Elon Musk admits new Optimus video is not what it appears

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Elon Musk has Xeeted out a video of Tesla’s Optimus humanoid robotic folding a t-shirt – which might be nice, however then adopted up with a second Xeet clarifying that the video is much much less spectacular than it seems – after being known as out by observers.

Dozens of corporations at the moment are pushing to make 2024 the 12 months when humanoid robots take their first wobbly steps into warehouses and onto manufacturing unit flooring, and begin doing precise helpful work – actual duties that substitute human labor.

However so as to do this, they’re going to should be taught to be taught; bipedal strolling and yoga balancing are one factor, however with the ability to take directions and go and do one thing helpful is one other altogether. For this reason Determine CEO Brett Adcock claimed a “ChatGPT second” for humanoid robotics every week and a half in the past, when he confirmed the corporate’s 01 robotic autonomously working a espresso machine, having realized solely by watching a bunch of video of people doing the identical job.

Now, Elon Musk has responded by displaying Tesla’s Optimus robotic doing one thing rather a lot trickier: pulling a t-shirt out of a basket and neatly folding it, heralding a future by which these humanoids are staple servants in well-heeled properties, caring for routine chores and making everybody’s lives fantastic till the revolution comes and so they begin folding the incorrect socks collectively out of spite.

The issue is, Optimus is not folding that shirt by itself. There is a human driving it by way of telepresence, as Musk famous within the follow-up Xeet above, some 23 minutes later. Or placing it one other means, some 20 minutes after “TeslaLisa” identified the telepresence management glove poking into body.

Autonomous vs telepresence was a distinction Adcock was notably eager to level out – and with good purpose.

Which makes it a reasonably complicated launch from Tesla from the place we stand; in fact Optimus can do something from the Macarena to probably even tying shoelaces with a human operator driving it – the {hardware} seems able to all types of positive motion controls – as do lots of the different humanoids within the race.

However that is not the arduous half – or certainly the helpful half, or certainly the brand new half. The massive query is “what can Optimus do by itself?”

Over the approaching months and years, we’re bracing for an avalanche of little movies like this as humanoids throughout the board begin to choose up fundamental talents, then extra complicated duties, and finally complete self-directed jobs in dynamic, doubtlessly even chaotic environments.

We’re very a lot on the pre-dawn stage of normal objective humanoids, however as Toyota’s beautiful “giant habits mannequin” progress exhibits, embodied AIs are rapidly leveling up their capacity to observe and be taught. Given a bunch of examples of people doing a given job, they’re able to determining what success and failure seem like, then operating tens of millions of simulations to determine the best way to use their very own “our bodies” to get the identical job finished, correcting for errors alongside the best way.

That is the thrilling bit, and that is what we have to see from Tesla – not what the {hardware} can do with a human driver on the wheel. And definitely not movies that kinda, sorta, possibly indicate autonomy, solely to make clear that it is human-operated 20 minutes after being known as out by eagle-eyed observers on the Xitter.

To be clear, Tesla has critical chops in AI and autonomy, and we do not count on it will be lengthy earlier than Optimus begins buttering its personal toast and mastering the electrical drill and the egg beater. However this one’s simply not look.

Supply: Tesla

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