A billionaire inventor plans to build a line of artificially intelligent robots that could replace humans as physical labourers in the future.
What could go wrong?
“It’s basically going to start dealing with work that is boring, repetitive and dangerous,” Musk said at Tesla’s AI Day event on Thursday night.
The so-called Tesla Bot will stand five feet eight inches, weigh 125 pounds, and move at roughly eight kilometres per hour, which is the equivalent of a brisk walk. Each one will be capable of lifting up to 45 pounds, and will feature a display screen in place of its face — if Musk can make it a reality.
He added that the robot would be meant for doing jobs that people “least like to do,” and that physical labour would eventually become a “choice” for humans.
A concept video depicts the robot as a faceless black-and-grey humanoid. It looks vaguely like a cross between the unskinned robots from Westworld and the stick figure that appears on men’s restroom signs.
Musk said the robots would navigate using eight cameras and Tesla’s AI computer chip, which is currently used to run the car company’s smart vehicles.
He said he hopes to have a prototype ready sometime next year, although he did not share a timeline beyond that. He also stressed that he does not want it to be “super expensive,” because he wants to see them in widespread use in the future.
Musk is well-known for making big promises about a science-fiction-like future, though he doesn’t always deliver on the hype.
His Tesla cars, for example, are currently under investigation by U.S. safety authorities after 11 collisions with emergency vehicles were linked to its Autopilot system over the last three years.
His otherworldly ambitions with SpaceX have also occasionally blown up in a series of launchpad disasters.
Nevertheless, Musk hopes to one day send humans to Mars via SpaceX, which has already developed its own reusable rockets and capsules for transporting people into orbit.
Artificial intelligence has come a long way in recent decades, but it’s still fairly limited in terms of what it can do in physical environments.
Humanoid robots remain largely the stuff of science fiction, which often portrays them as rebellious creations and killers such as the Terminator, Marvel’s Ultron and the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica.
The sci fi-loving Musk said he’s well aware of the dangers of AI, and that’s why he’s trying to design the robots with reasonable limits.
“We’re setting it such that it is at a mechanical level, a physical level, that you can run away from it,” Musk said. “And most likely overpower it.”
In other words, humanity should be able to outrun and outmuscle the robots during a Tesla-powered AI rebellion … most likely.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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Ottawa still wants us to stay home. But many travellers are heading to warmer pastures anyway
For many Canadians accustomed to a life of travel, the last year and half has only made their feelings of wanderlust grow stronger.
While the delta variant has complicated plans for a post-pandemic future where it’s safe to travel without reservations, many people are still planning to head south in the coming months.
Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing all say the upcoming fall and winter looks promising for travel to sun destinations.
“When looking to the sun market, we are very optimistic about our recovery,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told CBC News in a recent email. He noted the airline is currently “observing demand growth that is above 2019 levels.”
Despite this increased demand, the federal government is still feeling uneasy about people travelling internationally.
In an email to CBC News, Global Affairs Canada said its still advising against non-essential travel outside of Canada and also pointed to practical concerns for those who do choose to go abroad.
“Additional travel restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can suspend or reduce flights without notice. Travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult to return home.” Read more
Can a landlord cancel a lease because of tattoos? It happened to this student
A first-year Western University student who arrived in London, Ont., from Saskatchewan says she had a rental agreement cancelled at the last minute by a landlord who said she didn’t like her tattoos.
Kadince Ball, 18, started school at Western earlier this month and secured an apartment ahead of her move. She’d already signed a lease and paid her damage deposit, but shortly after she met her landlord Esther Lee in person, Lee told her that she couldn’t move in.
“A lease was signed and because I look a certain way, I was denied tenancy,” said Ball. “None of my tattoos are offensive. They are works of art. They are somebody’s works of art on my body.”
Lee told CBC News she moved to cancel the lease because she became “scared” after seeing Ball’s tattoos. The day the two first met in person, it was hot and Ball was wearing a tank top that showed her tattoos, which include a snake wrapped around a flower on her forearm, a cherub on one shoulder and a flower on the other shoulder
“It covered almost 70 per cent of her arm,” said Lee. “That’s why I don’t want to rent it to her because it’s scary, so scary.”
Ball eventually found another apartment. She’s more concerned with her studies than pursuing legal action. But a lawyer at the Community Legal Services Clinic at Western says if she chose to bring the incident to small claims court, she likely would have a case. Read more
How much air pollution is too much? The answer is lower than we once thought
The World Health Organization said earlier this week that the harmful health effects of air pollution kick in at lower levels than it previously thought.
As a result, the WHO is setting a higher bar for policymakers and the public in its first update to its air quality guidelines in 15 years.
Exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause seven million premature deaths and affect the health of millions more people each year, and air pollution “is now recognized as the single-biggest environmental threat to human health,” said Dr. Dorota Jarosinska, WHO Europe program manager for living and working environments.
Air pollution is now comparable to other global health risks such as unhealthy diets and tobacco smoking, WHO said. Read more
What else is going on?
Here’s how the housing landscape could change under a newly re-elected Liberal government
Ottawa looks very similar post-election, but there is optimism about affordability — if promises are kept.
Office vacancies are at a pandemic high. Blame the fourth wave
The vacancy rate rose to 15.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, according to CBRE Group Inc., a commercial real estate firm.
The EU wants to push all smartphone makers to use the same charging point. Even Apple
EU wants to cut down on 10,000 tonnes a year of e-waste generated by obsolete tech.
Is your device spying on you? CBC Kids News has the answers
Experts say that’s a bit of a stretch.
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