The Daily Crunch is TechNewHero’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.
1. John Carmack steps down at Oculus to pursue AI passion project ‘before I get too old’
Legendary coder John Carmack is leaving Facebook’s Oculus after six years to focus on a personal project — no less than the creation of Artificial General Intelligence, or “Strong AI.” He’ll remain attached to the company in a “Consulting CTO” position, but will be spending all his time working on, perhaps, the AI that finally surpasses humanity.
This follows the departure of Oculus’ founders and early executives. His plan is to pursue his research from home, “Victorian Gentleman Scientist” style, and make his kid help.
2. Fourteen years after launching, 1Password takes a $200M Series A
1Password has been around for 14 years, and the founders grew the company the old-fashioned way — without a dime of venture capital. But when they decided to take venture help, they went all in.
3. Instagram tests hiding Like counts globally
Instagram tells TechNewHero the hidden Likes test is expanding to a subset of users globally. The change could make those users more comfortable sharing what’s important to them without the embarrassment of receiving a tiny number of likes.
4. Disney+ to launch in India, Southeast Asian markets next year
Disney plans to bring its on-demand video streaming service to India and some Southeast Asian markets as soon as the second half of next year, sources told TechNewHero. In India, the company plans to bring Disney+’s catalog to Hotstar, a popular video streaming service it owns.
5. Apple Research app arrives on iPhone and Apple Watch with three opt-in health studies
In September, Apple announced its plans for a research app that would allow U.S. consumers to participate in health studies from their Apple devices. Users can currently opt to participate in three health studies, including a women’s health study, hearing study and a heart and movement study.
6. Eigen nabs $37M to help banks and others parse huge documents using natural language and ‘small data’
Eigen is working primarily in the financial sector, but the plan is to use the funding to continue expanding to cover other verticals, such as insurance and healthcare — two other big areas that deal in large, wordy documentation that is often inconsistent in how it’s presented, full of essential fine print, and typically a strain on an organization’s resources to handle correctly.
7. Micromobility’s next big opportunities
Despite the over-saturation of the market, there are still opportunities for new players. Currently, there are two key areas that have yet to see a lot of action and are therefore ripe for disruption. (Extra Crunch membership required.)