Who would have thought quirky mega-billionaire Elon Musk would be the harbinger of our doom?
Everybody? Survey says that’s correct, especially in light of Tesla’s most recently announced disturbing project, the Tesla Bot. It’s a 5’8”, 125 lb. human-shaped AI robot that operates via Tesla’s self-driving technology. If you’re thinking that sounds a little big and maybe a machine that big is definitely capable of killing you (?) and that gazing into its non-existent face is like reckoning with the permanent void, worry not; Elon’s got your back. During the announcement, he said:
“We’re setting [the Tesla Bot] such that it is at a mechanical level, at a physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it.”
Are the implications of authoritarian global capitalism not scary enough for you? What about the rapidly accelerating effects of climate change? Then maybe the Tesla Bot can stimulate you — if you treat it nice, perhaps even physically so.
The Tesla Touch: Platform and Technology
The Tesla Bot will adapt the company’s Autopilot technology, which will allow it to sense objects and surfaces, and navigate autonomously. In terms of capability, Musk said it would be able to deadlift 150 pounds, carry 45 pounds, and walk at about five mph.
Its featureless face will be a screen that displays information.
“Our cars are semi-sentient robots on wheels,” Musk said, extrapolating that “it kind of makes sense” to install the same software “onto a humanoid form.”
‘Why, Robot?’: Implications
Ideally, Musk said, the Tesla Bot will be relegated to mundane physical labor in industrial or business settings. Ostensibly, it would replace humans who have jobs that entail repetitive or dangerous tasks. Sound familiar?
“It has profound applications for the economy,” Musk said. “In the future, physical work will be a choice.”
The future really is bright! Thanks to the automation of billions of jobs, we will all have the “choice” of whether or not to earn income.
Still, Musk hinted at even bigger plans for his new human-robot baby. The “real test,” he said, would be for the robot to navigate the world freely, without human directives.
The creation he shares the stage within the video is a visual aid only. Musk said a prototype will probably land next year. In other news, Tesla’s self-driving technology is under federal investigation after being implicated in 11 crashes involving emergency vehicles, and it faces massive recalls.
Learn more at Cnet.com.