathy.

– Augmented Human Capabilities. Neuralink envisions a future where humans can augment their cognitive abilities by directly integrating with AI systems. This could potentially enhance memory, learning, or problem-solving capabilities, leading to improved overall cognitive performance.

– Advancing AI. Neuralink aims to facilitate a symbiotic relationship between humans and AI. By connecting the human brain to AI systems, it is hoped that humans can leverage AI’s computational power and analytical capabilities while providing the AI with direct access to the human brain’s vast capabilities, such as intuition, creativity, and emotional intelligence.

Possibilities Highlighted By European Experiment

The possible benefits of devices like Neuralink were highlighted recently when a digital bridge as a brain–spine interface device, developed by Neuroscientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, allowed a previously paralysed man to stand, walk and even climb stairs.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

The idea of Neuralink as a way to help with medical conditions is a positive and promising one offering hope to many people with the chance to achieve transformations that haven’t been possible before. Also, such devices could open up many other opportunities and whole new areas for development for companies and developers hoping to use the interface to link with a variety of products and services in a unique way.

The FDA approval is really just the next (albeit important) step in what is likely to be a long process in order to address the issues highlighted by the FDA but, although a dystopian idea to some, as demonstrated in a similar experiment in Switzerland, it has the potential to achieve incredibly positive results. There are also, however, many medical, legal, research and ethical challenges (the death of thousands of animals and potentially a human subject) to overcome before devices like this are used beyond research projects and further announcements will prove interesting.

Tech News : 11% Of Female Gamers Left Suicidal By Online Abuse

New Sky Broadband research has revealed that the level of abuse suffered by female online gamers from male gamers has been so strong that over one-in-ten (11 per cent) have been left feeling suicidal.

Shocking Levels of Harassment and Abuse 

The level of harassment and abuse revealed by the statistics in the study is shocking. For example, some of the main findings include:

– Almost half of UK women gamers have suffered abuse online, with 80 per cent of messages sexual in nature, leaving just over half (52 per cent) feeling worried about abuse when playing video games online.

– Over a third (35 per cent) of women gamers said they have received violent messages in the past and 31 per cent have ben been driven to lie about their gender to remain anonymous during online gameplay.

– Over a third (40 per cent) have said they felt personally threatened by the abuse they’ve experienced online, with 27 per cent feeling worried about being attacked in real life following threats made on gaming platforms.

Depression And Suicidal Thoughts 

As if these statistics aren’t shocking enough, the statistics that have hit the headlines about Sky Broadband’s research have been those associated with depression and suicide. For example, the research revealed that 25 per cent of women surveyed said they felt depressed over the online abuse with 11 per cent even saying they’d been left feeling suicidal. Also, 25 per cent said they wouldn’t tell anyone about negative comments they had received, meaning that family, loved ones, and friends would be unaware of how low they were feeling or the reasons for them feeling low, leading to longer secret suffering and a more dangerous situation for those affected.


The Sky Broadband research involved creating a new immersive experience in partnership with Guild Esports at the Sky Guild Gaming Centre in Shoreditch and this was able to shine a light on the behaviour of male gamers towards female gamers during gaming which, while it didn’t fully explain why, did illustrate elements of the problem and how it seems to play out.

Sky reports the high-level gaming simulator in their research started as a neutral experience but changed as male players as were slowly given increasingly aggressive messages while they tried to game. This led male gamers posting messages to female gamers such as “Stop playing a man’s game little girl” and “Someone kill this wh*re,” highlighting some of the “terrifying level of harassment” that women gamers face daily.


The issue of women online gamers receiving high levels of abuse and harassment from male gamers is a complex and multifaceted problem. While it is important to note that not all male gamers engage in such behaviour, there are several factors that may contribute to this. For example:

– Stereotypes and gender norms. Traditional gender roles and stereotypes can influence the behaviour and attitudes of some male gamers. There is a prevailing stereotype that gaming is a male-dominated hobby, and when women challenge this norm, they may face backlash and hostility.

– Anonymity and online disinhibition. The anonymity provided by online gaming platforms can contribute to a sense of detachment and disinhibition. Some individuals may feel emboldened to engage in abusive or harassing behaviour because they believe they can avoid consequences or repercussions.

– Misogyny and sexism. Deep-seated sexism and misogyny can manifest in online gaming environments. Women may be subjected to derogatory language, objectification, and offensive comments simply because of their gender. This behaviour reflects broader societal issues surrounding gender inequality.

– Competition and threat to identity. In highly competitive gaming environments, some male gamers may view women as a threat to their status or identity. This perception can lead to resentment and aggression, as some individuals may feel a need to assert their dominance or protect their perceived gaming ‘territory’.

– A lack of diversity and representation. The underrepresentation of women in the gaming industry and gaming culture exacerbates the issue. When women are seen as outsiders or intruders in a predominantly male space, they may face increased hostility and resistance.

– Poor moderation and enforcement. Something not particularly highlighted by Sky’s research was the subject of inadequate moderation and enforcement of rules and codes of conduct in gaming communities can contribute to an environment where harassment and abuse go unchecked. When perpetrators face little to no consequences for their actions, it perpetuates a culture of impunity.


Speaking about the research, Amber Pine, Managing Director, Broadband and Connectivity, Sky Broadband, said: “The results of this research are shocking and should alarm the gaming community. It is completely unacceptable for this type of sexist abuse to be so prevalent. We are determined to improve the experience for women in gaming. We’re calling on players to become allies, and stand with us to make clear there is no room for abuse in gaming”. 

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

The findings of the Sky Broadband research highlight the alarming levels of abuse and harassment that women online gamers face, with significant impacts on their mental health and well-being. This issue should serve as a wake-up call for online gaming companies and other businesses operating in digital platforms. Addressing this problem requires a collective effort and a commitment to creating inclusive and safe environments for all users. Here are some key takeaways and actions that online gaming companies and other platforms can consider:

– Acknowledge and condemn the problem. It is crucial for businesses to publicly acknowledge the issue of abuse and harassment faced by women gamers. Taking a firm stance against such behaviour sends a message that it will not be tolerated within the community.

– Develop and enforce clear policies. Online gaming companies should establish robust policies and codes of conduct that explicitly prohibit harassment, abuse, and discriminatory behaviour. These policies should be communicated to all users and enforced consistently.

