Family of plunge victim sue Google over Maps, US authors sue Chat GPT

Philip Paxson and his wife Alicia

Google is being sued by the family of a man who drove off a collapsed bridge while following Google Maps. The family of Philip Paxson are accusing the tech giant of negligence, claiming they had been informed the bridge had been collapsed for five years but failed to update their navigation system. The medical device salesman and father of two, drowned in September last year after his Jeep Gladiator plunged into Snow Creek in Hickory, North Carolina according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday. Sky News 

The long-awaited zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate will still be released, despite the government delaying plans to ban the sale of all new pure-ICE vehicles from 2030. Speaking this morning, business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch confirmed other government policies to encourage EV uptake would remain, which will include the planned ZEV mandate. This will require manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of zero-emission cars. Badenoch told the BBC that the government will keep “a mandate in place that hopes by 2030 80% of vehicles will be electric vehicles.” Autocar

Image: Amazon

Amazon is making it easier to map smart home devices. During a press event this morning at its HQ2 headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, the company demoed Map View, an upcoming feature in the Alexa mobile app that’ll let customers create a digital map of their house and pin connected devices to it. From Map View, users will be able to see the status of, control and add new devices. Tech Crunch 

Amazon used its annual hardware event on Wednesday to go all-in on Alexa’s new large language model-infused capabilities, touting how easy it’ll soon be to have a natural sounding conversation with the bot. This also extends to kids, as the company just announced Explore With Alexa. This is a pared-down and kid-friendly version of the updated chatbot that specializes in topics like animals and nature. It’ll even play trivia games with your tykes and disperse daily fun facts. Engadget

Hit series Game of Thrones was based on the novels by George RR Martin. Image: HBO

US authors George RR Martin and John Grisham are suing ChatGPT-owner OpenAI over claims their copyright was infringed to train the system. Martin is known for his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into HBO show Game of Thrones. ChatGPT and other large language models (LLMs) “learn” by analysing a massive amount of data often sourced online. The lawsuit claims the authors’ books were used without their permission to make ChatGPT smarter. OpenAI said it respected the rights of authors, and believed “they should benefit from AI technology”. BBC 

A report ranking climate change misinformation gave Twitter (recently rebranded as X) only a single point out of a 21-point scorecard when assessing policies aimed at reducing inaccurate information – the worst out of five major tech platforms. The Climate of Misinformation report by Climate Action Against Disinformation looked at Meta, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter. Twitter’s low rank in the survey was because it failed to meet almost any of the organization’s criteria for climate misinformation policies. The Guardian 

Social media has left Gen Z without the skills needed for the workplace, including the ability to get along with colleagues who might have different views, Channel 4’s boss has claimed. Alex Mahon, chief executive of Channel 4, said in a recent talk that Gen Z – those born between 1997 and 2012 (young people aged roughly between 11 and 26 years old) – are coming into the workplace without the ability to “debate things” or “disagree”. Mahon has said consuming short-form videos on social media has impacted the ability of young people to consider and debate ideas. Independent 

Chris Price