Musk: Tesla is building its own AI chips

In an unsurprising revelation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has finally admitted his company is building its own AI chips.

Tesla is a pioneering and forward-looking company and, as our readers know well, AI is the future of just about everything. It would have been a safe bet Tesla intends to be at the forefront.

During a Tesla-hosted party at the NIPS intelligence conference in Long Beach, which has been called ‘draft day’ for how AI companies use it to recruit talent, Musk told attendees: “I wanted to make it clear that Tesla is serious about AI, both on the software and hardware fronts. We are developing custom AI hardware chips.”

No further details were provided about the company’s plans but Musk gave a shout out to Jim Keller, Vice President of Autopilot Hardware & Software Engineering at Tesla, for developing “AI hardware that we think will be the best in the world.”

However, Musk isn’t exactly a full supporter of AI. On multiple occassions he’s voiced his concerns about AI posing an apocalyptic-level threat to mankind if it’s not properly regulated.

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful,” said Musk. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

Musk even recently described his investments in AI research as “keeping an eye on what’s going on”, rather than viable return on capital.

The only thing less surprising than Tesla building AI is Musk’s optimism for driverless cars. While Tesla also manufactures things such as home batteries and even solar panels, the company’s main focus is cars.

Tesla’s vehicles pioneered many semi-autonomous features and have the capabilities to become fully driverless later on after the regulatory and insurance pieces come into place for each country.

At the party, Musk said he believes “half of new cars built ten years from now will be autonomous” and that general artificial intelligence will arrive in around seven or eight years.

What are your thoughts on Tesla building AI chips? Let us know in the comments.

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