Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently predicted that AI-powered humanoid robots produced by the electric car company will one day outnumber humans. Musk has faced criticism following October’s completely underwhelming introduction of the Optimus robot.
Business Insider reports that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, made a bold forecast regarding the future of artificial intelligence during the automaker’s Investor Day presentation, which was held at the Gigafactory in Austin, Texas this week. He predicted that AI-powered humanoid robots may outnumber real people, indicating that the technology may soon become commonplace in daily life. Musk added, that the ratio of robots to humans “might be greater than one to one.”
Musk’s thoughts on AI were related to Tesla’s plans to create and market its own line of robots. The company’s “Optimus” robot prototype, which Musk plans to use in Tesla factories and eventually make accessible to the general public, was updated in a video during the presentation by Musk. He explained that Tesla’s practical AI experience would give the business a competitive edge in the robot market and establish them as a pioneer in the industry.
Breitbart News reported in October about Musk’s underwhelming introduction of the Optimus robot.
The robot was revealed at the beginning of Tesla’s 2022 AI Day presentation, in which Musk acknowledged that the company previously introduced the robot last year with “a guy in a suit,” but promised that the new demonstration would be more impressive.
Musk claims that the prototype robot that appeared on stage, walked briefly, and waved at the audience can do more than was shown at the event, but “the first time it operated without a tether was tonight on stage.”
Musk stated that the robot would cost “probably less than $20,000” and later added in a Q&A session that Tesla is good at building the AI and actuators necessary for robots due to the company’s experience producing drive units for electric cars.
“The thing that I think Tesla brings to the table that others don’t have is that we have real-world AI,” Musk said. “You can think of the car as a robot on wheels, and this is a robot on legs… I don’t think there’s anyone even close to Tesla on solving real-world AI.”
Musk’s predictions may seem far-fetched, but several industries are already working on developing AI-powered robots. For instance “Astro” is a humanoid robot that Amazon has been
Tesla’s strategy for robotics is distinct in that it takes into account both the company’s emphasis on sustainability and renewable energy as well as its knowledge of AI and automation. In Musk’s vision of the future, factories will use robots like the Optimus to complete routine tasks and lessen the need for human labor, which will ultimately result in higher efficiency and lower costs.
Tesla hasn’t yet given a timetable for the launch of its robot line, leaving many questions about the technology’s potential and limitations unanswered. Tesla’s AI Day event in 2021 marked the debut of the Optimus robot prototype, which was just a man dancing around in a bodysuit at the time. Tesla unveiled a more sophisticated version of the robot in September 2022; however, it was still supported by a group of engineers and could not yet stand by itself.
The technology has advanced significantly since the previous update on Wednesday when the Optimus robot was able to walk and finish tasks by itself. However, rather than being demonstrated live, the updates were shown in a pre-produced video, which has some skeptics doubting whether the technology is actually prepared for widespread use.
“It’s obviously not doing parkour, but it is walking around,” Musk said of the Tesla’s new Optimus iteration. “We might be able to do something like that in the future, but it’s not clear yet.”
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan