Elon Musk Is Creating Humanoid Robots To Do Human Tasks — Even After He Warned Us About An AI Takeover

Photo: Tesla / Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
tesla bot elon musk

Neuralink founder and future Mars colonizer, Elon Musk unveiled a new Tesla robot that will be used to do everyday work, and sometimes dangerous work.

In the past, Musk has warned that AI would overtake humans, however, we needn’t worry about this new Tesla bot being the straw that breaks the camel’s back — Musk assures us it’s friendly.

What is Elon Musk's 'Tesla Bot?' 

The "Tesla Bot" is a humanoid robot that runs on the same AI technology that is used by Musk's Tesla vehicles. 

"It’s intended to… be friendly of course,” Musk joked.

The humanoid robot seems to be average in size, albeit maybe a little underweight when compared to a real person, and isn’t very fast or strong for very obvious reasons.

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“We’re setting it such that it is, at a mechanical level, at a physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it.”

Clearly poking fun at the idea that the robots would rise against their human caretaker, he reassures those with that fear that even if the Tesla Bot were to rebel, it wouldn’t be very hard to stop. Just don’t leave any sharp objects near it.

The 'Tesla Bot' will be able to perform tasks.

Musk said his intentions are for the bot to, “Eliminate dangerous, repetitive, and boring tasks.”

It can for example, Musk says, "Go to the store and get ... the following groceries." 

Musk stressed that the biggest issue he sees with an AI robot like this one is that it needs to be able to understand what we tell it and want from it.

“Can you talk to it and say: 'Please pick up that bolt and attach it to that car with that wrench,'” he said. “I think we can do that.”

Musk predicts the 'Tesla Bot' will change the economy.

Musk predicted that, thanks to his robot, there would be no shortage of labor. We can do other things while our robots do physical work. 

"In the future, physical work will be a choice," he said. "If you want to do it, you can, but you won't need to do it." 

He claimed that they would have a prototype ready by next year.

The "Tesla Bot" will have the same self-driving system that the Tesla cars have, and will have 8 built-in cameras in order to help it do this.

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But what about the AI takeover that Musk warned about?

Musk has often in the past talked about how AI trends were progressing towards a negative future and how far the technology has come.

In 2016, he reportedly said that humans risk being treated like house pets by artificial intelligence unless technology is developed that can connect brains to computers.

Was he inspired by his own prediction?

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Basically, Musk thinks that the problem isn’t totally understood, and that people are overlooking how smart AI is or can be.

“My assessment about why A.I. is overlooked by very smart people is that very smart people do not think a computer can ever be as smart as they are,” he told a New York Times reporter in an interview. “And this is hubris and obviously false.”

He thinks that’s where things are headed, and that eventually AI will simply become smarter than humans, “But that doesn’t mean that everything goes to hell in five years. It just means that things get unstable or weird."

He stresses a lot during the conference that the "Tesla Bot" will be very literally only focused on working those jobs that are repetitive, boring, or dangerous.

He also emphasized that Tesla hasn’t thought about the future of the technology and they don’t have a roadmap for it and that right now their focus is simply getting it to work, and making sure it works.

Hopefully it doesn’t work too well and we have to fight a "Tesla Bot "army of workers, but it seems like a really cool idea, and it’s curious to see what kind of effects it could have on the economy.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics.