Whether it's because of the company's innovative vehicle design or the antics of its Machiavellian founder and CEO, Elon Musk, you've probably heard of Tesla by now. And while the company may be most known for its cars, it's branching out... into robotics.
Yep, as if self-driving cars weren't dystopian enough, Musk is preparing to take things up a notch (after all, this is the CEO who wants to colonise Mars). At Tesla's annual shareholder's meeting, he gave us our first glimpse of Optimus, Tesla's upcoming humanoid robot, and it looks very, very creepy (if you need to lighten your spirits, the hilarious Tesla logo resemblance is always good for a laugh).
Musk has only showed us the hands of the robot, in an unnerving image in which it's making a heart sign. But this is the first public sighting of the bot, and it seems designed to suggest that we're about to learn more about it becoming a reality.
Musk had already shared some details about the robot last year at AI day part I – revealing that it would measure a terrifying 5'8" tall and would have a display screen for a face (see below). He claimed at the time that the robot would be ready this year, and this teaser suggests that at AI Day Part II on 30 September we might get some confirmation on whether that will be the case.
Initially, the robot is expected to be used in Tesla factories to take on some of the routine tasks currently carried out by staff, but could eventually get an AI brain so it can do other things. Musk has claimed that the robot will be "more valuable than the car long-term. It will turn the whole notion of the economy on its head". Considering how badly received the Amazon robot was, we're not entirely convinced – but then perhaps the moment wasn't yet right.
Plenty of people are dubious about the actual existence of a Tesla robot ready for launch, however. Over on Twitter, one user tweeted, "I’ll bet he announces pre-orders for Tesla humanoid robot and that it gets delayed by 3+ years at least." Others just find the whole concept of the robot far too dystopian – and what will more and more people learning how to use DALL·E 2, it is all starting to get very Black Mirror-esque.
Humans need humans not AI NO THANKS. https://t.co/IMAK48xyYC pic.twitter.com/kpBPxOFh89August 8, 2022
I’m getting these vibes from this… https://t.co/dqPiecvdlq pic.twitter.com/RdVe1j1t8xAugust 7, 2022
No. Absolutely fucking not. Turn it off. https://t.co/hOaYkruk10August 8, 2022
We will have to wait until 30 September to see what Tesla's 'Optimus' will look like, if we get to see it. For less ominous launches expected next month, check out the latest iPad 2022 leak.