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NFT Cockfighting Game Abandoned Amid Silicon Valley’s AI Pivot

  • Culture.org
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  • May 18, 2023
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  • 3 minute read
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NFT Cockfighting Game Abandoned Amid Silicon Valley’s AI Pivot
Key Takeaways
  • Irreverent Labs has halted development on MechaFightClub, an NFT-driven game centered around mechanized cockfighting, due to the SEC crackdown on crypto and regulatory uncertainties in the United States.
  • Many companies in Silicon Valley, including Irreverent Labs, have shifted their focus from NFTs and crypto to artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The pivot from a mech chicken fighting game to an AI-driven video creator showcases the desperation of tech companies in the industry and raises questions about their judgment and the massive funding they receive.
  • Despite AI not being at a world-changing level yet, there is a significant shift towards AI in Silicon Valley, driven by excitement and apprehension surrounding this innovation.
  • The interest in AI is driven by the current economic crisis in the tech industry, characterized by a decline in venture capital funding and the need for new avenues of growth and profitability.
  • The current capabilities of AI products are limited, and there are concerns about the potential consequences of rapid and careless scaling of AI technologies.
  • The shift towards AI in Silicon Valley is seen as a desperate survival strategy rather than a genuine technological breakthrough, and its success remains uncertain.

 

Silicon Valley-based Irreverent Labs has halted development on MechaFightClub, an NFT-driven game centered around mechanized cockfighting.

Despite receiving a staggering $40 million in funding, the project, which had been in the works for a year, has been put into “indefinite hibernation.”

The game was based on the concept of players buying and battling mechabots, the NFTs integral to the game’s functioning.

However, the developers have attributed the cessation of the project to the recent SEC crackdown on crypto, coupled with regulatory ambiguities, making it challenging for blockchain companies to operate in the United States.

A Major Shift to AI

In a surprising turn of events, the company, along with many others in Silicon Valley, has shifted its focus from NFTs and crypto to artificial intelligence.

Irreverent Labs has now completely pivoted from game development and is harnessing machine learning to create short-form videos from images.

This drastic switch from a mech chicken fighting game to an AI-driven video creator within a year epitomizes the desperation of many companies in the tech industry.

It also raises questions about the judgment of those who continue to pump millions into such ventures.

After OpenAI’s success with ChatGPT, a generative AI that mimics human intelligence, tech giants like Microsoft and Google have followed suit, infusing AI into their search engines and other operations.

AI: The Last Resort Amid Market Instability

As the tech industry grapples with a downturn, a significant shift towards artificial intelligence has been observed in Silicon Valley.

Despite AI not being at a world-changing level yet, tech companies are riding the wave of excitement and apprehension surrounding this innovation.

After OpenAI’s success with ChatGPT, a generative AI that mimics human intelligence, tech giants like Microsoft and Google have followed suit, infusing AI into their search engines and other operations.

Similarly, venture capitalists have also started funding AI startups, in hopes of being at the forefront of this new tech wave.

However, this AI hype, largely a display of ego among tech billionaires, has not translated into substantial profit growth.

Yet, it is successfully driving up valuations, as Silicon Valley pins its hopes on AI to buoy customers and investors until their balance sheets recover.

Desperate AI Efforts Amid Economic Crisis

The sudden surge in AI interest is attributed not to technological advancement, but the dire state of Silicon Valley’s economy.

The tech sector, which had previously thrived on venture capital investments and low-interest rates, is now witnessing a six-year low in venture-capital funding.

In this bleak scenario, the rapid growth of generative AI, as evidenced by ChatGPT’s success, has offered a glimmer of hope.

Despite the limitations of current AI products, the tech industry is optimistic about its potential to revolutionize various sectors, from healthcare to human resources.

Unveiling the Real Capabilities of AI

Despite claims of AI’s revolutionary power, the current crop of AI products remains relatively limited in scope.

While generative AI has human-like qualities that spark curiosity and excitement, the actual capabilities of this technology are still not fully understood.

Moreover, with the speed at which these AI products are being rolled out to the public, concerns have been raised about the potential consequences of rapid and careless scaling.

While AI itself is a neutral tool, hasty deployment without proper checks and balances could lead to chaos.

As Silicon Valley grapples with an economic crisis, it’s clear that the industry’s shift towards AI is more of a desperate survival strategy than a genuine technological breakthrough.

As the tech industry bets big on AI, only time will tell whether this Hail Mary will pay off or cause further disruption.

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