Almost Timely News, 22 August 2021: Tesla Bot, B2B Email Marketing PR Embargoes

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

Almost Timely News: Tesla Bot, B2B Email Marketing PR Embargoes

Almost Timely News

Learn how to develop social media strategy to beat competitors based on publicly available data »

What’s On My Mind: Tesla Bot

I read with great interest about the announcement made at Tesla’s AI event this week about Tesla Bot, a humanoid robot that appears designed for ordinary day to day use:

Tesla Bot

What strikes me about this robot is its potential intended uses. In the slideshow reveal, the slide above says “eliminates dangerous, repetitive, boring tasks”.

Think for a moment about the kinds of tasks that a robot like this could eliminate or substantially reduce, tasks that are practically rote, that a machine with sufficient dexterity could do that are utterly repetitive, sometimes dangerous, and boring:

  • Waiting tables
  • Pumping gas
  • Cleaning a hotel room
  • Vacuuming a house
  • Seating diners
  • Taking blood pressure
  • Security patrols around a facility
  • Sex work
  • Changing oil in a vehicle
  • Harvesting apples
  • Picking up litter along highways

Now, Tesla Bot is not right around the corner by a long shot. It was a flashy announcement that may or may not ever become a reality, and if it does, it will take substantially longer for Tesla to create than anticipated. SpaceX did eventually become a reality, but many years and many many millions of dollars after Musk had envisioned it.

That said, it will happen in some form eventually. Why? So many of these jobs that currently require humans don’t actually need human capabilities to do them. Seating diners at a table is not something you require the full intellectual and physical prowess of a human being for. As climate change continues to make some environments more hostile, workers harvesting crops in a field will become even more hazardous due to high heat; a robot like Tesla Bot could easily do that job without the moral hazard of severely injuring or killing humans. Tesla has an advantage in that its AI technology is already well-adapted to complex real-world situations; lessons learned from making vehicles operate in the chaos of daily life on our roads can be transferred to other domains.

Why Robots Like Tesla Bot Matter

Robots like Tesla Bot would be ideal companions for folks with disabilities or needing personal assistance around the clock. Think about how useful a robot like that would be as an assistive technology for someone with a handicap, or a senior citizen living alone. It would never tire, never get angry or bored, never behave in an abusive manner, and always be ready to help when needed, from routine tasks like preparing medication to opening jars or vacuuming the house.

Even more important, a robot like Tesla Bot could be programmed with substantially more equality in it – assuming we can put regulatory guidelines in place – than the humans who currently staff their jobs. For example, suppose you don’t like Korean people (I am native-born Korean). I walk into your restaurant and no matter how much you try to prevent your personal biases from interfering with how you do your job, some will inevitably creep in. From the moment I walk in, micro-expressions on your face will communicate, albeit briefly, how you really feel about me. Your body language will communicate how you really feel about me. You can only control your expressions to some extent.

A robot should greet everyone with the same blank, emotionless demeanor no matter who they are, how they’re dressed, what race they are, what accent they have. That’s true equality – everyone gets the same experience, regardless of first impressions. The more we can introduce systems into our daily lives that we intentionally make incapable of discrimination, the better and more equitable our world will be.

Where Systems Like Tesla Bot Could Go Wrong

The uncomfortable reality of all AI is that humans make it. Humans train it. Humans provide the data for it. And we are fallible, biased creatures. It will take substantial governmental and societal regulation and oversight to ensure we’re not baking those biases into our current and future systems. It’s happened already, and will continue to happen as long as the companies making technology lack sufficient oversight, so our mission as humans is to ensure that all technology creates equitable outcomes.

What Tesla Bot Means For Your Business and World

If you’re under 30 years old, in your natural lifetime it’s likely that a robot like Tesla Bot will become generally, commercially available. When that happens – and it’s not if, but when – a number of tasks will be absorbed by machines, and humans will have supervisory roles instead of doing those tasks directly.

We have to plan for a world which is increasingly assisted by machines. We already live in that world to a great degree; much of what you experience every day is mediated in some way by a machine, from what videos you watch to what products are recommended to you. That level of integration will only increase.

