Elon Musk has come out and disclosed that his Tesla car firm is developing its own custom AI chip that will be used in its forthcoming self-driving vehicles.
Revealing the news at a Tesla event at the NIPS conference, Musk reportedly said: "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".
That was conveyed via an attendee to the event to The Register. The source added that Musk offered no other details of Tesla's plans.
The efforts are being led by former AMD and Apple chip-design guru Jim Keller who joined Tesla last year.
Keller joined Musk on a panel at the NIPS Tesla party, discussing the future of artificial intelligence alongside Andrej Karpathy, Tesla's AI director, and Shivon Zilis, a partner and founding member at private equity firm Bloomberg Beta, who chaired the panel.
Musk apparently declared that "about half of new cars built ten years from now will be autonomous" - which isn't exactly a bold, new statement.
Nevertheless, Musk apparently went on to say that artificial general intelligence (AGI) will arrive in about seven or eight years, something he has previously said could contribute to the replacement of humans in the workplace by robots.
Musk also felt the need to remind attendees that AI-aided robots could also take their lives, as well as their jobs. He reportedly "[sounded] the alarm bell again and again about the dangers of AI", but people have only ever responded with disdain, with comments such as "there he goes again" and "stop being a buzzkill".
He added: "But I think there are a lot of ways that AI can be useful short of being god-like," no doubt trying to end on a more positive note.
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