On Thursday, Tesla held its ‘AI Day’ presentation, where it showed off all of its new and developing projects in the wonderful world of artificial intelligence. One project in particular stuck out amidst all of Tesla’s updates to its car AI systems: a humanoid AI robot.
Tesla’s bot is no Wall-E
The robot, named the Tesla Bot, was shown off in a PowerPoint presentation given by CEO Elon Musk. It’s a 5-foot-8 humanoid figure, mostly white barring for its nightmarishly void coloured face that only a mother could love.
Musk explained that the robot’s head will sport the same autopilot cameras used in Tesla’s vehicles, and will operate using said vehicles’ Full Self-Driving computer. According to one slide, the robot is intended to eliminate “dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks”, implying that it will be used to carry out menial labour or to carry out tasks in inhospitable environments. It’s not the first time we’ve seen robots built for this purpose, but it is the first time we’ve seen one so uncanny valley.
Further, the bot will be built out of lightweight materials, coming in at a middleweight 125 pounds, or 57kg. Musk explained that this would make it easier to overpower should it suddenly turn on its fleshy oppressors, but 57kg isn’t exactly featherweight. We reckon this thing could still put up a fight if it really wanted to. Musk promised the bot will be friendly, but we’ll believe it when we see it. He also said that a prototype should be ready sometime next year.
Still, while a potential Skynet situation is cause for concern, we’d say the far more immediate fear is of job security. Robots have been replacing human workers for a while now, and with their increasing competency, particularly at physical labour, it might not be long before they start threatening to destroy a major source of job opportunities for living, breathing humans.