Tesla AI Day: Here’s What to Expect

Washington, DC
CNN business

Tesla (TSLA) will hold its second annual AI Day in Palo Alto, California on Friday evening. The six-hour event will include updates on Tesla’s ( TSLA ) work on artificial intelligence, “Full Self-Driving,” its supercomputer “Dojo” and possibly a humanoid robot, according to invitations posted online by Tesla ( TSLA ) supporters. The event is expected to be streamed live.

Dojo is a supercomputer designed to train AI systems like Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance systems and “Full Self-Driving” to perform complex tasks that sometimes perform some driving tasks such as steering and following traffic. Tesla’s previous AI Day featured detailed technical explanations of the company’s work, hoping to attract top engineers.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that in the long run, people will think of Tesla as an AI company, rather than a car company or an energy company. He said That Tesla AI can play a role in computers that match general human capabilities is a major milestone that many experts say is decades away and perhaps unattainable. Musk, who has a long history of predictions, yes he said It may arrive in 2029.

But narrower, easier-to-develop forms of artificial intelligence — such as identifying emergency vehicles stopped on a freeway — have proven to be a significant hurdle for the company as it pursues its self-driving car dreams. AI powers “Full Self-Driving,” but the system has faced criticism and backlash because it still requires driver intervention to avoid collisions, and Musk’s deadlines for its capabilities are years out.

And this summer Tesla’s chief artificial intelligence officer, Andrej Karpathy, left the company, months after announcing he was taking a sabbatical.

It’s not easy to predict what will or won’t appear at any Musk-led event. Advertised and talked about products sometimes don’t work as designed – when Musk showed off the supposedly “unbreakable” Tesla Cybertruck windows, they immediately broke, and can’t even be bought years later. (Three years after the incident, Tesla sells a t-shirt commemorating the broken window, but still hasn’t sold a Cybertruck.)

Musk has certainly disrupted entire industries with his work at Tesla and SpaceX. But he has also earned a reputation for missing deadlines and overpromising.

The “surprise” at last year’s AI Day, for example, was a Tesla “robot,” which is just a dancing human in a suit.

Musk then he said the automaker is building a 5-foot-8, 125-pound humanoid robot. Optimus or Tesla Bot and a prototype will probably be introduced this year. It’s unclear if a prototype will be unveiled on Friday, but Musk tweeted Thursday that the event would include “great hardware demos.”

Tesla is also working on wheeled robots for autonomous manufacturing and logistics, according to a Tesla job posting for a senior robotics architect in mechatronics.

Musk said last year that the humanoid robot would have a big impact on the economy. He would start working on boring, repetitive and dangerous tasks, he said.

Of course, Tesla and Musk are not the first to bet on robots. Robots already handle many factory jobs, and companies like Boston Dynamics have been developing humanoid, animal-like, and other robots for industrial applications for years.

Humanoid robots have long fascinated the public and earned a place in pop culture as powerful but sometimes dangerous. Tesla capitalized on this when it posted on Instagram in a promotion for the event, “If you can run faster than 5 mph, you’ll be fine.” The humanoid Tesla robot is planned to have a top speed of 5 mph, the automaker said.

But creating a humanoid robot that rivals human capabilities has been incredibly difficult for robotics experts. Artificial intelligence has made great strides, but still remains the general capabilities of a human child. Most robots in use today are limited to simple tasks in basic environments, such as vacuuming a house or moving parts in a factory.

Tesla wouldn’t be the first automaker to build a humanoid robot either. Honda worked for almost 20 years on a set of robots known as Asimo. The Japanese company shut down Asimo’s development in 2018. Korean automaker Hyundai acquired Boston Dynamics in 2020.

Musk said Thursday that AI Day would be “very technical” because it’s meant to recruit engineers to work on artificial intelligence, robotics and computer chips.

“Engineers who understand what problems need to be solved will like what they see,” Musk wrote on Friday.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.