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Elon Musk Past Statements on Autopilot Safety Is Deep Fake Says Tesla’s Lawyer

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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As directed by a California judge today, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk was questioned under oath over his claims about the company’s autopilot safety. While making a shocking defense in the lawsuit Tesla’s lawyers said the past statement on autopilot safety is deepfake.

“Elon Musk’s past statements about the capabilities of self-driving software cannot be trusted because they could be deep fake,” – Tesla’s lawyers.

Elon Musk Statement on autopilot safety and the Genesis of the Lawsuit

In an interview in 2016, Elon Musk reportedly made some statements about the company’s autopilot safety. Then, he claimed that Tesla’s Model S and Model X, at this point, can drive autonomously with greater safety than a person.

Meanwhile, the genesis of lawsuits began when Huang died while driving a Tesla Model X, with attorneys for his family arguing Tesla Driver-assist software was at fault. The attorneys seek to interview Musk regarding the statements he made about the safety of this software. But Tesla’s lawyer said it is a deep fake.

Tesla’s Lawyer Argument is Deeply Troubling: California Judge

Regardless Evette D. Pennypacker, the judge in the case said this argument by Tesla’s lawyers was deeply troubling, stating that:

“Their position is that because Mr. Musk is famous and might be more of a target for deep fakes, his public statements are immune,” wrote Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Evette D. Pennypacker.

The California judge further added: “In other words, Mr. Musk, and others in his position, can simply say whatever they like in the public domain, then hide behind the potential for their recorded statements being a deep fake to avoid taking ownership of what they did actually say and do.”

After Tesla’s lawyer’s argument, Musk was given a tentative three-hour deposition request from Judge Evette Pennypacker about these statements. According to Reuters, the judges make tentative rulings, which are virtually usually finalized with minimal significant revisions. However, a hearing is scheduled for Thursday to finalize the deposition and the lawsuit is set to go into trial on July 31.

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