– Improve reporting and moderation systems. Implement effective reporting mechanisms that allow users to easily report abusive behaviour. Companies should prioritise the review and actioning of reports promptly, ensuring that perpetrators face appropriate consequences.

– Foster inclusive communities. Promote diversity and representation within gaming spaces by actively encouraging and supporting the participation of women gamers. Companies can organise events, sponsor female gamers, and create safe spaces where women can connect, collaborate, and thrive.

– Educate and raise awareness. Develop educational initiatives to raise awareness about the impacts of harassment and abuse in online gaming. Encourage empathy, respect, and responsible behaviour among the gaming community through campaigns, workshops, and online resources.

– Collaborate with industry partners. Online gaming companies can work together with industry associations, esports organisations, and other stakeholders to address the issue collectively. Sharing best practices, collaborating on initiatives, and pooling resources can have a greater impact on combating abuse and fostering positive gaming experiences.

By taking these steps, online gaming companies and other digital platforms can contribute to creating a more inclusive and respectful online environment. It is essential to prioritise the well-being and safety of all users, ensuring that everyone, regardless of gender, can enjoy gaming without fear of abuse or harassment.

Sky (Broadband), whose research it was, is trying to play its part to improve the situation by encouraging gamers to stand with women in gaming through sharing awareness on their pages with the tag #NoRoomForAbuse. For example, those experiencing abuse can visit to download helpful information about staying safe online. Also, Sky has partnered with Cybersmile to interactive educational modules to raise awareness of sexist abuse in gaming, promoting personal safety and empowering gamers to be better informed.

Featured Article : New Reports Reveal Two Key Cyber Security Insights

With phishing attacks being favoured for their effectiveness by attackers and most ransomware attacks now targeting backup storage, we look at what businesses can do to protect themselves.

Spear Phishing Accounted For Two-Thirds Of All Attacks Last Year 

A recent report from security provider Barracuda has revealed that although spear phishing attacks make up just 0.1 per cent of all email-based attacks in 2023, they were responsible for two-thirds of all breaches. The report showed that a massive 50 per cent of the 1,350 organisations surveyed had fallen victim to a spear-phishing attack in 2022, a quarter had had at least one email account compromised via an account takeover. The report also showed that of those who fell victim to a successful spear phishing attack, 55 per cent had machines infected with malware or viruses, and 49 per cent and 48 per cent respectively had sensitive data or login details stolen.

What Is Spear Phishing? 

Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing that aims to deceive individuals or organisations by sending bogus, fraudulent emails or messages. While traditional phishing attempts are more generic and widespread, spear phishing campaigns are highly tailored and personalised to trick specific targets, such as employees of a particular company or members of an organisation.

Targets Are Researched 

The attackers behind spear phishing typically research their targets extensively to gather information that will make their messages appear legitimate and increase the chances of success. They may gather details from social media profiles, online directories, or leaked data from previous breaches. This information is then used to create highly convincing email messages that appear to be from a trusted source, such as a colleague, a client, or a supervisor.

Personalised Content To Make Them More Convincing 

Spear phishing emails often contain personalised content, such as the recipient’s name, job title, or other relevant details, which makes them appear more authentic. They may also exploit psychological manipulation techniques to evoke a sense of urgency, curiosity, or fear to compel the target to click on a malicious link or download a malicious attachment. Once the recipient interacts with the malicious content, the attacker may gain unauthorised access to sensitive information, such as login credentials, financial data, or proprietary information.

The Consequences 

Spear phishing attacks can have severe consequences for individuals and organisations, including data breaches, financial loss, reputational damage, and further exploitation of compromised accounts.

How To Protect Your Business From Spear Phishing 

To protect against spear phishing, it is important to exercise caution when opening emails, verify the legitimacy of unexpected or suspicious requests, and regularly educate and train employees on identifying and reporting phishing attempts. Also, account takeover protection solutions with artificial intelligence capabilities can be effective.

It is difficult, however, to stop attackers from gathering the information about a business and specific personnel within that business to help them target their attacks. For example, some information may have been gathered from information stolen in previous cyberattacks or data breaches and may have been gathered from social media. Businesses should, where possible, be careful about how much information is shared online about the business and staff members, e.g., ‘meet the team’ or ‘about us’ pages, as this could also be used by attackers.

A Launching Point For More Advanced Attacks 

Spear Phishing is widely recognised as one of the most successful and commonly used techniques in cybercriminal campaigns and is favoured by attackers because it capitalises on human vulnerabilities/human error, exploits the trust placed in familiar or authoritative sources, and can be easier than trying hack complicated and well-defended systems – cyber criminals always look for the maximum payoff from minimum effort and risk.

By carefully crafting personalised messages, attackers can significantly increase the chances of success in compromising targets compared to generic phishing attempts. The level of sophistication and customisation in spear phishing attacks makes them harder to detect and raises the probability of successful infiltration.

Moreover, spear phishing serves as a launching point for more advanced attacks, such as targeted malware infections, social engineering exploits, or business email compromise (BEC) schemes. Once an attacker gains a foothold through spear phishing, they can proceed with their malicious activities, including data exfiltration, network infiltration, or financial fraud.

Reasons For The New Figures 

The reasons why spear phishing makes up only 0.1 per cent of all email-based attacks but are responsible for two-thirds of all breaches (i.e they have disproportionately higher success rate compared to other types of email-based attacks) are, therefore, that:

– Spear-phishing attacks are highly targeted and tailored to specific individuals or organisations, and this customisation makes the attacks more convincing, increases the likelihood of victims falling for them and, therefore, increases their effectiveness.

– These attacks take advantage of human psychology and behavioural traits, such as trust, curiosity, and urgency and, by leveraging these vulnerabilities, attackers can trick individuals into divulging sensitive information or performing actions that compromise security.

– Spear Phishing bypasses technical security measures, e.g. firewalls, antivirus software, and spam filters, enabling attackers to circumvent traditional security controls and directly target individuals.

– While spear-phishing attacks may target a specific individual initially, their success can lead to broader repercussions. For example, compromising one employee’s credentials through a spear-phishing attack could provide the attacker with access to sensitive systems or information, potentially leading to a significant breach affecting an entire organisation.

Most Ransomware Attacks Target Backups 

The 2023 Ransomware Trends Report from software company Veeam has revealed that 93 per cent of cyber-attacks target backup storage to force the ransom payment because it removes the option of recovery. The report found that these attacks are successful in debilitating their victims’ ability to recover in three-quarters of events and that more than one-third (39 per cent) of backup repositories are completely lost in these backup-targeted attacks.


