When scaring us is great for business

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All right, each right, each right. Over nan past fewer days, I’ve been listening to Matthew McConaughey’s memoir Greenlights, arsenic publication by nan author. I honestly don’t cognize what compelled maine to perceive to it aliases really it ended up connected my Audible app. I don’t moreover really like audio books. I knew nan man had depth, but I committedness I’m still reeling. Of course he has led a wild, crazy, outlaw life. Of course he has a bunch of awesome stories. But I’d ne'er expect him to propulsion maine for a sizeable spin. It has small to do pinch startups and everything to do pinch uncovering yourself successful nan world — which intends it has everything to do pinch startups. In immoderate case: highly recommended.

It was, indirectly, nan inspiration for my file this week, wherever I was reflecting connected really app activation metrics are astatine likelihood pinch our intelligence wellness successful galore ways. That is peculiarly existent for apps for illustration Nextdoor, Citizen and nan Ring doorbell app, which pipes caller basking panic to your pouch 24/7. And, for illustration nan gullible, amygdala-powered animals we are, we respond. Maybe it’s clip to opt out.

The TechCrunch squad is getting beautiful psyched astir TechCrunch Disrupt successful San Francisco successful a mates of weeks. I’ll beryllium onstage, among different things, interviewing Rajeev Rajan, nan new(ish) CTO of Atlassian, and begrudgingly accepting sartorial proposal from random strangers — that could beryllium you!

On those cheerful notes . . . onward to what’s happening successful startup onshore this week!

The highest lows and nan lowest highs

Image Credits: PM Images / Getty Images

Ho’boy, startup life judge ain’t for nan fainthearted, and there’s a batch of highs and lows happening each astir america astatine nan moment.

Medobed, an startup that promises medicine transportation successful 10 minutes, was initially selected successful Y Combinator’s S23 batch. The accelerator changed its tune, severing its ties pinch nan Indian firm. A partner astatine nan task patient has besides suggested to galore prospective investors to not prosecute pinch nan startup.

Apropos changing its mind — Chamet is simply a celebrated but arguable unrecorded video chat app. Google decided to yank nan app from nan Play Store. Big Goog didn’t springiness a circumstantial logic but waved successful nan wide guidance of its “questionable user-generated content” policy.

Someone get a clang cart: Ingrid reported connected Babylon Health succumbing to insolvency — aft it was weighted astatine almost $2 cardinal not that agelong ago. Today, it’s worthy astir $5,000 connected paper. Yowzers.

Self-protesting protestors: People emotion a bully scandal, and protestors rallied astatine Cruise HQ successful San Francisco this week. But it appears that nan peculiar incident they were protesting whitethorn person been overblown. It was alleged that an ambulance was blocked by a Cruise self-driving vehicle, but TechCrunch saw video footage of an incident wherever an ambulance was unimpeded successful this case.

Sell, sell, sell: Benitago raised $380 cardinal aliases truthful to bargain up a bunch of e-commerce brands that do business connected Amazon. This week, it filed for bankruptcy arsenic nan marketplace contracted.

The shade successful nan shell

ai assisted translation

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

The woody gait mightiness beryllium slowing a small (maybe?) but AI continues to beryllium sizzling.

One absorbing inclination successful nan marketplace is that we proceed to spot incumbents adding caller features and functionality. A batch of our readers were funny astir Kyle’s study that Zoom is rebranding and expanding its generative AI features, amid immoderate privateness concerns on nan way.

OpenAI wants its conversational AI supplier ChatGPT everywhere, and that includes classrooms — contempt nan immense imaginable for misuse and disorder there. Taking nan bull by nan horns, nan institution has proposed a fewer ways for teachers to put nan strategy to use. In summation to students rampantly cheating connected their activity pinch AI, that is.

Drop in, tune out, make crap up: My favourite AI portion this week came from Kyle. It’s good documented that AI models tin “hallucinate” plausible-sounding accusation that’s extrapolated incorrectly from existing data. That whitethorn not beryllium solvable pinch current-gen systems, but it whitethorn not beryllium arsenic bad arsenic we think, he writes.

It knows if you’ve been tweeting, it knows erstwhile you’re asleep: Sarah reports that X’s privateness argumentation confirms it will usage nationalist data to train its AI models.

The thin startup gets faster, smarter, AI-ier: Last week, I said pinch nan begetter of nan thin startup, Steve Blank. He’s beautiful psyched by AI and says it will revolutionize nan “lean startup” movement, making startups leaner, meaner, and, well, AI-ier.

A patient dose of startup news

As personification who is much than a small neuro-spicy myself, I’m beautiful excited astir Sam Altman backing Mentra, which aims to lucifer neurodivergent jobseekers pinch perfect jobs. It’ll beryllium absorbing to spot really that 1 shakes retired (and whether nan hirers are capable to sorb hiring specifically for neurodivergent folks).

Bladder wellness isn’t nan sexiest taxable successful nan world, truthful it astir apt won’t astonishment you location are truthful fewer startups focused connected nan area. Just one, successful fact, according to its laminitis Peony Li — who’s conscionable closed a $4.24 cardinal seed information for her London-based bladder wellness startup group to grow into nan U.S.

Fitter. Happier. More productive: Teale has secured a backing information of $11 cardinal earlier this summer. The institution provides a intelligence wellness level for employees and helps HR managers erstwhile it comes to preventing burnout aliases quiet quitting.

A tile complete your head: Hiring isn’t that akin to renting an flat — aliases is it? Rent Butter believes that figuring retired really risky a tenant is goes beyond your modular inheritance cheque and in installments score, and wants to help landlords rethink risk erstwhile it comes to screening tenants.

P-AI-n killers: The opioid pandemic has had a whack-a-mole benignant of complexity, stumping researchers for nan amended portion of 2 decades. Assistant professor astatine UC Berkeley School of Public Health Jerel Ezell argues that AI mightiness beryllium nan spark that ends nan opioid epidemic.

Top sounds connected TechCrunch this week

As ever, a slew of our most-read stories are already included above, but present are a fewer of nan sparkling beacons connected nan elevation (or, astatine least, those that climbed nan rankings successful our analytics tool) complete nan past week:

Pause for laws: Free Fire, by Garena, was banned successful India complete nationalist information concerns. Now Free Fire is relaunching a twelvemonth aft it was banned.

Paws for faux pas: Oh dear, bargain supermarket concatenation Lidl sewage itself into a lidl spot of problem aft its aimed-at-kids Paw Patrol snacks listed a website connected nan packaging that showed big content.

Pause conscionable because: Texas passed a rule that requires those who want to bask immoderate net smut person to spell done an ID check. It turns retired that’s difficult to do, and nan authorities cannot yet enforce ID checks connected porn sites.

Pause for applause: Anker introduces immoderate clever caller recreation chargers that make it easier to return your gadgets connected nan road. Just successful clip for Disrupt, too!

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