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June 6, 2023

Instagram tests new AI chatbot in DMs

  • Meta is developing a new AI chat option within Instagram DMs which looks similar to Snapchat’s My AI.
  • App researcher Alexandro Paluzzi shared the images showing that the AI chat option will allow users to ask questions of an AI system within any chat thread.
  • In an example, he shows that by typing @ai into the chat field, users would be diverted to the chatbot which will answer the user’s questions.
  • For more, please visit the Social Media Today website.

Children’s writing at ‘crisis point’ as enjoyment among pupils drops

  • A new report by the National Literacy Trust suggests a proportion of young people who enjoy writing in their spare time has declined.
  • 71,351 children and young people aged between five and 18 from 285 schools across the UK were surveyed online between January and March 2023.
  • 6% of those aged between eight and 18 reported enjoying writing in their free time in 2023, compared to 46.8% in 2010.
  • The charity’s report also notes a decline in writing attainment and suggests “we are no longer facing a setback but a crisis”.
  • Chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Douglas has said their priority is to “ensure this trend is stopped in its tracks”.
  • For more, please visit the Independent’s website.

Microsoft to pay $20 million FTC settlement over improperly storing Xbox account data for children

  • Microsoft have allegedly violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) over charges that the company retained certain personal information of children longer than it should have.
  • Microsoft will have to change how they operate as part of a proposed order filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • These changes include telling parents that a separate child account comes with additional privacy protections, meaning parents have to give consent for child accounts made prior to 2021.
  • Microsoft will also have to make systems to delete data and tell other publishers when it “discloses personal information from children that the user is a child”.
  • For more, please visit the Verge website.

Apple announces powerful new privacy and security features

  • Apple have announced its latest privacy and security updates, including Safari Private Browsing, Communication Safety, and Lockdown Mode, as well as general app privacy updates.
  • The tech company have also announced new features such as Check In, Name Drop and Live Voicemail.
  • Communications Safety now helps keep children safe when they’re sending or receiving content. All image and video processing for Communication Safety occurs on the device, meaning neither Apple nor any third party gets access to the content.
  • Sensitive Content Warning helps adult users to avoid seeing unwanted nude images and videos. This feature is optional and can be turned on by the user in Privacy and Security settings.
  • Check In is a new feature which is said to make it easy for users to let friends or family members know they’ve arrived at their destination safely.
  • For more information on these updates, visit Apple’s website.

One in five children from NI living in poverty

  • A report from Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition has found more than one in five children in NI are experiencing poverty.
  • Statistics were based on the number of children who live in a household with a below 60% median income, after housing costs are removed.
  • Under this definition, 22.2% of children in NI are experiencing poverty, rising to 28.5% and 27.6% in Belfast West and Belfast North respectively.
  • Figures are for the year ending March 2022. The report authors cautioned that this does not cover when the “cost of living crisis really took hold” or inflation.
  • For the full story, go to the Belfast Live website.