As the name suggests, ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to encrypt files on a victim’s computer or network, rendering them inaccessible until a ransom is paid to the attacker (usually to a crypto account like bitcoin to avoid detection). It is a form of cyber extortion that aims to extort money from individuals, businesses, or organisations by holding their valuable data hostage.

Paying The Ransom? 

It is widely known that paying the ransom often doesn’t work and even if the ransom is paid, data can still be destroyed and/or, the attackers don’t provide the decryption key and simply make off with the money.

That said, according to the Veeam report, for the second year in a row, most of the organisations surveyed (80 per cent) said they had paid the ransom to end an attack and recover data, despite 41 per cent of organisations actually having a “Do-Not-Pay” policy on ransomware. Still, while 59 per cent paid the ransom and were able to recover data, 21 per cent paid the ransom yet still didn’t get their data back from the cyber criminals. Additionally, only 16 per cent of organisations avoided paying ransom because they were able to recover from backups. Sadly, the global statistic of organisations able to recover data themselves without paying ransom is down from 19 per cent in last year’s survey.

Protecting Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks

Typically, preventing ransomware attacks involves a combination of proactive measures such as regularly updating software and systems, implementing robust security practices, training employees on recognising and avoiding suspicious emails or websites, maintaining secure backups of important data, and deploying reliable antivirus and anti-malware solutions.

Veeam notes in its comments about the report’s findings that while best practices like securing backup credentials, automating cyber detection scans of backups, and auto verifying that backups are restorable can help protect against attacks, “the key tactic is to ensure that the backup repositories cannot be deleted or corrupted. To do so, organisations must focus on immutability.”  


Veeam reports that those who have fallen victim to ransomware have learned lessons and 82 per cent use immutable clouds, i.e. a cloud computing environment where the data stored within the cloud infrastructure is maintained in an immutable or unchangeable state. Also, 64 per cent now use immutable disks, and only 2 per cent of organisations don’t have immutability in at least one tier of their backup solution.

Being Careful About Re-Infection During Recovery 

In Veeam’s study, respondents were asked how they ensure that data is ‘clean’ during restoration. 44 per cent of respondents said they complete some form of “isolated-staging” to re-scan data from backup repositories prior to reintroduction into the production environment. Whilst this is positive news, the flip side of this statistic is that more than half (56 per cent) organisations risk re-infecting the production environment by not having a means to ensure clean data during recovery. The point is, therefore, that it’s important to thoroughly scan data during the recovery process.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

The obvious effectiveness of spear phishing attacks and the fact that most ransomware attacks are now targeting backups presents significant challenges for businesses, requiring proactive measures to protect themselves.

As highlighted by Barracuda’ report, spear phishing attacks have proven to be highly successful, accounting for two-thirds of all breaches despite constituting a small percentage of email-based attacks. The targeted and personalised nature of spear phishing makes it difficult to detect, as attackers extensively research their targets to create convincing messages. To protect against spear phishing, businesses should, therefore, exercise caution when opening emails, verify the legitimacy of requests, and provide regular training to employees on identifying and reporting phishing attempts. Account takeover protection solutions with artificial intelligence capabilities can also be effective.

As highlighted by Veeam’s report, ransomware attacks, on the other hand, have increasingly targeted backup storage, rendering organisations unable to recover their data even if they pay the ransom. While some organisations have paid the ransom and recovered their data, many have not been as fortunate. For businesses, the key to protecting against ransomware attacks lies in proactive measures such as regularly updating software, implementing robust security practices, training employees, maintaining secure backups, and deploying reliable antivirus and anti-malware solutions. Additionally, businesses should focus on immutability, ensuring that backup repositories cannot be deleted or corrupted.

To combat the risks associated with spear phishing and ransomware attacks, businesses should favour a multi-layered approach to security. This includes investing in employee education and training, implementing strong technical security measures, and regularly evaluating and updating security protocols. Businesses can also help protect themselves by staying informed about emerging threats and best practices in cybersecurity to enable them to adapt their defences accordingly.

Featured Article : Want A .Dad Domain For Father’s Day

Here we look at most of the modern top-level domains and their uses, along with the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a newer, lesser known, or more specific TLD for your website domain name.

What Are Top Level Domains? 

Top-Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System (DNS) structure of the internet, i.e. they are the last segment of a domain name that follows the final dot (e.g., .com, .org, .net). In short, TLDs categorise and classify domain names based on their purpose or geographic location.

Two Main Types 

There are two main categories of TLDs:

  1. Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs): These are TLDs that are not specific to any country or geographic region. Some common examples of gTLDs include .com, .org, .net, and .info. Originally, gTLDs were limited to a few generic options, but with the expansion of the internet, many new gTLDs have been introduced to provide more specific categorisations for websites.
  2. Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs): These are TLDs that are associated with a specific country or territory. Each country is assigned a two-letter code (e.g., .us for the United States, .uk for the United Kingdom, .ca for Canada) to create country-specific TLDs. These TLDs help indicate the geographic association or targeting of a website.

TLDs serve several purposes, including indicating the nature of a website (e.g., .com for commercial, .edu for educational institutions) or its association with a particular country or region. They provide a structured and organised system for domain names on the internet, allowing users to easily identify the purpose or location of a website based on its TLD.

Main Top Level Domains 

There are many TLDs that most of us would recognise e.g., .com, .org., .net, and many country specific TLDs such as However, new TLDs are introduced all the time, and the list below includes many of the newer ones and their intended purpose.

