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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… UK, US join forces on AI safety, Google’s New Privacy Feature Pushes Android Beyond iPhone, RCS: The next big messaging channel for business in SA and much more…

UK, US join forces on AI safety

Mobile World Live

The UK and US have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on enhancing the safe development and usage of AI. This partnership involves the testing of powerful AI models and establishing institutes to evaluate AI safety and develop guidance to mitigate associated risks. The governments plan to conduct joint testing exercises on publicly accessible models and leverage expertise from the newly created institutes.

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Google’s New Privacy Feature Pushes Android Beyond iPhone

Forbes

As Android and iPhone continue to converge, recent developments show that Google is adopting features from Apple’s iOS for its Android platform. Examples include encrypted WhatsApp calls integrated into phone dialer lists and satellite SOS messaging. This trend indicates a narrowing gap between the two operating systems and suggests a shift in dynamics where Google is adopting features previously associated with Apple.

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RCS: The next big messaging channel for business in SA

IT Web

Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging is poised to become a vital tool for businesses following Apple’s announcement that iPhones will support the technology in 2024. According to Ryan Miller, Sales Lead – Africa at Sinch, a global communications platform as a service (CPaaS) leader, RCS enables the delivery of branded messages directly to customers’ traditional SMS inboxes, combining the reach of SMS with the interactive capabilities of platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. He highlights that RCS is secure, encrypted, and significantly cheaper than other channels, with pricing approximately 10% less than SMS in South Africa. This cost-effectiveness is particularly advantageous for businesses engaging in marketing, customer service, or verification activities at scale.

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AI Is Changing Our Phones, and It’s Just Getting Started

CNET

Today’s smartphones are versatile tools capable of various tasks, but the process often involves navigating between multiple apps. For instance, planning a vacation may require switching between messaging apps and booking platforms like Airbnb. Similarly, sharing an image from an event typically involves using separate apps for capturing, editing, and sharing photos.

However, with the emergence of generative AI, this workflow is poised to change. Generative AI, which involves AI models trained on vast datasets to create content based on provided prompts, presents a paradigm shift. Examples include ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, and Google Gemini. Unlike previous AI applications, which focused on tasks like background blurring in photos or voice recognition for virtual assistants, generative AI enables more seamless and intuitive interactions on smartphones.

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Uber ‘tech bros’ sought to destroy Australian taxi app using corporate espionage, court hears

Guardian

The legal battle between Taxi Apps, the company behind GoCatch, and Uber has escalated, with Taxi Apps accusing Uber of intentionally launching its UberX service illegally in Australia to harm GoCatch’s business. According to Taxi Apps, Uber engaged in corporate espionage and hacking competitor systems as part of its strategy.

Uber has denied these allegations and stated that it would vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit. This legal dispute sheds light on the competitive dynamics within the Australian hire car market and the tactics employed by companies to gain an edge.

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Virgin Money invests in IoT with Eseye

Global Data

Eseye, a provider of technology services for the global Internet of Things (IoT) market, has finalised a £10m growth funding package with Virgin Money. Eseye specializes in providing global cellular IoT connectivity solutions. Their eSIM and connectivity platform technology assists leading businesses worldwide in connecting millions of IoT devices, ranging from smart vending machines to medical devices, EV charging units, and payment devices. Eseye enables connectivity to over 700 mobile networks, ensuring nearly 100% uptime for any device, regardless of location. Some of Eseye’s notable customers include Amazon, Shell, Bosch, and Costa Coffee.

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WEF Report Discusses Digital ID, ‘Behavioral Credentials’ in Metaverse

Mobile ID World

The World Economic Forum’s latest report, “Metaverse Identity: Defining the Self in a Blended Reality,” produced in collaboration with Accenture, explores the concept of digital identity within the expanding metaverse. The report highlights how digital ID serves as a cornerstone in shaping metaverse identity, going beyond traditional forms of identification to incorporate a diverse range of data and emerging credentials.

Emphasizing the transformative potential of the metaverse, the report underscores its ability to redefine human interactions and experiences by seamlessly blending physical and digital realms. One key aspect discussed in the report is the notion of “behavioral credentials,” which represent a novel approach to identity verification in the metaverse, relying on individual behaviors and actions to authenticate users.

Overall, the report offers insights into the complex landscape of identity within the metaverse and the implications for individuals, organizations, and society as a whole as this digital environment continues to evolve.

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