Earlier in 2021, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla had teased a robot also called the Tesla Bot (now Optimus). He said that this robot could perform a spectrum of tasks. He announced this at “AI Day”, a series of tech talks held by the company. He also shared certain physical attributes and capabilities of the robot. The owner had also claimed that this robot has the potential to transform the world economy while saving the cost spent on labor.
Recently at an opening event of a new factory near the Austin Airport, Texas, Elon Musk said, “We have a shot of being in production for version one of Optimus hopefully next year.” He believes that it can begin production next year and also has an ambitious timeline for the same. The CEO also said that it may be hard to imagine this but it can potentially transform the whole world.
When this project was first announced, there was no timeline in place and it was supposedly aiming to have a prototype ready by the end of 2022. This robot is aimed at doing stuff that humans find dangerous, repetitive, or basically don’t want to do.
It is pretty certain that people or maybe even the company didn’t seem to have this in its top priority projects but with these developments, the company seems to be serious about revolutionizing the world of AI.
Although the company is yet to present a prototype and is extremely positive about the effect it can have on AI, certain AI experts still have their doubts. Gary Marcus, an AI researcher told CNBC that he could bet on the fact that no human can come close to doing all the human tasks that Musk is talking about in 2023.
This also seems unbelievable because product launches generally don’t really follow the exact predicted timeline. Like, the CEO also promised that there would be 1 million autonomous “robotaxis” on the road by 2020 but they don’t seem to be on the roads yet.
“It may be hard to imagine it, but as you see Optimus develop, and we will make sure it’s safe, no Terminator stuff”-Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.
The safety of Optimus Robot also seems to be a concern as the CEO had also said in 2018, that AI is more dangerous than nuclear weapons. In the recent event of Tesla, speaking about this robot, he said, “It will upend our idea of what the economy is… it will be able to do basically anything humans don’t want to do. It will do it. It’s going to bring an age of abundance. It may be hard to imagine it, but as you see Optimus develop, and we will make sure it’s safe, no Terminator stuff, it will transform the world to a degree even greater than the cars.”
This sudden prioritization of the Optimus Humanoid Robot while leaving other projects a little out of focus is certainly raising a lot of questions in everyone’s mind. We can only wait and watch whether Elon Musk’s imagination and words become our reality in 2023.