Connected Cars

Elon Musk is hosting a ‘super fun’ AI hackathon at his house


Fresh from kicking off his EDM career, Elon Musk has announced Tesla will be hosting a “super fun” AI hackathon at his house.

In a tweet, Musk wrote: “Tesla will hold a super fun AI party/hackathon at my house with the Tesla AI/autopilot team in about four weeks. Invitations going out soon.”

The hackathon will focus on the AI behind Tesla’s problematic AutoPilot feature which has been reported to accelerate erratically. Tesla has denied the claims but the hackathon suggests the company at least wants to make AutoPilot more robust.

Ahead of the hackathon announcement, Musk called for developers to join Tesla’s AI team which, he says, reports directly to him.

Talking up the opportunity, Musk highlighted that Tesla will soon have over a million connected vehicles worldwide. Every Tesla is fitted with the sensors and computing power needed for full self-driving which “is orders of magnitude more than everyone else combined”.

Musk says that an individual’s educational background is irrelevant. However, before you get too excited you can just waltz into Tesla, you will be required to pass a “hardcore coding test”.

Python is used “for rapid iteration” at Tesla to build neural networks before the code is converted into “C++/C/raw metal driver code” for the speed required for such critical tasks as piloting a vehicle.

As part of that need for speed, Tesla is also taking on the challenge of building its own AI chips. Musk says Tesla is seeking world-class chip designers to join the company’s teams based in Palo Alto and Austin.

Musk has been vocal about his fears of AI – calling it a potentially existential threat if left unchecked. However, he is also well aware of its opportunities (if that’s of any surprise given how it’s helping to inflate his and investors’ wallets).

“My actions, not just words, show how critically I view (benign) AI,” Musk wrote.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this? Attend the co-located 5G Expo, IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam.

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