Young people turn to AI therapist bots, 1 in 5 new cars are electric

Harry Potter, Elon Musk, Beyoncé, Super Mario and Vladimir Putin. These are just some of the millions of artificial intelligence (AI) personas you can talk to on – a popular platform where anyone can create chatbots based on fictional or real people. It uses the same type of AI tech as the ChatGPT chatbot but, in terms of time spent, is more popular. And one bot has been more in demand than those above, called Psychologist. A total of 78 million messages, including 18 million since November, have been shared with the bot since it was created by a user called Blazeman98 just over a year ago. BBC 

Security researchers have uncovered a hack that allows cybercriminals to gain access to people’s Google accounts without needing their passwords. Analysis from security firm CloudSEK found that a dangerous form of malware uses third-party cookies to gain unauthorised access to people’s private data, and is already being actively tested by hacking groups. The exploit was first revealed in October 2023 when a hacker posted about it in a channel on the messaging platform Telegram. Independent 

Autonomous vehicles in San Francisco are exempt from traffic tickets if there is nobody in the driver’s seat, according to the San Francisco police department (SFPD), underscoring ongoing legal and safety concerns surrounding the expanding technology. California law has not caught up to the cars, even though they are already on the road, say public safety agencies and experts. SFPD policy states that officers can make a traffic stop of autonomous vehicles (AVs) for violations, but can only issue a citation if there is a safety driver in the vehicle overseeing its operations. The Guardian 

One in five new cars registered in the UK are now electric, according to new data, as the Government launches major new EV rules. New research suggests that electric car sales continued to increase in 2023, despite a slowdown from manufacturers in the final two months of the year. Pure electric vehicles accounted for 19.9 per cent of sales in December 2023, more than triple the market share of new diesel registrations. GB News 

New images have revealed Neptune and Uranus look more like each other than was previously thought. Many people will think of Neptune as being a rich blue colour, and Uranus more green. However, Professor Patrick Irwin from the University of Oxford and his team found that the two ice giants, the most distant planets in our solar system, are a similar shade of greenish blue. Sky News 

Amazon customers will face an extra £2.99 charge next month if they want to avoid seeing adverts on Prime Video. The adverts will be introduced in one month’s time on February 5 and will be shown to users who are watching films, and TV shows on Prime Video. The new fee will be on top of all existing Prime, Prime Student and Prime Video membership costs. Currently, it costs £5.99 a month for Amazon Prime Video or £8.99 a month (or £95 upfront) if you are a full Amazon Prime customer. Daily Mirror 

Chris Price