  1. .com: Originally intended for commercial websites, it has become a widely used TLD for various types of websites.
  2. .org: Primarily used by non-profit organisations and associations.
  3. .net: Initially designated for network infrastructure, it is now used for a variety of purposes.
  4. .gov: Restricted to U.S. government entities.
  5. .edu: Restricted to accredited educational institutions, such as universities and colleges.
  6. .mil: Restricted to U.S. military entities.
  7. .int: Reserved for international treaty-based organisations and institutions.
  8. .info: Intended for informative websites, although it’s open for general registration.
  9. .biz: Designed for business-oriented websites.
  10. .mobi: Intended for websites optimised for mobile devices.
  11. .name: Meant for personal websites and portfolios.
  12. .pro: Originally intended for professionals like doctors and lawyers, but it’s now open for general registration.
  13. .co: Originally the TLD for Colombia, it has gained popularity as a global alternative to .com.
  14. .io: Originally the TLD for British Indian Ocean Territory, it has become popular among tech companies and startups, and for downloadable games. They are treated as generic top-level domains by Google and there are no restrictions on who can use a .io domain.
  15. .me: Often used for personal websites, blogs, and online resumes.
  16. .tv: Originally the TLD for Tuvalu, it is frequently used by television and media-related websites.
  17. .dev: Geared towards developers, programmers, and technology-focused websites.
  18. .design: Targeted towards designers and creative professionals.
  19. .agency: Suitable for advertising agencies, marketing firms, and creative service providers.
  20. .store: Ideal for e-commerce platforms and online retail businesses.
  21. .blog: Geared towards bloggers and individuals sharing their thoughts and ideas.
  22. .travel: Restricted to entities in the travel and tourism industry.
  23. .photography: Suited for photographers and photography-related websites.
  24. .restaurant: Targeted towards restaurants, cafes, and food establishments.
  25. .esq : a secure domain for lawyers or ‘distinguished’ people.
  26. .foo: a domain from a word used in computer programming that can offer a distinctive and different position.
  27. .nexus: Another a top-level extension designed for entities in the technology industry.
  28. .prof: A domain designed to connect professors to students, colleagues, universities, and peers.
  29. .zip: A domain for storage services (think zip files).
  30. .mov: A domain for anything related to films and video.
  31. .phd: Designed to show the credentials of those with a PhD qualification.
  32. .giving: A domain to be used for fundraising efforts by non-profits, social enterprises, or companies involved in fundraising.
  33. .kids: Useful for websites aimed at entertaining and educational web content for children and youth.
  34. .rsvp: A secure domain for events and reservations, e.g. events, fundraisers, business bookings, and more.
  35. .boo: For fun marketing or special events, e.g. Halloween.
  36. .abbvie: Solely for websites affiliated with US pharmaceutical giant ‘Abbvie’.
  37. .pioneer: A domain solely for those affiliated with the Pioneer Corporation (Japanese company known for electronics).
  38. .channel: For uses by creators and publishers to host or redirect to storefronts featuring digital and physical products.

.Dad Domain For Father’s Day? 

Google’s. dad domains (which could make a good Father’s Day present) can be used for fatherhood-related content e.g.,,, Google says its .dad registry is for dads who want to start a blog or someone showing appreciation for the father figures in their life. Examples of some of the sites and communities on .dad include:

– – All about the Dad Life, such as puns, dad cooking, fixing just about anything with duct tape and more.

– and – a leading community of dads whose mission is to celebrate fatherhood by entertaining and supporting dads.

– – a Father’s Day page dedicated to a great dad, complete with photos and captions.

– / / – a site sharing resources to help dads become the fathers they want to be.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Having A Lesser Known Or More Specific Domain? 

Choosing a lesser-known, newer, or very specific Top-Level Domain (TLD) for your website domain name can have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some considerations:


– Availability. Lesser-known or newer TLDs may have a wider range of available domain names compared to popular TLDs like .com, where many desirable names are already registered. This gives you a better chance of finding a domain name that matches your brand or business.

– Specificity. Certain TLDs are tailored to specific industries or interests. If the TLD aligns closely with your niche or target audience, it can help communicate your website’s purpose or specialisation right in the domain name, making it more memorable and relevant to visitors.

– Branding. A unique or specific TLD can enhance your brand identity and differentiate your website from competitors. It can give your website a distinctive and memorable web address, which can be advantageous for marketing and branding purposes.

– Availability of keyword-rich names: In some cases, newer or specific TLDs might have more keyword-rich domain names available. This can be valuable for search engine optimisation (SEO) as having relevant keywords in your domain name can potentially improve your website’s visibility in search results.


– Familiarity. Lesser-known or newer TLDs may not be as well-recognised or familiar to internet users compared to traditional and popular TLDs like .com or .org. This could lead to a perception of untrustworthiness or unfamiliarity, especially if visitors are accustomed to more established TLDs.

– User perception. Some users may associate specific TLDs with low-quality or spammy websites. If you choose a TLD that has a negative reputation or is commonly used for malicious purposes, it might impact user trust and deter potential visitors.

– SEO considerations. While having keyword-rich domain names can be beneficial for SEO, the impact of TLDs on search engine rankings is debatable. Search engines like Google claim that TLDs do not directly affect rankings. However, user perception and click-through rates can indirectly impact SEO performance, and a less recognisable TLD might affect user behaviour and therefore SEO.

– Limited availability of domain extensions: Depending on the specific TLD you choose, you might have fewer options when it comes to domain registrars or web hosting providers. Some TLDs have limited availability and/or higher registration costs due to exclusivity or being managed by specific entities.

– Ultimately, the decision to choose a lesser-known, newer, or very specific TLD for your website domain name should consider your brand identity, target audience, marketing strategy, and long-term goals. It’s essential to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and consider how the TLD choice aligns with your overall online presence and branding objectives.

Will Having A New Or Lesser-Known Domain Have A Negative Impact On Your Search Engine Rankings? 

According to Google, the choice of TLD does not directly impact a website’s search visibility or rankings.

Google says its primary focus is to provide users with the most relevant and high-quality search results, regardless of the TLD used by a website and that its search algorithms primarily assess factors such as content relevance, user experience, backlinks, and other SEO signals to determine search rankings.

However, it’s important to note that user behaviour and perception can indirectly influence search rankings. If users are less familiar with a specific TLD or have a perception that it is associated with low-quality websites, they may be less likely to click on search results with those TLDs. This lower click-through rate (CTR) can potentially impact the visibility of websites with new or specific TLDs in search engine results.

Additionally, the content and relevance of a website’s pages, its overall SEO optimisation, and the quality and quantity of backlinks it receives remain crucial ranking factors. These factors are not directly influenced by the TLD but rather by the website’s overall optimisation efforts.

It’s worth noting that search engine algorithms and practices may evolve over time (with the introduction of AI within searches), and new information or updates may be introduced. Therefore, it’s always advisable to stay informed about the latest SEO practices and guidelines from search engines like Google to ensure your website performs well in search results, regardless of the TLD chosen.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

Choosing the right Top-Level Domain (TLD) for your website domain name is a decision that can significantly impact your online presence and branding. While newer, lesser-known, or very specific TLDs offer certain advantages, they also come with potential drawbacks. It’s crucial to carefully consider these factors and evaluate how they align with your business goals.

