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By Alex Wilhelm

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Welcome to TechCrunch AM! I hope you like reading about the future of AI, because we have a pile of news from Nvidia that will for sure affect the AI industry. There’s also some big venture capital and startup news, of course, but let’s be honest: You want to know what Gr00t is, right?

Alex

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TechCrunch Top 3

  1. Nvidia shows off new chips, tech for self-driving cars and robots: At a presentation that could put some rock concerts to shame, chip giant Nvidia showed off its new, bigger Blackwell platform that purportedly allows massive large language models to train and run faster. The company is also making tools for self-driving car and robotics companies, in addition to NIM, which TechCrunch describes as “a software platform aimed at simplifying the deployment of AI models.” AI is more than neat images and silly poems, and Nvidia wants you to remember that.
  2. Uber leads $100M Moove investment: Ride-hailing giant Uber has invested in Moove, which provides vehicle financing for drivers of ride-hailing services in Africa and several markets outside its home continent. Moove’s valuation rose to $750 million in the deal, and as the company looks to reach new geographies with the new capital, Uber could benefit from having more drivers working for ride-hailing services.
  3. Major pension fund lowers venture allocation, but don’t freak out: The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) is lowering its venture capital and growth equity allocation targets from 15% and 30% of its private equity portfolio to between 5% and 25%. That sounds bad, because major pension funds are sometimes big drivers of the capital that VCs deploy into startups. However, analysts think this a one-off move and not a trend. As LACERA was potentially under-allocated already, the change might be more reflection of reality than a change of strategy.
TechCrunch Top 3 image

Image Credits: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch

Morning must-reads

Nvidia’s NIM could accelerate AI development: AI models are great, but if you can’t get one trained and into production, all you have is a shiny new tool that you can’t really use. Nvidia’s new NIM platform could “streamline the deployment of custom and pre-trained AI models into production environments,” TechCrunch reports. That could result in more demand for AI, and thus more business for Nvidia.

Meet Gr00t: No not that Groot. This is Nivida’s Project Gr00t, a new “general-purpose foundation model for humanoid robots.” I mean, don’t we all want a robot that can do dishes, clean, and help care for the young, sick, and elderly? We aren’t actually close to having such robots, but let’s hope Gr00t can snag the future by the neck and drag it closer to the present.

Don’t leak customer GitHub tokens: That’s the lesson Mintlify is learning (and teaching the world) this week. The documentation startup suffered a data breach earlier this year that resulted in a bunch of its customers’ GitHub tokens being leaked. Mintlify is moving away from using the tokens to prevent the problem in the future, but the issue is a reminder that cybersecurity is a never-ending game of vigilance, and cat-and-mouse.

Shadowbans befuddle X users: X is still struggling to regulate its platform in a manner that works for its users, the politics of its owner, and keeps advertisers content. Now, many users are seeing their accounts being hit with reach-limitations – better known as “shadowbans” – and they have little recourse but to put up with it.

Ingrid reports that Ingrid just raised $23M: TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden has news on Ingrid, a startup that just raised $23 million for its e-commerce logistics and checkout business. Ingrid (the startup) has growing market share in Sweden, its home market, and helps online retailers with the tricky business of last-mile logistics.

Morning must-reads image

Image Credits: Haje Kamps / TechCrunch

Before you go

Good news Android users! Truecaller is getting even more hardcore about blocking spam calls: This Truecaller update is neat, but what made the story truly stick out in my mind is the fact that the call screening service is already blocking up to 40 billion spam calls every year. What a massive waste of effort just to make other people’s lives worse. Not Truecaller, mind, I’m talking about the spammers.

Before you go image

Image Credits: Jagmeet Singh / TechCrunch

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