One more step towards the posthuman era.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has showcased his much-touted humanoid robot “Optimus” at the electric vehicle maker’s “AI Day” event on Friday.
The billionaire has said a robot business will be worth more than its cars, hoping to expand beyond self-driving vehicles that have not yet become a reality despite his repeated promises.
A prototype of the robot walked on stage and waved to the seated audience. A video of the robot carrying a box, watering plants and moving metal bars in the automaker’s factory was shown.
“Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible,” Musk said at the event at a Tesla office in Palo Alto, California.
Musk said currently humanoid robots were “missing a brain”, saying they don’t have the intelligence to navigate the world by themselves, and they were also very expensive and made in low volume.
Musk announced Tesla’s plan for humanoid robots at its AI day in August last year and delayed this year’s event from August to have its robot prototype working, with a plan to start production possibly next year.
Tesla teased the unveiling of the bot on social media with an image of metallic robotic hands making a heart shape, telling followers to tune for the AI Day conference.
Musk says Optimus will eventually become an “extremely capable robot”, to be made in very high volume – ultimately millions of units – and it was expected to cost much less than a car, at under $20,000.
Building human-like, versatile hands that can manipulate different objects is extremely challenging, and the event was aimed at recruiting engineers to help speed this process along.
The key test for the robot is at present is whether it can handle unexpected situations.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done to refine Optimus and prove it,” Musk said.
Musk also gave brief updates on Tesla’s high-speed computer, Dojo, which was unveiled last year. The company has said is integral to its development of self-driving technology.
Indeed, Tesla is at the very forefront of a technological revolution that will have massive ramifications for the world, particularly for the future of work and industry.
THE ROBOT REPLACEMENT
The rise of machine learning poses threats to the human ecosystem, especially for entry-level positions that aren’t preparing workers for massive transitions to artificial intelligence.
Millions of Australians are at risk of having their jobs either automated out of existence or augmented by robots and artificial intelligence in the next 15 years, data modelling commissioned by the Australian Computer Society found before the pandemic period.
Initially, Musk says that Optimus would perform “boring or dangerous jobs”, including moving parts around Tesla factories or attaching a bolt to a car with a wrench.
This is the first step, and don’t let the term “boring” fool you.
Many jobs under this classification are found in the tens of thousands of factories across the country.
We have already seen major organisation begin this shift to automated technologies:
From here, Musk has said that in the future, robots could be used in homes, making dinners, mowing the lawn and caring for the elderly; even become a “buddy” for humans or a sex partner.
Touted as a ‘solution’ to our woes, the real agenda is the vision for a posthuman caste system.
It isn’t just employment that is under threat, either.
It is the entire way we live life that is set to be transformed, if we allow it to be.
At the event, Musk also discussed Tesla’s long-promoted self-driving technology.
Musk says he expects Tesla will achieve full self-driving this year and mass-produce a robotaxi with no steering wheel or pedal by 2024.
The CEO said that the world’s most valuable carmaker would be “worth basically zero” without achieving full self-driving capability, and Tesla faces growing regulatory investigations.
Industry experts have stated that private vehicle ownership will soon be ‘a luxury reserved for the few’.
Set to be connected to highly-sophisticated smart city infrastructure, with the incorporation of elements such as digital identity, mass surveillance and high-speed rail, the digital dystopia builds piece by piece.
While most ‘celebrate’ this amazing ‘achievement’ by Tesla, some of us see the bigger picture.
The best way to prepare yourself for this transition is to understand where it is going and put yourself in the best position (new skills, change of work, etc) to manoeuvre through the upcoming storm.
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