The advantages of opting for a lesser-known or specific TLD include, for example, increased availability of domain names, better specificity and relevance to your niche, enhanced branding opportunities, and the potential for keyword-rich domain names. These factors can contribute to better visibility, differentiation from competitors, and improved memorability for your target audience.

However, there are also disadvantages to consider. Lesser-known TLDs may lack familiarity among internet users, potentially leading to a perception of untrustworthiness. User perception and trust are crucial for attracting visitors to your website. Additionally, the impact on search engine rankings remains uncertain, with search engines like Google stating that TLDs do not directly affect rankings. However, user behaviour and click-through rates can indirectly influence SEO performance.

Also, the limited availability of domain extensions and potential higher costs associated with specific TLDs can pose challenges when registering a domain or finding suitable web hosting providers.

Ultimately, the choice of TLD should be aligned with your brand identity, target audience, marketing strategy, and long-term goals. Consider the advantages and disadvantages outlined in this article and weigh them against your specific business needs. Stay informed about the latest SEO practices and guidelines to ensure your website performs well in search results, regardless of the TLD chosen.

Choosing the right TLD, therefore, is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your business objectives and helps create a strong online presence.

Tech News : ChatGPT Banned At Apple

Apple has reportedly banned the internal use of ChatGPT and other chatbots plus AI writers like Bard, Copilot and GitHub to prevent the sharing of sensitive company information.

Internal Document Seen 

The ban came to light following a report by the The Wall Street Journal, which said it had seen internal documents informing Apple employees of the ban.


The main reasons for the extra secrecy measures from Apple are that:

– There are rumours that Apple is either working on its own generative AI or is making secret technical improvements to Siri to help it compete with Google and Amazon’s digital assistants.

– Confidential data fed into AI chatbots is often used to further train them and can, therefore, be revealed if someone asks the chatbot similar questions. Also, possible bugs in chatbots, such as the one (discovered in March) in an open-source library, can lead to sensitive information being revealed. This fear of revealing company secrets and possible security issues is why many tech companies and banks (such as Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank) have all banned internal usage of ChatGPT. Other companies, such as Samsung, have imposed a character count and other limitations on the use of AI chatbots for the same reason.

What Does ChatGPT Say? 

Users of ChatGPT are warned upon login anyway that ‘conversations may be reviewed by our AI trainers.’

Also, last month, addressing fears of ChatGPT having the potential to reveal commercially sensitive information, OpenAI announced that it has introduced the ability to turn off the chat history in ChatGPT and that conversations started when chat history is disabled won’t be used to train and improve its models, and won’t appear in the history sidebar.

OpenAI also said that when chat history is disabled, it will retain new conversations for 30 days and review them only when needed to monitor for abuse, before permanently deleting them.

Working On A New Business Version

In the same announcement, OpenAI said it’s working on a new ChatGPT Business subscription for professionals who need more control over their data as well as enterprises seeking to manage their end users. This business version will follow its API’s data usage policies, so that end users’ data won’t be used to train OpenAI’s models by default.

Call For Regulation of AI 

Recently, OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, told the US Senate judiciary committee that he supported the use of regulatory intervention by governments to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

It has been known for months that, due to how they are trained (and the possible bugs in this relatively new technology), ChatGPT and other AI chatbots have the potential to reveal sensitive information that’s been inputted by users. This is why many big companies have moved to close this risk-loophole by simply banning the internal use of ChatGPT. OpenAI has been relatively transparent about the way its AI chatbot is trained and the possible risks and its CEO has himself publicly supported regulation of AI as the technology moves forward at an alarming pace. Also, as highlighted above, OpenAI has introduced measures around control of ChatGPT history by users and promised a business version that gives users more control over their data. For businesses that are particularly concerned about privacy and security issues in the use of chatbots for work, the safest guidance for now may simply be to ban the use of an AI chatbot or introduce controls on what can be inputted and how.

Tech News : AI Contributes To 55,000 BT Jobs Cuts

BT has announced that the completion of its fibre roll-out, 5G rollout, adapting to new technologies like AI, plus general cost cutting are key reasons why it will be axing up to 55,000 jobs, primarily in the UK, by the end of the decade.

40 Per Cent Of The Workforce 

The massive 40 per cent cut in BT’s workforce will lead to a significantly reduced cost base by the end of the 2020s and, according to boss Philip Jansen, make the new BT Group “a leaner business with a brighter future.”

Drivers Of Job Cuts 

The main drivers and numbers of the job cuts are reported to be:

– The completion of the most labour-intensive stage of BT’s next-generation full-fibre and 5G network expansion, which will mean 15,000 job cuts as fewer engineers will be required.

– The digitising of BT’s business and the wider adoption of AI, e.g. for call handling and network diagnostics, which will result in the loss of 10,000 jobs.

– The above-mentioned changes leading to fewer maintenance staff being required, which will result in another 10,000 jobs being cut.

– Cuts in the number of contractors (mainly abroad) which will mean the loss of 30,000 jobs.

– General re-structuring and cost-cutting as part of a rolling programme, meaning a loss of 5,000 jobs.


BT’s job cuts announcement follows Vodafone’s decision to cut 11,000 jobs (around 12 per cent of its 90,000 global workforce) over three years.

Unions Expected It

The Communications and Workers Union (CWU) said that the BT job cuts were no surprise due to the introduction of new technologies and the completion of infrastructure projects.

Share Value Affected 

BT’s profits had dropped 12 per cent to £1.7 billion for the year ending in April and the company’s shares also fell more than 7 per cent after the job cuts announcement. Analysts suggest that the job cut announcements may be aimed at convincing investors of the promised cost savings.

AI Opportunities

With ChatGPT’s massive impact on the business world, much has been made around the part it will play in replacing some of the BT jobs. BT’s Boss Philip Jansen admitted that he sees “huge opportunities” to use AI in the business, e.g. to improve customer service and that an AI tool like ChatGPT “gives us confidence we can go even further”. However, he also says that, although adapting to new technologies, he doesn’t want to make customers “feel like they are dealing with robots”. 

