Tesla Is Working On Its Custom AI Chips Says Elon Musk
AI is the next big thing in the tech world, and big companies like Apple and Google have embraced that. According to multiple reports, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was talking up the company’s custom AI chips at machine learning conference NIPS, telling attendees that Tesla is “developing specialized AI hardware that we think will be the best in the world.”
According to The Register, Musk 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”.
This report corroborates another report from back in September which claimed that about 50 people in Tesla are working on a custom AI chip. These include respected industry veteran Jim Keller, who previously worked at AMD and Apple, and joined Tesla in January 2016 as vice president of Autopilot Hardware Engineering.
Currently, the company uses Nvidia’s graphics cards to power its self-driving functionality but, with its own AI chip, it will be able to produce the main chip for its self-driving cars in-house. It would also mean improved performance since the company would be able to customise the chip according to its own usage.
AI chips might Tesla to achieve its goal of full autonomy faster than one would have expected. At the same conference, Musk conceded his ambitious timeline of two years to get to Level 5 self-driving, that is the level at which humans can go to sleep in the back seat.
Even if half of all new produced vehicles are autonomous, it's 2%/year that would be pushed to unemployed. @elonmusk thinks AGI is going to be an issue before self driving unemployment – thinks five to ten years before AGI beats humans generally. Insanely optimistic estimate O_o
— Smerity @ NIPS2017 (@Smerity) December 8, 2017
These tweets from AI researcher Stephen Merity claim that Elon Musk predicts that AI might become exponentially smarter than humans in just five to ten years.