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Tesla’s AI Day Event

Elon Musk has a vision that Tesla will not just be seen as an electric car company and is willing to show what the company can do aside from that

Tesla’s event that occurred on Thursday in the US, and early morning on Friday for those in the UK was somewhat a sequel to the previous events that Tesla has held- ‘Battery Day’ and ‘Autonomy Day’ and was streamed live on Tesla’s YouTube channel. Elon Musk has a vision that Tesla will not just be seen as an electric car company and is willing to show what the company can do aside from that. After 45 minutes of music playing in the background whilst waiting for the event to begin, an assortment of engineers working for Tesla explained different technologies the company is working towards and working on, which had the focus of encouraging exceptional minds to work for them, and help to create and improve upon existing AI and autonomous tech. Not long before the event, a U.S investigation into the driver-assisted system ‘Autopilot’ became public, following incidents where the cars have ploughed into parked emergency vehicles, and even caused a fatality. This knocked the company’s shares way off and has so far cost the company more than $43 billion in market value within 2 days.

The past couple of events showed Elon Musk promising technology that the company have either abandoned- such as the battery swapping stations, which were demoed in 2013, had one station which was open for about a year before they gave up the idea completely. Or the tech has simply not been produced in the timeline which Musk has expressed, such as the promise to have a fleet of a million robotaxis by the end of 2020, which of course never happened. One of these possibly empty promises was made at the end of this year’s event just before audience questions began- the Tesla Bot. This got people talking over the internet, as it seemed like just a mediocre stunt, as they had a human dancer dressed in tight white bodysuit with a shiny black mask parading the stage. But it turns out the ‘robot’ is something the company is actually working on and plans to release a prototype next year. Musk explains that the robot will be made to do tedious and monotonous jobs that people ‘least like to do’ such as cleaning and grocery shopping. The bot will be 5’8”, weigh 125 pounds and will be able to deadlift 150 pounds and walk at 5mph.

Musk mentions casually that “It’s intended to be friendly, of course, and navigate a world built for humans,” said Musk. “We’re setting it such that at a mechanical and physical level, you can run away from it and most likely overpower it.” Just in case people were worried about the whole army of robots taking over earth thing.

The company’s supercomputer dubbed ‘Dojo’ is getting a new computer chip to train it, built and designed completely in-house. Director of Tesla Ganesh Venkataramanan unveiled the chip and explained that it has a GPU-level compute with CPU connectivity and twice the I/O bandwidth of “the state-of-the-art networking switch chips that are out there today and are supposed to be the gold standards.” The chip is dubbed ‘D1’ and contains a 7-nanometre technology. The majority of Tesla’s AI architecture depends on Dojo, which is a neural network training computer that will supposedly be able to process camera imaging data 4x faster than other computing systems. Venkataramanan also unveiled a “training tile” that integrates multiple chips to get higher bandwidth and an impressive computing power of 9 petaflops per tile and 36 terabytes per second of bandwidth. Dojo should be operational next year and will allow us to hear about how the tech can be used in ways other than optimizing the FSD system.

A video on a loop showing Tesla’s FSD- Full Self-Driving system- with a hand of a driver gently touching the steering wheel, most likely a nod towards the fact they are involved with legal proceedings about how the cars are not autonomous and require an alert driver when active. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration are the ones opening an investigation after 11 incidents resulting in 17 injured and one death. After this, two U.S senators inquired to the Federal Trade Commission to look into the marketing and claims surrounding the Autopilot and FSD capabilities. When Tesla released the beta 9 version of Full Self-Driving to a few thousand drivers in July, there was quite the uproar, as many people are concerned with the technology being used and how it’s not quite there yet to be deemed completely safe for the roads. Elon Musk said during the event, “We basically want to encourage anyone who is interested in solving real-world AI problems at either the hardware or the software level to join Tesla, or consider joining Tesla.” And we can assume this is to help with the promises of the FSD cars.

All in all, these were the key highlights of the AI Day event, basically more promises that extraordinary technology will be released next year, providing they haven’t got into too much trouble about the whole cars crashing into ambulances saga.

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