A few weeks ago at Tesla’s AI Day event, Elon Musk introduced their idea for a humanoid AI robot he called the Tesla Bot. The purpose of this robot is to replace human jobs that Musk described as boring, repetitive, and dangerous.
This bot was only shown digitally in his presentation, as it is entirely too early to have a prototype. This bot will supposedly stand at 5 feet, 8 inches tall, be 125 pounds, and have the ability to lift 45 lb. Along with many other features, the bot has the shape of a general human being and Musk emphasized the idea that they would be friendly and, if needed, we could outrun them.
While the idea of an AI humanoid robot is both terrifying and amazing, many think it is an unrealistic feat for the Tesla company. In the past few years, Elon Musk has gotten criticism for not delivering on his plans for new technology. He claims that the Tesla Bot has a prototype in the next year, but he’s made similar promises on other projects. Tesla had plans for their semi-truck that was unveiled as a prototype in 2017, but the launch of that program has been pushed until 2022 due to “supply chain challenges in limited availability of battery cells.” Another unmet promise from 2017 is the roadster, a four-seated Tesla car that was meant to be one of the fastest cars in production. This project has also been delayed to 2022.
The Tesla Bot could be another one of Musk’s outlandish ideas without the real promise of execution. It also reveals a growing pattern of billionaires using their wealth to create wrong solutions for the right problems. If we look closer at the reasoning for a Tesla bot according to Musk, we see that the plan is to take over jobs that are boring and repetitive. It’s true that most minimum wage jobs include tasks that are seen as boring, repetitive, and nerve-racking, but replacing the workers with an AI bot is not the solution. This is especially true during a time when people are demanding more pay for these jobs. We also need to know what would happen to the rest of the working population if their jobs were to be replaced by a humanoid robot. Right now we can only theorize what would happen if a mass production of robots like this one took place, but we may run into this issue in the future if other companies follow in Musk’s footsteps.
More than anything it shows how big of disconnection there is between the world we live in and that of Elon Musk.
He doesn’t seem to care or consider the negative ethical problems this could result in the long run, rather than how this can lead to an increase in his power and pockets.
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