Tesla is developing AI chips for its self-driving cars: Elon Musk

Tesla founder Elon Musk has confirmed that the company is working on an in-house Artificial Intelligence chip that will power its self-driving cars in the future.

Referring to Tesla’s vice president of hardware Jim Keller, Elon Musk told CNBC, “Jim is developing specialised AI hardware that we think will be the best in the world.”

“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,” said Musk, according to The Register.

Elon Musk did not provide details about the Tesla’s AI chip, but Keller had earlier hinted that in-house development of the processors could help the company make them more powerful.

Tesla has been rumoured to be working on in-house AI chips for months. Back in September, a CNBC report claimed that Tesla enrolled as many as 50 people for the project. Tesla’s AI project is being spearheaded by the likes of Jim Keller, who has previously worked with technology companies such as AMD and Apple.

The Verge in its report points out that an in-house AI chip could help Tesla gain supremacy in the self-driving segment where the likes of Apple, Google and Uber are also aggressively working.

The company at the moment uses NVIDIA graphics cards for its self-driving functionality, but in-house designed chips with modified hardware and performance enhancements will mean Tesla’s self-driving cars are nothing short of accurate and safe on roads.

Separately, Apple on Sunday reportedly gave an exclusive demo of its machine learning technology that is set to power self-driving cars in the future at a private workshop held at MIT. The company is said to showcase its technology that is capable of classifying different objects on the road using a camera placed on a vehicle. Called Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM), the technology is expected to be a big part of the company’s self-driving cars and other projects in augmented and virtual realities.

That said, Tesla’s advanced work in AI comes in spite of Elon Musk’s skepticism over the use of technology in modern devices. In the past, Musk has time and again criticised AI for being dangerous for the mankind. Back in September, he predicted that AI could even trigger the World War 3.

“AI is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world,” Musk had said.

He has also been critical of AI-based products such as Google Clips. Musk took to Twitter with reference to a video of “Clips” posted by The Verge. “This doesn’t even ‘seem’ innocent,” he commented.

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