It will be years before a system like Tesla Bot is commercially available, but now is the time to start thinking about what tasks in your business, in your marketing, in your daily life could be automated somehow, even partially. The sooner you start to identify lower value tasks for automation, the sooner you can start finding ways to outsource those pieces to machines, freeing up your time to focus on what you and your business do best. That exercise alone will illuminate what is and isn’t valuable to you.

Share With a Friend or Colleague

If you enjoy this newsletter and want to share it with a friend/colleague, please do. Send this URL to your friend/colleague:

ICYMI: In Case You Missed it

If I had to suggest only one of these articles to read from this week on the blog, it would be the piece on asking B2B marketers to stop blocking personal emails. There are 3 good reasons for it.

A note from last week’s newsletter; my link for asking the Demandbase TV team about being a guest on the DBTV streaming service was broken. Email [email protected] with your pitch!

Skill Up With Free Classes

These are just a few of the free classes I have available over at the Trust Insights website that you can take.

Thank You Notes

These are the places you’ve had or mentioned me – on your podcast, on your blog, in your newsletter. Thank you!

What I’m Reading: Your Stuff

Let’s look at the most interesting content from around the web on topics you care about, some of which you might have even written.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Ad: The Marketing AI Conference

Want to get a jump start on learning how to pilot AI in your marketing? Join me at the third almost-annual (thanks, pandemic) Marketing AI Conference, MAICON 2021. Hear from folks actually implementing AI in everyday marketing. I’ll be presenting a session on the basics of natural language processing.

Register here »

Want to get more of a sense of some of the topics? Watch this livestream I did with Marketing AI Institute Chief Growth Officer Cathy McPhillips on YouTube:

Fireside Chat with Cathy McPhillips

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

All Things IBM

Ad: Make Better Videos with Techsmith Camtasia

If you enjoy my videos, like You Ask, I Answer, Do Something With Your Marketing, Saturday Night Data Party, and many others, then consider using the platform I use to edit and publish them: Techsmith Camtasia. Camtasia is just the right balance between too easy and inflexible, like iMovie, and absurdly complex and expensive, like Adobe Premiere. It’s got just the right features, from subtitle editing to all the usual transitions and special effects, and it’s a desktop app, so there’s none of this crazy trying to “edit in the cloud” (which is insane for video production). If you need to produce videos, screencasts, and even animations, give Camtasia a try.

Good Reads, Long Reads, Interesting Stuff

Fun, Games, and Entertainment

Economics, Politics, Environment, and Society

Ad: How to Prove the ROI of your Marketing Agency

I put together a brand new talk on how agencies could use data-driven marketing as a way to showcase their value and real results they obtain. In it, you’ll learn the 5 steps agencies must take to be more valuable to its clients. For folks on the client side, these are the things you should expect of your agencies, things you should ask for when agencies are pitching you. Agencies not doing these things will not serve you as well as they could. There’s obviously a lot more detail, so go ahead and watch the talk now.

Watch the talk now by filling out this form »

How to Stay in Touch

Let’s make sure we’re connected in the places it suits you best. Here’s where you can find different content:

Events I’ll Be At

Here’s where I’m speaking and attending. Say hi if you’re at an event also:

  • MAICON, September 2021, virtual
  • MarTech East, September 2021, virtual
  • Content Marketing World, September 2021, Cleveland, OH
  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum, October 2021, virtual
  • HELLO Conference, October 2021, New Jersey

Events marked with a physical location may become virtual if conditions and safety warrant it.

If you’re an event organizer, let me help your event shine. Visit my speaking page for more details.

Can’t be at an event? Stop by my private Slack group instead, Analytics for Marketers.

Required Disclosures

Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

Advertisements in this newsletter have paid to be promoted, and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

My company, Trust Insights, maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Cisco Systems, Amazon, Talkwalker, MarketingProfs, MarketMuse, Agorapulse, Hubspot, Informa, Demandbase, The Marketing AI Institute, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which Trust Insights may receive indirect financial benefit, and thus I may receive indirect financial benefit from them as well.

Thank You!

Thanks for subscribing and reading this far. I appreciate it. As always, thank you for your support, your attention, and your kindness.

See you next week,

Christopher S. Penn

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This