Tesla lawyers claim Elon Musk’s past statements about self-driving safety could just be deepfakes


Attorneys for automaker Tesla have argued that statements by Elon Musk in regards to the capabilities of the corporate’s Autopilot software program can’t be trusted as they could possibly be deepfakes, in accordance with experiences from Reuters and Bloomberg.

Tesla introduced this argument as a part of its justification as to why Musk shouldn’t be interviewed beneath oath for a lawsuit blaming the corporate for the demise of Apple engineer Walter Huang in a deadly crash in 2018.

Huang died whereas driving a Tesla Mannequin X, with attorneys for his household arguing Tesla’s driver help software program was at fault. The attorneys search to interview Musk concerning statements he made in regards to the security of this software program. These embody an interview in 2016 through which Musk claimed that “a Mannequin S and Mannequin X, at this level, can drive autonomously with larger security than an individual.” (You possibly can watch Musk making this assertion in a YouTube video here.)

“Their place is that as a result of Mr. Musk is legendary and is likely to be extra of a goal for deep fakes, his public statements are immune”

Per Reuters, Tesla’s legal professionals said that Musk couldn’t recall particulars about such claims and that, “like many public figures, is the topic of many ‘deepfake’ movies and audio recordings that purport to point out him saying and doing issues he by no means truly stated or did.”

However the decide within the case stated this argument by Tesla’s legal professionals was “deeply troubling.”

“Their place is that as a result of Mr. Musk is legendary and is likely to be extra of a goal for deep fakes, his public statements are immune,” wrote Santa Clara County Superior Courtroom Decide Evette D. Pennypacker. “In different phrases, Mr. Musk, and others in his place, can merely say no matter they like within the public area, then cover behind the potential for his or her recorded statements being a deep pretend to keep away from taking possession of what they did truly say and do.”

Decide Evette Pennypacker tentatively ordered that Musk give a restricted, three-hour deposition about these statements. Reuters notes that “California judges typically subject tentative rulings, that are virtually at all times finalized with few main modifications after such a listening to.” A listening to is scheduled for Thursday to finalize the deposition and the lawsuit is about to enter trial on July 31.


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