Elon Musk has spoken before about the unimportance of degrees and now has offered high school dropouts the chance of a job – if they are skilled in one specific area.
Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to recruit for artificial intelligence team members at Tesla, and he doesn’t care whether would-be employees have degrees or have even finished school.
Tesla is currently working on further improvements to its AI functions, which allow Tesla vehicles to drive without a person behind the wheel.
In a tweet on Sunday, Mr Musk did not specify what the role would be, only that the AI team reported directly to him.
Mr Musk followed this with an invitation to a hackathon at his house with the Tesla AI team that potential applicants could come to.
A hackathon is a fancy term used by tech teams to describe an event where developers collaborate intensively on specific projects.
Giant tech firms like Amazon, Facebook and Google all use hackathons throughout the year to let teams work on new projects.
Tesla has held hackathons before, one of them in 2018 was to solve an automation-related bottleneck that was delaying the production of the Tesla Model 3.
This latest invitation by Mr Musk is set to be held at the billionaire’s mansion and he is believed to be seeking specific coders and chip designers.
One Twitter user responded to Mr Musk’s hackathon tweet sarcastically asking how long it would take to get a PHD in AI in order to secure an invite.
Mr Musk responded however that no PHD was required, in fact even being a drop out wasn’t an issue.
Instead as Mr Musk said, all that was needed was an understanding of AI but all candidates would have to pass a “hardcore coding test”.
It is not the first time that Mr Musk has spoken about the unimportance of degrees.
“There’s no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school,” he said.
“If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but it’s not necessarily the case.”
Instead Mr Musk told Auto Bild that he looked for evidence of exceptional ability when looking at who to hire.
“And if there is a track record of exceptional achievement, then it is likely that that will continue into the future,” he said.
Tesla’s vehicles already have the hardwire for full self driving but it seems the software to make it a reality is lacking.
At an investor event last year Mr Musk said he wanted the software to roll out by 2019, a deadline he has now missed.
That is where the recruitment comes in as it’s believed Mr Musk is seeking coders for rapid integration that will be able to engineer vehicle control.
On the website for prospective candidates, Mr Musk has embedded a short video that shows a few different driving scenarios.
It illustrates how the system sees and annotates the world around it as well as other features like the vehicle’s speed but does not depict any encounters with other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.
Mr Musk said on Twitter that the feature may be complete in a few months but did not mean they were working well as yet.