TESLA ROBOT
AppleMagazine|August 27, 2021
THE NEXT BREAKTHROUGH FOR AI HAS BECOME REAL

At its August AI Day event, Tesla founder Elon Musk made the next leap forward for mankind, announcing the firm was working on a prototype humanoid robot that could revolutionize the way we live. Designed to replace manual workers in dangerous, repetitive, and boring roles, the bot sets a new standard for 21st-century living. The future is coming.

INTRODUCING THE TESLA BOT

Although many were expecting Tesla’s AI Day event to focus on the artificial intelligence element of its self-driving cars, the company took a slightly different approach. Of course, there was news on upgrades to the Tesla operating system that would make driving your Model X even better, the star of the show was undoubtedly the announcement that the firm was working on a humanoid robot that could change the way we all live, work, and interact forever. Like something out of an episode of Black Mirror, Tesla confirmed that its new five-foot-eight-inch-tall robot could be deployed across organizations around the world to help improve efficiency and reduce the need for manual human labor. Indeed, the new Tesla bot is capable of attaching bolts to its cars using a wrench or heading to the local grocery store to pick up ingredients for tonight’s meal. There’s no doubt that actual use cases like these are a while off yet, but they spark a debate that needs to be had about how far we let technology infiltrate our lives, and indeed the impact it could have on the overall jobs market. Indeed, answering a question from a journalist at the event, Elon Musk said that he could “safely say that it will be much longer than 10 years before a humanoid bot from any company on the planet can go to the store and get groceries for you,” so it’s a while off yet.

Keen to squash criticism and complaints from journalists, charities, and governments, Musk acknowledged the potential impact the robot could have on the global economy right there at its keynote. He admitted the Tesla Bot could have “profound implications for the economy,” but drew reference to the current labor shortage that’s been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that he thought it was important that the machine was not “super expensive” so that firms of all shapes and sizes could invest in humanoid robots that could join their workforce, but failed to acknowledge the potential of organizations replacing their employees with bots. Indeed, Tesla employs 70,757 people around the world, a great many of those in manual manufacturing roles. If its robot entered the fore, it could make thousands of Tesla workers redundant, impacting low-paid, low-skilled, vulnerable staffers, their families, and livelihoods.

HANDS-ON WITH TESLA BOT

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