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Why Was Elon Musk Pictured Kissing a Robot? (Explained)

Tesla reveals its new robot model.

Elon Mush and the Tesla robot
Kovop/ Shutterstock

Over the past week, photos featuring Tesla CEO Elon Musk Kissing female-shaped robots have gone viral on social media. Rumor has it that these robots are the latest humanoid wives developed by the billionaire-owned technology company.

Twitter users have dubbed the pictures “the first person to kiss a robot.” News media from France across the Middle East to India and China have been trying to dig out the truths behind these pictures.

People worldwide may have been asking themselves the question – he has done it? Given the billionaire’s often unconventional way of doing things, it seems hard to let the post pass without further investigation.

True or False?

Some sources even give the robot’s name as Catnilla and put a price tag between $32,000 and $79,000 on her. This information strikes even more disturbing as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman just sat his hearing on Capitol Hill last Tuesday.

But a little digging into the news soon reveals that AI is at work again. All the images could come from an Instagram account called art_is_2_inspire. The account also has a Facebook presence under the name Guerrero Art.

Besides the Musk kissing robot pictures, Instagram also featured AI-generated pictures, including Mark Zuckerberg kissing a robot and the Pope on a runway. Looking back on the photos causing the havoc, people also find discernable distortion in the fingers, a trademark defect for AI-generated images.

The Real Tesla Robot

Meanwhile, Elon Musk reveals the video of the newest model of Tesla’s Optimus robot earlier the past week at the company’s shareholders’ meeting. He is also not hesitant to declare that Tesla’s long-term value or, at least, a majority of long-term value is in the robot.

Tesla introduced its humanoid robot program around two years ago. Since then, the company has made sharing the program’s progress a component of almost all its important occasions, like AI Day, Investor Day, and Shareholders’ meetings.

Elon Musk also gave a detailed introduction to the latest development of Tesla’s Optimus at the shareholders’ meeting last Tuesday after sharing a video of the bot doing a range of maneuvers in the company’s Fremont lab.

Optimus’ previous demonstrations were commented as clumsy and primitive, compared to competitor Boston Dynamics’ Atlas. The Tesla CEO claimed that the robot could do a lot more than what the audience was shown, but they “just didn’t want it to fall on his face”  on Tesla’s AI day last October.

In last Tuesday’s demo, Optimus demonstrated significant improvements in synchronous maneuverability. According to the video, the Tesla bot can walk, grab, sense softer objects, and apply limited force using motor torque control.

These Optimus bots moving in synchronization means that Tesla is able to control multiple robots simultaneously. Connected to the same neural network (NN), they are able to see the world similarly. But at the same time are able to perform tasks in sync and individually as well.

Iqtidar Ali

What to expect?

Will a Tesla bot be able to drive a car? Elon Musk says yes. Thanks to a connected neural network with the Tesla vehicle computing system, it can also detect its surroundings the same way as a Tesla car.

Optimus robots walk inside Tesla factory. Credit: Tesla

“As Full Self-Driving gets closer and closer to generalized world AI, the same software is transferrable to a humanoid robot; as you know, humans can walk around with their arms and legs, but we can drive a car, fly a plane, steer a boat, ride a horse.”

On Tesla AI Day 2022, Musk forecasted a future humanoid-to-human ratio exceeding 1:1. He edited the expected ratio to over 2:1 at last Tuesday’s shareholder meeting.

Musk is optimistic about a future of more humanoid robots than humans on Earth. And the only precaution he gives on Tuesday’s presentation is to avoid a Terminator situation.

“Now, obviously, we need to make sure that we don’t have a Terminator scenario; that’s very important. It’s all fun and games until Terminator shows up.”

Elon Musk
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