Elon Musk prefers to have a single focus at a time, and it appears that robots will be his focus this year.
On a Tesla earnings call, he told investors that his fledgling robot ambitions had “the potential to be more substantial than the automotive company, over time.”
And they’d be the most crucial projects for Tesla this year.
The robot in issue, which is part of a project called Optimus, was showcased last year by a human in a robot costume dancing on stage, which raised some concerns.
And the performance went viral on the internet.
Musk announced during the event last August that the Tesla Bot would use the same artificial-intelligence algorithms that helped power Tesla automobiles, but no prototype has yet been created.
He also stated that the 5ft 8in robot, which has yet to be developed, will have a screen on its “face,” be able to lift 150 pounds and travel at roughly 5mph.
Musk told investors this week that the humanoid robot’s first application will be “moving parts around the factory, or something like that” at a Tesla plant.
However, he views it as a future solution to labor shortages.
“Tesla AI might play a role in AGI [artificial general intelligence], given that it trains against the outside world, especially with the advent of Optimus”, he tweeted earlier this week.
A machine’s ability to acquire or understand tasks now performed by humans is referred to as artificial intelligence (AI).
Musk has previously stated that artificial intelligence poses a threat to human civilization.
“Decentralised control of the robots will be critical,” he added in the same Twitter thread.
“AGI is an exceptionally hard problem. The idea that you can crack AGI because you have created a driverless vehicle is absurd. Even if that car is highly capable, that would not be AGI – it would be high-functioning narrow intelligence. Google and Facebook have hired some of the best AI people in the world and the idea that Musk can come in and crack the problem is hubristic in the extreme,” said Professor of robot ethics Alan Winfield, at the University of West England.
Musk, on the other hand, enjoys tackling difficult challenges, from self-driving cars to journeys to Mars, and has a track record of accomplishment.
SpaceX’s reusable rockets, for example, are largely recognized as a significant stride forward in space flight.
However, earlier attempts to develop low-cost mass-market humanoid robots have failed.
To the dismay of the academic community, Japanese company Softbank stated in June that the manufacturing of Pepper, a nice tiny humanoid, had been suspended and would resume only when the robots were needed.
However, according to the International Federation of Robotics, robots are becoming more common in companies around the world, with an average of 126 robots per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing business.
“Anyone who thinks Tesla is actually building a humanoid robot is living in an alternate reality. Mars bases are more likely than the bot,” tweeted.Accel Robotics software engineer Filip Piekniewski.
Tony Prescott, a professor of cognitive robotics at the University of Sheffield, told BBC News that Musk would confront numerous obstacles.
“If it is being used in a factory, then a wheel-based robot would be much easier to build and have no problems of balance – but then it wouldn’t be humanoid,” he said.
(Adapted from BBC.com)