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

As the unions pointed out, job losses at BT were expected anyway due to the introduction of new technologies across BT and the completion of the fibre infrastructure replacing the copper old network (resulting in in less labour costs). The arrival and enormous impact of ChatGPT (and now Bard), CoPilot, and others, however, have brought with them the kind of automation that has long been thought could lead to job losses, which appears to be the case here for around 10,000 BT workers. This could now become a growing trend as other big companies start to bring the cost and time saving benefits of AI into more parts of their business. As many commentators have noted, however, AI can also create new opportunities and new types of jobs and we are still very much at the beginning of the journey with generative AI, and regulation is likely to be an important step in making sure that the rapid growth of AI usage is safe and beneficial.

Twitter Encryption : More Musk Makeovers

Twitter has recently added a new encrypted messaging service to its repertoire, offering end-to-end encryption for all direct messages sent across its network. This privacy enhancement ensures that only the sender and receiver can view the content of their conversation, emphasising a renewed commitment to user confidentiality.

Interestingly, Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO, has affirmed that these encrypted conversations are so secure that even he, under duress, could not gain access to users’ private exchanges even if he wanted to, by saying “… even if there was a gun to my head”. However, he has also urged a cautious approach, acknowledging that the feature is still in its early stages and may not yet be completely reliable.

Only For Twitter Blue

As of now, the availability of this encryption service is restricted to Twitter Blue subscribers and those with verified Twitter accounts. This limitation, along with the fact that only text and links can be shared – excluding media attachments – indicates the service is still undergoing fine-tuning before a full-scale rollout. Twitter’s own admission of not having perfected the encryption process further supports this notion.

The company has clarified that while the messages are encrypted, the metadata associated with them – such as recipient information, creation time, and linked content – are not. This raises potential issues around the vulnerability of conversations to malicious insiders or mandated legal interventions.

We-Chat Wannabe

Musk’s vision for Twitter since acquiring it in 2022 has been to transform it into a ‘super-app’, akin to China’s multifunctional WeChat platform. His recent tenure has already seen several significant changes, including the introduction of a subscription model and an overhaul of Twitter’s blue tick verification badges, designed to combat misinformation.

The decision to enhance the security of Twitter’s private messaging feature comes at a potentially contentious time in the UK, where the government’s Online Safety Bill is currently under scrutiny. The Bill seeks to impose stricter regulations on social media companies in a bid to protect children from online abuse. Critics, including other messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Signal, have raised concerns that the legislation could potentially undermine the integrity of end-to-end encryption, viewed as a vital tool by privacy advocates.

Could UK Online Safety Bill Scupper It?

The proposed Online Safety Bill in the UK is seen by some as enabling ‘routine, general, and indiscriminate surveillance’ of private conversations, according to an open letter penned by the leaders of several messaging services. In contrast, Meta’s Messenger platform employs encryption, albeit with certain exceptions, such as conversations in the Marketplace.

As the Online Safety Bill is applicable to all platforms, regardless of their specific design and operation, encrypted services such as Twitter’s would be subject to user-care obligations. This puts an onus on businesses to maintain public safety while implementing end-to-end encryption – a balancing act that the IT industry and the government are working together to achieve.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

For UK business owners, this development heralds an era of enhanced privacy on Twitter, which could boost confidence in using the platform for secure communications, possibly helping their PR at a time when they have had significant recent controversy.

However, it also brings into sharp focus the ongoing debate around balancing privacy and safety in the digital space, underscored by the scrutiny of the Online Safety Bill. It is clear that businesses, especially those relying on social media for communications, will need to keep abreast of these evolving regulations to ensure compliance and maintain the trust of their customers.

AI Update – Part 1: Handy AI Resources For Your Business

In this article, we look at 22 handy AI sites that could help save time, make life easier and boost your business.

1. Pictory – 

Pictory offers a way to automatically create short, sharable branded, sales videos from your long form content. No technical skills or software download are required; it can use AI to extract content from your Zoom, Teams, and webinar recordings, plus it automatically adds captions to your videos. It’s one of many new AI video generating tools.

2. Jasper –

This business-focused language model says that it uses features from a cross-section of the best models and infuses them with recent search data, the user’s brand voice, and optimisation tools like SEO and grammar. Jasper can be used to generate text content (like ChatGPT – although much less powerful, it preceded ChatGPT on the market so we’ve included it here), plus it offers art generation, has a template library, language translation and more. It’s quite a comprehensive AI solution.

3. HitPaw – See Google Play Store

HitPaw is a one-click, AI-assisted image enhancer that can instantly make pictures less blurry, remove noise of pictures, and enlarge and upscale images without any quality loss. This sort of thing used to take a long time with programs like Photoshop.

4. Fireflies –

Fireflies uses AI to instantly produce transcripts of your meetings across several different video-conferencing apps, diallers, and audio files. It captures video and audio, generates the transcripts in minutes, integrates with apps like Google Meet, Zoom, Teams and more, and enables fast search, and analysis of voice conversations. It’s one of several new AI-enabled transcript tools that can save businesses a lot of time.

5. Acrolinx –

An AI-powered software platform that’s designed to improve the quality and effectiveness of enterprise (human and AI) content. It’s probably best for bigger companies and agencies and it’s used by some major players and offers a way to make any content published as effective as possible in terms of marketing. Quite an comprehensive product, it needs to be fully explored to be understood.

6. Beautiful AI –

This is an AI-powered tool to easily create high quality presentations. It has some impressive looking smart templates, plus the slides are automatically created and adapted as the user adds the content.

7. TinyWow

This site seems have it all and offers a handy toolbox which you can keep coming back to as their list of features just gets bigger and bigger. From text generation to image/videos manipulation and file manipulation, it’s difficult to overstate how handy this resource is and – incredibly – you can use most of it for free without needing to pay for the premium services.

8. 1-Click Summarizer (See google Play Store)

The 1-Click Summarizer and web toolbar by (Skim AI), is available as a Chrome extension and offers a fast and easy way to process and summarise news, research, and useful PDFs. For example, if you’re looking at a news article or long PDF online it will summarise all the main points with one click (a real time-saver).

9. Timehero –

TimeHero is personal project and task management software that connects to your Gmail and other project management software and automatically generates tasks based on due dates and other details. A fast and useful project and time management tool.

10. Warmest AI –

Warmest AI makes replying to emails super easy and fast. When you receive an email, it works out how you would answer an email (based on previous emails you’ve sent) and puts that in a draft ready to simply be approved by you and sent.

11. Zenefits –

Zenefits offers an AI-powered way to streamline your workflow by automatically connecting HR, Benefits, Payroll and Scheduling, together in one complete HR management platform.

