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AutoblogElon Musk has lofty goals for his company's planned humanoid AI robot product.
A rough prototype of the bot, which is called Optimus, made its official debut on Friday night at Tesla's annual AI Day by dancing and waving to a crowd.
But Elon Musk predicted that as the bot's technology improves, it could have widespread ramifications for all of civilization.
"The potential for Optimus is, I would say, appreciated by very few people," Musk said.
He went on to say that the current economy is limited by people and productivity, but that an AI bot like Tesla's could change the calculation.
If Tesla's Optimus could handle manual labor, "an economy becomes quasi-infinite," Musk predicted.
"This means a future of abundance. A future where there is no poverty, where you could have whatever you want in terms of products and services. It really is a fundamental transformation of civilization as we know it," he said.
Last year, when Musk unveiled plans for the bot, he said it would be designed to do "boring, repetitious" work.
While the AI robot appears to be in the extremely early stages, with Tesla's engineers debuting only a "rough prototype," Musk told the crowd he plans to make the robot at high volume and low cost as quickly as possible.
"Optimus is designed to be a very capable robot but made in very high volume, probably ultimately millions of units, and it is expected to cost much less than a car," Musk said.
"I would say probably less than $20,000 would be my guess."