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Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft invest in AI robots

Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft invest in AI robots

Tesla Robots

Tesla, Amazon, and Microsoft are investing heavily in AI-powered humanoid robots. These companies believe the robots could help solve the global labor shortage. The robots are designed to perform tasks meant for people.

They are being deployed in warehouses for now. But proponents say the robots could eventually work alongside people in homes and offices. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has been a leading evangelist for humanoid robots.

He argues Tesla’s Optimus robot will “transform the world to a degree even greater than the cars.” Musk said Optimus could propel Tesla to a $25 trillion market cap. Amazon has backed Agility Robotics and is already using its Digit robots in fulfillment centers. Goldman Sachs predicts the market for humanoids will grow to $38 billion in the next 20 years.

The firm says these robots will be the next “must-have” device, like smartphones or electric vehicles. Humanoid robots have been around for decades.

Investing in AI-powered humanoid robots

But there is renewed optimism thanks to recent leaps in artificial intelligence. The same technology behind ChatGPT enables robots to interpret language, make decisions, and act. The global labor shortage is another factor driving interest in humanoids.

In the U.S. alone, there are about 8.5 million job vacancies. The shortage is especially deep in manufacturing, where it could grow to 2 million workers by 2030. Proponents say robots are filling jobs that are monotonous and dangerous.

“We’re starting in what we call the dull, dirty, dangerous tasks, where we have big labor shortages today,” said Jeff Cardenas, CEO of robot startup Apptronik. China already dominates the industry, accounting for more than half the world’s industrial robots. “Chinese companies are catching up fast,” said Tom Andersson, an analyst at Styleintelligence.

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However, there are roadblocks to widespread adoption. The machines are expensive, and there are safety concerns about giving robots free rein in factories. Mass adoption is likely still at least a decade away, according to Andersson.

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