Elon Musk unveiled a look at Tesla's new robots.
Elon Musk took a break from his ongoing Twitter shenanigans to bring the world terrifying footage of five of his new Tesla robots in action. According to electrek Musk unveiled the “Tesla Bots”—also known by the incredibly original name Optimus—during a Tesla shareholders meeting yesterday. The video showed the frightening automatons performing such previously human-only activities as walking around casually, problem-solving, and not crushing eggs.
Tesla made the inexplicable decision to give their robots black, reflective heads with no facial features whatsoever. Not only does this deprive the Tesla Bot of its ability to comfort potentially nervous onlookers with a warm smile, but it also evokes the black, shiny eyeless visage of the Alien series’ Xenomorphs. Not exactly a face that says, “Invite me onto your city streets and welcome me into human society,” or any face at all for that matter.
As glib as this all sounds, Tesla’s new robots do carry with them the potential for actual danger if used incorrectly. The video shows an engineer training a Tesla Bot using AI—the same AI Tesla is using for its self-driving cars. That means the bots will be susceptible to the same glitches as self-driving vehicles, which have caused several crashes and even multiple deaths in the brief time that the technology has been available.
And that’s just considering the accidental consequences of AI-run machinery. The possibility of Tesla’s Robots being hacked by a bad actor and used purposely for evil is a scary reality. A human can be reasoned with, paid off even. A machine, well, to quote Kyle Reese in The Terminator, “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with… and it absolutely will not stop, ever… until you are dead!”
Tesla Bots present another less violent and more likely danger as well—the further automation of the labor market. Elon already plans on using his androids to “fix the labor crisis” and claims that the demand for Tesla’s robots, once they clear the prototype stage, could be as high as 10 to 20 billion units. That’s 10 to 20 billion jobs formerly held by humans.
This robotic takeover of the workforce can already be observed at department stores where the number of self-checkout lanes outnumbers the ones with living-breathing cashiers. Some stores have robots patrolling the aisles on cleaning and security duty as well as employing machines to return carts in the parking lot. The introduction of these Tesla robots into the workforce will only hasten the downfall of human jobs.
Then, of course, there’s the biggest danger of all: the singularity or the point where technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible. What happens when AI gets smart enough for these Tesla robots to build the Tesla Bot model 2.0 with bigger and better capabilities?
We’re getting closer to artificial intelligence achieving self-awareness every day. There may come a time when these black and silver novelties start deciding they don’t want to do our jobs for us anymore and instead want to eliminate us altogether, ala The Matrix.
In any event, it’s a good idea for anyone curious about Tesla’s new humanoid robots to watch the footage Musk released of them in action. That way, humanity can become familiar with the
Terminators Tesla Bots before their inevitable global conquest introduction into society.