Wednesday newspaper round-up: AI laws, Microsoft, AstraZeneca | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european

Scammers were responsible for nearly 1.4m cases of fraud in the UK during the first half of 2023 – the equivalent of one every 12 seconds – with romance scams and ID theft among the fastest growing categories. Overall, criminals stole £580m in the first six months of the year, according to the banking trade association UK Finance, suggesting households are set to lose more than £1bn to fraudsters during 2023. – Guardian

The EU is within “touching distance” of passing the world’s first laws on artificial intelligence, giving Brussels the power to shut down services that cause harm to society, says the AI tsar who has spent the last four years developing the legislation. A forthcoming EU AI Act could introduce rules for everything from homemade chemical weapons made through AI to copyright theft of music, art and literature, with negotiations between MEPs, EU member states and the European Commission over final text coming to a head on Wednesday. – Guardian

The world is at a “tipping point” on debt that threatens to spark a global reckoning after years of government borrowing binges, the boss of HSBC has warned. Noel Quinn, chief executive of the bank, which is one of the world’s biggest, said countries risked being “hit hard” after allowing borrowing to balloon in the wake of the financial crisis and pandemic. – Telegraph

Sales at Microsoft have surged as the technology giant cashes in on the artificial intelligence (AI) gold rush in a race against Silicon Valley rival Google. Revenues at Microsoft jumped 13pc to $56.5bn (£46.5bn) as boss Satya Nadella claimed the company was “making the age of AI real”. The technology company has invested in ChatGPT-developer OpenAI and launched a series of AI-powered tools for its Office and Word products in recent months. – Telegraph

Sir Pascal Soriot has said it would be a failure of his leadership if AstraZeneca did not appoint an internal candidate to eventually succeed him, as he committed himself to leading the FTSE 100 drugs company for another five years. Soriot, 64, has overseen the transformation of AstraZeneca since he became chief executive in 2012, turning down a £69 billion takeover offer from Pfizer and transforming the Cambridge business into one of Britain’s biggest public companies, valued at about £172 billion, after reviving its drugs pipeline. – The Times

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