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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

Concerns Arise as Boston Dynamics Reveals Latest Robot, Citing Drama with MKBHD and Restructuring at Tesla

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The weather’s getting hotter — but not quite as hot as the generative AI space, which saw a slew of new models released this week, including Meta’s Llama 3. In other AI news, Hyundai-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics unveiled an electric-powered humanoid follow-up to its long-running Atlas robot, which it recently retired. And Rebecca and Sean report on layoffs at Tesla , which they say hit high performers and gutted some departments. AnalysisGoogle Cloud bets on generative AI: Ron writes about how Google Cloud is investing heavily in generative AI, as evidenced by the string of announcements during Google’s Cloud Next conference earlier in the month. Generative AI in health: Generative AI is coming for healthcare — but not everyone’s thrilled.

“Vector Databases: The Rising Star in the Age of AI Hype”

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Why vector databases are having a moment as the AI hype cycle peaks GenAI spurs demand for vector search startups, but database giants are also taking noteVector databases are all the rage, judging by the number of startups entering the space and the investors ponying up for a piece of the pie. “Working with visual search and robotics at Amazon was when I really looked at vector search — I was thinking about new ways to do product discovery, and that very quickly converged on vector search,” Clark told TechCrunch. “I think the same is likely to happen with vector databases,” Zaitsev told TechCrunch. “Our pitch is, ‘we do advanced vector search in the best way possible.’ It is all about specialization. At some point, users will face limitations if vector search is a critical component of your solution.”

The Role of Women in Artificial Intelligence: An Interview with Allison Cohen, Developer of Ethical AI Initiatives

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Allison Cohen is the senior applied AI projects manager at Mila, a Quebec-based community of more than 1,200 researchers specializing in AI and machine learning. One of the projects I managed involved building a dataset containing instances of subtle and overt expressions of bias against women. I learned firsthand why this process is fundamental to building responsible applications, and also why it’s not done enough — it’s hard work! What advice would you give to women seeking to enter the AI field? How can investors better push for responsible AI?

a16z-Funded Twitter Rival “Post News” Will Be Ceasing Operations

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Post News, a microblogging site that emerged in the days after Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition, is shutting down just a year and a half after launching in beta. Founder Noam Bardin, previously CEO of Waze, broke the news in a post on Friday. “At the end of the day, our service is not growing fast enough to become a real business or a significant platform,” Bardin said. Instead of subscribing to various different publications, Post users could purchase individual articles from certain partner outlets. But perhaps it was too soon to try to capture this nascent movement in a social platform.

The Golden Touch: Fintech Midas Raises $45M Series A in Turkey’s Thriving Equities Arena

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Midas, a fintech startup that allows people in Turkey to invest in U.S. and Turkish equities, says it has raised $45 million in a funding round led by Portage Ventures of Canada. The startup is aimed at Turkey’s retail investor market and claims to have more than 2 million users. That’s in a country of 80 million,” Egem Eraslan, CEO and founder of Midas, told TechCrunch. The company has plans to expand beyond Turkey, and aims to target countries in the MENA region. Globally, Portage invests in transformational financial technology and Midas is poised to lead that initiative in a region of early adopters.”

A Recap of Tesla’s Exciting Week and the Rise of Fintech

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It’s been more than a minute since Tesla went public, but the EV company was inescapable on TechCrunch this week. From layoffs to pricing changes and more, it was a week dyed deeply in Tesla colors so we had to chat through the latest. But that was just one element of what we got into on Equity this week. We also dug into Mary Ann’s reporting about Ramp’s latest round — and up valuation — that fit neatly next to Rippling’s own impending fundraise. Equity is back tomorrow with a special interview between Mary Ann and Notable Capital’s Hans Tung, so stay tuned!

Ibotta’s Initial Public Offering Experiences Favourable Reception, Signaling Growing Interest in Technology Stocks from the Public Market

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Shares are not continuing to climb in early trading, but are holding steady above its IPO price, at around $100 at the time of writing. Its successful debut marks the third major tech IPO in the United States this year, and is the third in a row to price well and immediately trade higher. Investor eagerness for Ibotta indicates that “there is an increasing appetite for IPOs again” Smith said, “particularly in the tech space.”Don’t pop the champagne yet for the tech IPO market coming roaring back, however. Classic tech IPOs tend to feature tech companies still in growth mode and deeply in the red. Smith agrees, calling the upcoming Rubrik IPO “an even bigger test” for tech debuts “given its weaker current financial picture.”We’ll find out next week.

“Mastering Your iPhone: Playing Pokémon and Other Game Boy Classics”

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Apple finally updated its App Store guidelines to allow global developers to host retro game emulators on iOS. Now, at long last, Testut has released a Game Boy emulator directly into the iOS App Store, where it’s already climbed to #1 on the entertainment charts. Delta, the emulator, even supports DS, N64, SNES and NES games, in addition to Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games. If you’re a Paladin-esque rule follower, you can use a tool like Epilogue’s GB Operator, which can rip .ROM files directly from the Game Boy games that you already own. So, now that you have legally obtained your .ROM file, how do you get it onto your phone?

“San Francisco Freeway On-Ramp Blocked by 7 Waymo Robotaxis”

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Seven Waymo robotaxis blocked traffic moving onto the Potrero Avenue 101 on-ramp in San Francisco on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m., according to video of the incident posted to Reddit and confirmation from Waymo. California regulators recently approved Waymo to operate its autonomous robotaxi service on San Francisco freeways without a human driver, but the company is still only testing on freeways with a human driver in the front seat. After hitting the road closure, the first Waymo vehicle in the lineup then pulled over out of the traffic lane that was blocked by cones, followed by six other Waymo robotaxis. It’s not the first time Waymo vehicles have caused a road blockage, but this is the first documented incident involving a freeway. In San Francisco, there must be a driver in the car in order to issue a citation.

“Exploring the Potential of AirChat: Will it Soar or Follow in Clubhouse’s Footsteps?”

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AirChat, the buzzy new social app, could be great – or, it could succumb to the same fate as ClubhouseOver the weekend, another social media platform exploded into the fray: AirChat. Built by AngelList founder Naval Ravikant and former Tinder exec Brian Norgard, Airchat takes a refreshingly intimate approach to social media. What I do consider a red flag is AirChat’s naive approach to content moderation. Clubhouse’s approach to content moderation was even more permissive, since there was no way to block people for months after launch – AirChat already has block and mute features, thankfully. With this minimalist approach to content moderation, it’s not hard to see how AirChat could get into hot water.