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Artificial intelligence, humanoid robots, and Elon Musk's lowkey job offer

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Artificial intelligence, humanoid robots, and Elon Musk's lowkey job offer by Tree Elven on 31/08/2021
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One of the richest people in the world, centibillionaire Elon Musk is known to many for co-founding payment sytem PayPal, and/or for his role as CEO of electric vehicle company Tesla and founder/CEO of spacecraft company SpaceX. High on his list of enterpreneurial aims is expanding human existence and activity to other planets. In 2018 he attracted admiration and scorn by launching a Tesla car into Space as the payload for a spacecraft test flight. Creating this new, artificial Sun satellite was, he explained, about introducing people to the "possibility of something new happening in Space". In this 2021 footage, Musk launches an intitiative that stirred up equal levels of interest and controversy - the unveiling of the Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot that has yet to be built. In a surprisingly mild manner, Musk delivers alarming news such as the prediction that a reasonably fit person should be able to run away from or fight off the 'friendly' bot if necessary; and wraps the whole as a lowkey recruitment drive with an almost tentative invitation to 'join our team and help build this'. The reveal sparked confusion and derision among those noting that Musk has previously stated with clarity that artificial intelligence (AI) could signal the end of humanity, yet here he is building a bot based on such technology. If you see the footage in terms of recruitment, what kind of person do you think will be attracted to this job offer? Does the presenter do a good job of convincing you that the robot can be built and according to the human-friendly yet arguably anti-human schedule? Are you questioning WHY such initiatives are underway? Or are you just keen to see back-breaking, dangerous or boring jobs handled by friendly bots while the rest of us kick back, and enjoy our Universal Basic Income in an appealing, non-violent way?

Keywords: Tesla bot, Elon Musk artificial intelligence, AI and robotics, dangers of AI, humanoid robots, recruitment ads

Comments

Not really an advert as such, but I guess Elon Musk can play his brand and marketing communications whichever way he wants. One of the things I liked about this piece is Musk's unpolished delivery. It's like "Musk muses". A nice contrast with the cringe-inducing shows that Apple has put on (and I'm an Apple user!). That didn't stop alarm bells ringing for me. All the reassurances about the deliberate limitations of this robot seemed to me like a sop to the fearful. As for the recruitment angle, I wonder. His "come and help us build this" comment seems like just another casual line - an afterthought, rather than a calculated pitch. But who knows? What strikes me is that we can witness the thought processes - including blind alleys and blunders - of a guy who is likely to have a massive role in deciding the shape of things to come. There have arguably been others in history with comparable impact, but the world was not able to observe them in action.
Stuart Harris at 01/09/2021 13:08

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