12. Textio –

Textio offers a way for businesses to always use the right language in job ads and more. It’s a tool that eliminates bias in job posts, sourcing mail, and employer brand content and helps managers to identify and remove biased, ineffective feedback, enabling equitable employee development opportunities.

13. DomainWheel –

This is an AI-powered (free) tool for simply generating domain name suggestions for your website. You just need to enter a keyword or phrase and DomainWheel will instantly provide domain name ideas. It’s no surprise that you can also register them there.

14. Grammarly –

This is a highly popular, AI-powered digital writing assistant that helps you write well-structured content that’s free of plagiarism, and it eliminates grammar errors. It runs in the background on most platforms.

15. Gong –

Gong offers a fast and intelligent way for businesses to understand and analyse sales conversations and customer interactions to increase revenue efficiency and improve decision-making. It says it can turn “bottom performers into A-players”.

16. –

This AI tool helps you generate brand logos. You can try out assorted designs and even upload the logo and see how it ranks on several measures.

17. Talk To Books –

Talk To Books is an interesting (and slightly leftfield) Google creativity tool which allows you to browse passages from books using experimental AI, explore ideas and discover books by getting quotes that respond to your queries.

18. Deep Nostalgia –

This tool is quite unique in that it offers a way to animate the faces of family members from their old photos. Take a look, you’ll be surprised.

19. Magic Eraser –

This AI tool offers a fast, online way to remove unwanted objects from a photo. Just upload the photo, mark the area you want removed, the AI tool will remove it, and you can download the updated version of the photo.

20. Home Styler –

If you need to create a floor plan, this (free to try) online interior design platform lets you do it in 3D and says it is “An easy and timesaving online interior design tool for both professionals and amateurs”.

21. OutGrow –

“Boost Your Marketing With Quizzes, Calculators And Forms” as they say on their website. Makes adding clever, engaging ‘stuff’ like these a breeze.

22. TypingMind –

Despite its awesome power, the user-interface for ChatGPT is still pretty terrible. This handy resource means you can do so much more with ChatGPT with just a few keystrokes.

There are hundreds of AI sites appearing all over the place – this is just a small selection. We’ll be revisiting this list soon.

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

AI has been around for a long time yet because interest the generative AI tool ChatGPT has been so intense since it was released just a few month ago, there has been a resurgence in the interest around AI overall. There are lots of other useful, innovative, timesaving, and value-adding AI based tools out there to boost your business or personal life and this list is just a smattering of ones that you may not have heard about.

AI can now help with so many different aspects of businesses to help improve efficiency and create competitive advantages. Trying out just a few of the options highlighted in this article, or others found in your own searches could help you to discover a new tool that could quickly and easily boost your business and this entire field of AI is exploding so scheduling regular reviews will be essential.

AI Update – Part 2: 20 Helpful ChatGPT Prompts

Using the right prompts is the way to quickly get the best responses from ChatGPT and here are 20 helpful ChatGTP prompts that you may want to try.

20 Productive Prompts 

Here are 20 top prompts you can copy and paste into ChatGPT, just adding a few details to get some helpful and productive responses for your business.

1. Simplifying complex topics 
To help you quickly understand and digest complex topics, try the following prompt: Hey ChatGPT. I want to learn about [insert topic here]. Explain [insert the specific topic] in simple terms. Explain to me like I’m 12 years old.

2. Creating a marketing plan 
To generate a marketing plan outline try using:  Please act as an advertiser and create a campaign to promote a product or service of your choice. You will choose a target audience, develop key messages and slogans, select the media channels for promotion, and decide on any additional activities needed to reach your goals. My first suggestion request is, “I need help creating an advertising campaign for [put the description of your service or product here].”

3. Make ChatGTP learn your writing style 
To create content outputs that have more personality because they’re in your writing style, try this to teach ChatGPT your style: [Insert a copy of your text]. Prompt – Write about [insert text topic] as the above author would write.

4. Get ready-made blog post ideas
To make ChatGPT think of the blog post titles (as well as getting it to write the posts after) try: List [number] ideas for blog posts about [topic].

5. Write more engaging marketing emails 
To enlist help in making your marketing email copy more engaging, try the prompt: Write marketing copy to make my marketing emails more engaging. The copy must be about our [product, service, or company].

6. Write a YouTube video script
ChatGTP can take the work out of writing a script for a YouTube video. Try the prompt: Write a YouTube video script about [product, blog, company].

7. Social media marketing help 
You can get a social media marketing boost by using prompts like:
Write 5 tweets to generate interest in [product, company, or service], or Write a promotional LinkedIn post about [product or service] or Write 3-second Facebook Ad copy about [product or service].

8. Take the work out of press release writing 
Provide ChatGPT with some facts about your event and ask to write a press release about it with the following prompt: Write a press release about our upcoming event. Include the event’s date, time, location, and purpose.

9. Improving a CV
If you’d like to shorten your CV and improve its impact, paste it into ChatGPT and use the prompt: Can you edit and improve my CV and make it a two-page document?

10. Writing better long copy
To produce quality long copy about something, try the prompt: Act as a copywriter. Write long-form copy for [your subject] promoting [put what you’d like promoted here].

11. Event help
If you’ve got to make a poster for an event, try this prompt to get some helpful tips: How can I create an eye-catching poster design for an upcoming event?

12. Business promotional ideas 
If you just need a few ideas about how to promote your business in your area, try something like: Suggest inexpensive ways I can promote my [business type here] business without using social media.

13. Create your meeting agenda 
To take the work out of writing a meeting agenda, try the prompt: I want to create an agenda for a meeting about [your meeting info] with my team. Can you give me some examples of what should be included?

14. Improve email open rates
You can get help to create more effective emails by using a prompt like: Analyse these below metrics to improve email open rates for a [business type] brand [paste metrics].

15. Easy product descriptions
Take the work out of product descriptions by pasting in a few product facts and using the prompt: Write a product description for my [product or service or company].

16. Testing online adverts to get best version 
There are lots of prompts for help with Google Ads, and here’s a useful one for testing ads: Create two Google Ads in an RSA format (using multiple headlines and descriptions) for an A/B test for [your product here].

17. Improving your targeting
ChatGPT can also reveals ways to improve your targeting. For example, describe your target audience and try the prompt: What marketing tactics should I leverage to reach my target audience?

