Tesla has created a new AI robot, what does this mean for people?

By Farah Bassyouni Oct2,2023

In the ever-evolving world of technology, new pieces of the future are becoming a reality. Tesla is at the forefront of this movement, headlining state of the art automotive and electric equipment and standing at a current market cap of $780.7 billion. On Sept. 24, 2023, they unveiled their latest project: the “Optimus” Robot. This new AI powered humanoid can sort objects autonomously, the first of its kind. The physical makeup is a droid-like figure, with incredibly fluid and humanlike movement. Online sample footage shows the robot sorting and organizing blocks, reacting to visual queues, and even stretching its robotic limbs into yoga poses. The robot interacted with the human proctor of the tests and passed all tasks assigned to it with ease. 

The release ensures that the future of AI technology is upon us, and Tesla is already planning for what’s next. On the intention of the project, they write, “to create a general purpose, bi-pedal, autonomous humanoid robot capable of performing unsafe, repetitive, or boring tasks. Achieving that end goal requires building the software stacks that enable balance, navigation, perception, and interaction with the physical world. We’re hiring deep learning, computer vision, motion planning, controls, mechanical and general software engineers to solve some of our hardest engineering challenges.” Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to the release with one word: “Progress.” 

The implications for the future in regards to this technology are unknown, yet the potential of realistic application is sky high. Just think, any repetitive or mundane task that is currently done by a person could be in jeopardy. This could have a monumental effect on the manufacturing industry, and it’s only the beginning. One thing is for sure: once this ball gets rolling, it’s going to be a hard one to stop. A.I. technology has already garnered plenty of backlash, as seen in Hollywood with the SAG-AFTRA writer strikes and plagiarism fear sweeping the classroom.. As long as tech continues on this trend, it’s a safe bet that more and more people will start to see AI as a competitor rather than a tool. For better or for worse, only time will tell. 

The possibilities of use for the technology in industry is boundless, but some are beginning to raise concerns over the displacement it could cause in the workforce. We already see inklings of it being put into our daily lives, such as robotic food delivery and autonomous driving services. This release by Tesla shows just how close we are to a society that nobody has seen before, and you can’t help but wonder, how far will this innovation go?

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