NCSC warns of ‘deep fake’ election threat, Renault’s Ampere set to announce budget EV

Advances in artificial intelligence pose a growing threat to the integrity of the next general election in the UK, Britain’s cyber security agency has warned. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said countries such as Russia would likely seek to meddle with the outcome of the poll – which must take place by January 2025 – as well as other major elections in western democracies in the coming year, including in the United States. In an annual review of a broad range of cyber security issues, the agency, which is part of GCHQ, warned about the prospect of increasingly realistic, deepfake videos and other forms of disinformation designed to influence voter preferences. Sky News 

It sounds like a scenario straight out of a Ridley Scott film: technology that not only sounds more “real” than actual humans, but looks more convincing, too. Yet it seems that moment has already arrived. A new study has found people are more likely to think pictures of white faces generated by AI are human than photographs of real individuals….However, the team said the results did not hold for images of people of colour, possibly because the algorithm used to generate AI faces was largely trained on images of white people. The Guardian 

Apple internally believes its iOS 18, macOS 15, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18 updates next year will be “ambitious and compelling,” thanks to major new software features and designs in the works for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac. That’s according to the latest information relayed by Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman. While little is known about the specifics, many of the changes are believed to involve generative AI, including a smarter version of Siri that takes the virtual assistant’s integration with the operating systems to a new level. MacRumors 

Volkswagen has upgraded its ID.4 and ID.5 electric models, with both available to order now from Volkswagen UK Retailers. Prices start from £46,035 RRP on-the-road. The two electric SUVs now feature a new-generation infotainment system, complete with a larger 12.9-inch screen and illuminated sliders for cabin temperature. The optional augmented-reality head-up display has also been enhanced, and Volkswagen has moved the driving mode selector to the steering column – as in the ID.7 – to create space for the larger infotainment display. Tech Digest

Renault’s new EV arm, Ampere, is set to announce the launch of an affordable electric city car this week, according to news agency Reuters. Ampere will be holding its capital markets day on Wednesday when the announcement is expected. Renault set up Ampere as a separate division to focus on electric vehicles, although it will be making Renault-branded vehicles like the new, all-electric Renault 5, due to go on sale late next year. By focusing on EVs only, Ampere hopes to be able to reduce costs in the development and production of EVs. AutoExpress  

Changes are being rolled out to the Threads app
that will enable users to delete their account while keeping the linked Instagram account. An Instagram account is required to sign up to the Twitter-like app, but users were frustrated that it was impossible to delete Threads alone. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri revealed the change in a post on Threads. Initially hailed as a “Twitter-killer”, Threads struggled to sustain early record-breaking growth. In October Mark Zuckerberg, the head of parent-company Meta, revealed that three months on from its July launch the app was attracting around 100 million monthly users – down by more than a half. BBC 

Chris Price