18. Get creative for TikTok
If you’d like to know how to make an impact with your product/service on TikTok, try the prompt: Generate [number] of viral TikTok ideas about [company, product, or service].

19. Retaining customers
In tough economic times, it’s more important than ever to keep your customers happy. Try the prompt: List the different ways we can implement a customer loyalty program to increase sales and retain customers.

20. Generate more prompts of your own
You can even ask ChatGPT to generate prompts for you. For example, try the prompt: Generate 10 chatbot prompts related to our [product].

What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

There’s a reason why ‘Prompt Engineer’ is now a top tech job and why there are so many prompt libraries online. Designing the right prompts that appeal to the way ChatGPT’s LLM works are a way to get more complete and better-quality responses from ChatGPT. With the right prompts, ChatGPT can generate natural language responses that are more contextually appropriate and helpful and choosing the right prompts means that businesses can save time, get valuable insights, and ultimately give themselves a better chance of increasing sales and revenue by being able to use and act upon better information.

Featured Article : What If AI Goes Bad?

Following “AI Godfather” Dr Geoffrey Hinton’s departure from Google to talk about the dangers of AI, we look at what the threats could be and what this could mean for businesses.

Departure From Google

Dr Geoffrey Hinton was dubbed as the “AI Godfather” because of his pioneering research on neural networks and deep learning which paved the way for current AI systems like ChatGPT. However, his resignation from Google recently was accompanied by some chilling warnings in a statement to the New York Times and subsequent media interviews where he noted that he now regretted his work. Some of the points he’s been reported as making about the dangers of AI are that:

  • The dangers of AI chatbots are “quite scary”.
  • AI chatbots may soon be more intelligent than humans. For example, with digital systems, all copies of them can learn separately but share their knowledge instantly, so they can know much more than any one person.
  • “Bad actors” could use AI for “bad things”, e.g. giving robots the ability to create their own sub-goals.

Recent Open Letter

Dr Hinton’s resignation comes not so long after the recent “Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter” signed by many high-profile figures in the tech industry including Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and even some DeepMind researchers. The letter called upon “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4″, which is the next and even more powerful incarnation of OpenAI’s LLM.

The letter made the point that, “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive, and their risks will be manageable.” It highlighted a series of questions to consider about the risks of AI, including:

  • Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth?
  • Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones?
  • Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete, and replace us?
  • Should we risk loss of control of our civilisation?”

Although these questions seem dramatic, the main point of the letter is that a kind of ‘time out’ is needed because of the speed at which AI is developing.

Not everyone agrees, however, that a 6-month moratorium on AI development is feasible or the right way to go and, in fact, Dr Hinton has been reported as saying that he doesn’t think that AI development should be halted.

What Are The Main Worries About The Threats Of AI?

In addition to those risks highlighted by the questions in the open letter and by Dr Hinton’s reported comments in the press, some of the main worries about the potential threats that AI could pose, include:

  • Job displacement. As AI and automation become more advanced, there is concern that they will replace human workers in many industries, leading to job losses and economic instability.
  • Bias and discrimination. AI systems can learn to make decisions based on biased or incomplete data, which can result in discriminatory outcomes, particularly in areas such as hiring, lending, and criminal justice.
  • Privacy and security. AI systems can be used to collect and analyse vast amounts of personal data, raising concerns about how that data is used and protected.
  • Autonomous weapons. There is concern that the development of autonomous weapons powered by AI could lead to the escalation of conflict and the loss of human control over military decision-making.
  • Existential risks. Some researchers and thinkers have raised concerns about the long-term risks of advanced AI, including the possibility of superintelligence that could pose an existential threat to humanity.

These threats could impact individuals, organisations, and society as a whole, which is why many now think that it’s important to carefully consider the ethical and social implications of AI as it continues to develop and be deployed in various contexts.

Already Deployed

The fact is that AI is becoming ubiquitous and is increasingly deployed in many systems in various industries. For example, AI algorithms are used in video-streaming platforms, recruitment (for application filtering), by insurance companies to calculate premiums, and in medicine as part of scanning and diagnosis, to name just a handful.

Some Are More Sceptical

Many IT industry figures, however, are sceptical about the idea that AI algorithms could surpass human intelligence any time soon. For example, some of the points made include:

  • Chatbots are known to draft their responses token by token to predict the next word in a response, whereas when humans speak, they express more fully formed ideas. Therefore, understanding the difference between human and machine intelligence is important when separating a likely future from hype.
  • The fluency of chatbots doesn’t prove that they can reason or achieve understanding in the same way as humans.
  • AI chatbots, for example, are limited to narrow tasks and can’t interact with the physical world to complete more varied assignments as humans can do as a result of their intelligence.
  • We are really still at the starting point for AI and the current ‘constructivist’ approach needs to be developed further so that systems can model causality autonomously, in an effective and efficient manner in order to be more ‘intelligent.’
  • It’s important not to confuse intelligence with sentience, a fact that Google engineer Blake Lemoine discovered when he was sacked for suggesting that the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) AI system bot was somehow sentient. True human intelligence is linked to sentience, which is one of the reasons why AI may not be able to surpass what we know as human levels of ‘intelligence.’

AI Market Domination

It’s worth remembering also that generative AI, for example, is a rapidly growing market where some early players have gained a lead (i.e. OpenAI with ChatGPT) and where it may be in the interests of other big tech companies to slow AI development down so they can catch up and compete. Some also think that there is already the need to review the AI market to make sure that no single firm will dominate the market and that the benefits are available for all. For example, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that it will be looking at the impact of AI on competition, with a view to creating “guiding principles” to protect consumers as AI develops. Also, in the US, the heads of Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and Anthropic have met US Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss similar issues.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

The rapid growth of AI and the personal experience of many people with generative AI through ChatGPT, coupled with a lack of understanding of how AI actually works, commercial influences, and alarming hype fuelled by reports such as those about Dr Hinton’s resignation, the open letter, and other tech commentators have said, have led to a focus on the threats of AI. The fact is that just as AI could result in job losses, privacy issues and the circulation of misleading information, it will also transform the way businesses compete, drive substantial economic growth, and could deliver many more benefits than negative outcomes. Regulation, the setting of guiding principles, and a degree of collaboration between big players, governments, and other interest groups could all help to minimise the threats and many see the proposed 6-month moratorium as an unlikely solution to what is essentially progress, a new kind of industrial revolution, and a rapidly growing and changing new market that holds exciting potential opportunities for businesses as well as threats.