Elon Musk seeks top talent, announces Tesla AI Day

Published by
Bridie Schmidt

Elon Musk has confirmed  a date for “AI Day”, a day that will explain Tesla’s plans and approaches to achieving AI to achieve its grand scheme of an autonomous driving future.

That day will be August 19, 2021, said Musk on Twitter on Thursday, although an exact time was not given.

Tesla’s proprietary AI chip is what drives the company’s Full Self Driving package (FSD), which has been under beta testing since October 2020. Once achieved, Tesla plans to use it to power self-driving taxis.

At the company’s earnings day on Monday (US time) – at which it reported its first profit of more than $US1 billion – Musk noted that he believes FSD subscriptions will become an important source of revenue for the company in 2022.

But, first full-featured FSD must be achieved. While the company sells the package as an add-on currently, it is not capable of true full-self driving yet. And when it is, Musk has said Tesla will increase the price for the package.

Because of the increased upfront price, it is likely many will opt for the subscription.

“Obviously we need to have the full self-driving … widely available for it really to take off at a high rate,” said Musk.

“And we’re making a lot of progress there. So yeah, I think FSD subscription will be a significant factor probably next year.”

AI Day will no doubt attract a great deal of interest from Tesla watchers, investors and no doubt naysayers.

But, it is not aimed at this audience, Musk added on Thursday, responding to a Twitter follower who said:

MSM won’t understand anything they see at Tesla AI day. Analysts won’t understand anything they see at Tesla AI day. Many retail investors won’t understand anything they see at Tesla AI day. Main purpose is to recruit world’s best AI talent.

Musk returned: “Convincing the best AI talent to join Tesla is the sole goal.”

This is key to Tesla’s plan: as we noted on Thursday, Tesla’s big play will be the introduction of self-driving cars that do not require pre-mapped routes to operate. Instead, they will use a highly specced “Dojo” neural net and huge volumes of visual data and labelling to identify, process and react to roads and the objects on them on-the-fly.

And that’s not an easy task, as Musk himself has admitted.

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