Agritech start up for female farmers wins Earthshot prize, WeWork files for bankruptcy in US

Hannah Waddingham, Sterling K Brown, Prince of Wales and Cate Blanchett at this year’s Earthshot Prize. Image: @EarthshotPrize

An agritech startup that helps female farmers in India to cut food waste using solar-powered dehydration equipment is among the five green innovations to scoop the Prince of Wales’ prestigious Earthshot Prize. The winners of the annual eco-awards were revealed on Tuesday evening at a star-studded ceremony at the Theatre at MediaCorp in Singapore. Each will walk away with £1 million (around $1.2 million) to scale up their pioneering projects. Prince William and his Royal Foundation launched the ambitious 10-year initiative in 2020, with the goal of funding 50 solutions to some of the planet’s most urgent environmental problems by 2030. CNN

This year’s Earthshot Winners. Image: @EarthshotPrize

A former senior staff member at Meta says Instagram is not doing enough to protect teens from sexual harassment. Arturo Bejar, who is testifying in front of the US Congress on Tuesday, worked for Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, between 2009 and 2015, and again from 2019 to 2021…Mr Bejar said it was his daughter’s experience of Instagram that first made him think there was a problem. Speaking to Zoe Kleinman, the BBC’s technology editor, he said “shortly after she went on Instagram, she started getting unwanted sexual advances – misogyny, harassment at 14.” BBC 

October’s new car market grew by 14.3% to reach 153,529 registrations, 7.2% above pre-pandemic levels and marking the best performance for the month since 2018, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake increased for the 42nd month in a row, by 20.1% to 23,943 units. Given overall market growth, however, this amounted to a BEV market share of 15.6%, a relatively small rise from last year’s 14.8%.  Tech Digest 

More than 85% of people are worried about the impact of online disinformation and 87% believe it has already harmed their country’s politics, according to a global survey, as the United Nations announced a plan to tackle the phenomenon. Audrey Azoulay, director general of the UN’s culture body, Unesco, told reporters on Monday that false information and hate speech online – accelerated and amplified by social media platforms – posed “major risks to social cohesion, peace and stability”. Guardian 

Office-sharing company WeWork filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey federal court Monday, saying that it had entered into agreements with the vast majority of its secured note holders and that it intended to trim “non-operational” leases. The bankruptcy filing is limited to WeWork’s locations in the U.S. and Canada, the company said in a press release. WeWork reported liabilities ranging from $10 billion to $50 billion, according to an initial filing.

In addition to generative AI for Creators, YouTube is now testing a conversational AI for end users that lets them ask questions about videos and navigate comments more easily. A new “Ask” button on the video page will let you “interact with AI to learn more about the content.” Responses are generated by large language models (LLMs), though which isn’t specified, and “draw on info” from YouTube, as well as the web. For example, you can ask questions about the video you’re watching or choose a suggested prompt like “recommend related content.” 9to5Google

New legislation which will clear the way for the introduction of driverless buses, delivery vans and farm machinery is set to be announced in the King’s Speech, according to reports. The laws would make autonomously operating vehicles more common in some sectors of the economy by the end of the decade, the Times reports. A source told the publication that the decision would have ‘huge benefits for consumers, reduce road deaths and help decarbonise transport’, while Rishi Sunak is believed to be keen to push the bill through Parliament quickly. Daily Mail

TSB says it has seen a 35 per cent spike in online purchase fraud, which now accounts for over half of all scam cases.  The bank said that purchase fraud, when scammers trick people into paying for goods and services that don’t exist, is driving scam cases across the banking sector.  Banks are seeing over 400 cases a day of online purchase fraud, having recorded 77,000 cases in the first six months of 2023. TSB’s research also reveals that consumers are, on average, losing £500 per case as they fall victim to social media scams. Facebook Marketplace is the biggest driver of online purchase fraud, accounting for 77 per cent of purchase scams originating on the platform. ThisIsMoney

Chris Price