Tesla is working on a new project not too far off from what is seen in popular science fiction, the Tesla Bot. Technology continues to grow at a rapid and exponential pace. Dating all the way back to Ancient Greece, there were people experimenting with electricity. This was 2,000 years before Benjamin Franklin made his own electrical discoveries. Now, a little less than 300 years after Franklin’s experiments, technology has advanced to the point to create AI laborers. Most people, even those born in the mid to late 1900s could likely not even guess that society would have advanced technology as much as it has over the past 50 years.
Elon Musk announced the new AI Tesla Bot and has stated that the robots’ purpose would be to eliminate the need for humans to do dangerous tasks as well as boring or repetitive tasks. Rather than have the robots solely work on earth, in spaces with only humans, the robots are also planned to eventually work on Mars.
Economy Growth Predictions
Musk has mentioned that he believes the Tesla Bot would have a great impact on the economy. He, among other scientists in Silicon Valley, believes that in the future working will be a choice, and there would be a universal basic income. With the creation of AI laborer robots, there would be fewer costs for businesses. In the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year, workers were compensated around $40,051 per employee. The total costs of compensation would greatly decrease if their workforce were to include AI workers. The potential increase in AI laborers would be a decrease in jobs. Businesses would have the opportunity to employ fewer humans and instead have a mix of human workers as well as AI laborers.
Society has already seen automation and a decrease in specific jobs. This automation has made lives easier in many ways. Automation is used in so many processes, including mining and construction. With these automation processes being commonplace, AI labor is one of the next logical steps. With automation, computer numerical control, or CNC, is used to control machining tools. CNC has been used since around the 1940s and has helped to push society toward more complicated automation and computers.
Humans Still Have Autonomy
Though these bots are designed to make life easier for humans by reducing human involvement, their involvement becomes more important. If there is an error that automation cannot work around, humans can step in to correct the problem or to fix the robot. It is in this same sort of scenario that people are worried about. The public are worried about flaws in machines such as this. Whether there is a simple flaw in the coding or a malfunction that may render the machine useless. There is also the issue of whether the AI robot may become violent and what that would mean for anyone in the surrounding area. Musk has said that the Tesla Bot would be fairly light and easy to take over if necessary. This concern of robots taking over or being violent towards humans is not new. One instance of this idea came up in the 1950s, in a science fiction anthology titled “I, Robot.” This is also where the laws of robotics came about in a more concrete way. In other stories before, there were mentions of similar ideas.
Elon Musk has set 2022 as the year the prototype would be out. This is a soft release date because, in the past Musk has given out news regarding Tesla, and that has not turned out in the way that it was expected to. Projects in the past have been canceled, or have been exaggerated and overpromised when it comes to unveilings.
Projects like the Tesla Bot are one of many promising futures and developments in technology. As technology continues to advance, more audacious projects are likely to come about as well.