Elon Musk’s latest mission is to change Tesla’s image from ‘an electric car company’ to ‘much more than just an electric car company’. As per his description, Tesla is a company with “deep AI activity in hardware on the inference level and the training level” that he illustrated will be used beyond self-driving cars.
As anticipated, Tesla’s AI Day incorporated company engineers explaining the upcoming Tesla tech while focusing on attracting and recruiting the brightest to join Tesla’s AI team. “There’s a tremendous amount of work to make it work, and that’s why we need talented people to join and solve the problem,” said Musk.
While the event went on for three hours, live-streamed on YouTube, we have noted down the top four highlights of Tesla’s AI Day.
Dubbing it the next generation of automation, Elon Musk took to the conference to announce that his company is working on a humanoid robot. An alien-like dancer in a white bodysuit and a shiny black mask did the news reveal during the AI event.
“Mr Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said Tesla would build a robot in a human form that could perform repetitive tasks, with a prototype likely to be ready next year,” according to Tesla. Musk’s vision includes this humanoid robot performing tasks that people least like to do.
The robot will leverage Tesla’s already existing technology for its automated machines and SLV software. The code name for the bot is ‘Optimus’.
Musk ensured that Optimus is “intended to be friendly” and ensured this build on a mechanical and physical level. This means that the user can overpower the robot’s five feet eight inches frame. Optimus will weigh 125 pounds and will have a screen for a face.
Tesla’s director Ganesh Venkataramanan unveiled the computer chip that Tesla uses to run its supercomputer, Dojo. Musk claimed that the supercomputer would have a processing speed four times faster than other computing systems. This allows for an enhanced amount of camera imagining data.
The chip, D1, contains 7nm technology and 362 teraflops of processing power, allowing GPU level computation with CPU connectivity. Venkatramanan also claimed that this chip has twice the I/O bandwidth of networking switch chips in the market today. Tesla produced this in-house to prevent bottlenecks around the global chip shortage and increase bandwidth for better AI performance.
“We should have Dojo operational next year,” CEO Elon Musk said
Dojo will be the tech behind Tesla’s FSD system. The supercomputer consists of multiple aspects, such as the simulation architecture that the company hopes to expand to be universal and even open up to other automakers and tech companies.
The company also plans on building core algorithms that drive the car by “creating a high-fidelity representation of the world and planning trajectories in that space”. The company plans on creating an algorithm by combining information from the car’s sensors across space and time to create ground truth data. This will allow the neural network to predict while driving.
About Computer Vision Problems
Tesla backed its vision-based approach to autonomy, that technology allows the car to function anywhere through its “Autopilot” system. Andrej Karpathy, AI Head at Tesla, described Tesla’s architecture as “building an animal from the ground up”. This denotes functions like moving around, sensing its environments, and acting intelligently based on those.
Karpathy illustrated the development of the neural networks and the visual cortex of the car to allow for broader neural network architecture, ensuring a more effortless information system flow. He further talked about the two main focuses of working for their computer vision architecture; temporary occlusions and emergency signs on the road. The engineers created a spatial recurring network video module as a solution, allowing the system to make predictions by referring back to its learnings. These include over 1000 person manual data labelling for the chips.
All that being said, it is essential to remember that Tesla’s history is filled with massive innovative ideas that don’t pan out in reality. Only the future will tell if we do meet a Tesla humanoid.