Future without jobs? Elon Musk talks AI with UK PM Sunak
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday held a discussion with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the inaugural AI Safety Summit, and declared artificial intelligence as "one of the most disruptive forces in history", CNN reported.
"AI will be a force for good most likely," Musk said. "But the probability of it going bad is not zero per cent."
Sunak and Musk spoke in an interview-style chat from a stage at Lancaster House, a government venue in central London often used for diplomatic purposes, before the conversation was opened up to questions from journalists.
The conversation was also posted for streaming on Musk's personal account on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter that he owns.
Musk was present throughout the two-day event, along with US Vice President Kamala Harris, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and other notable politicians and global tech leaders. Chinese officials were also present at the event.
"I'm glad to see at this point that people are taking AI seriously," Musk said to Sunak on Thursday.
"Thanks for this summit. I think it will go down in history as quite important," CNN quoted him as saying.
Musk also unpacked several predictions for AI, including a future where no jobs would be necessary and AI companionship would be one of the highest forms of friendship.
Meanwhile, in the first day of his AI event, more than 25 countries and the European Union signed the Bletchley Declaration, agreeing to work together to create a united approach to oversight in efforts to deploy AI technology in a "human-centric, trustworthy and responsible" way, underscoring the "potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm" that many tech leaders have expressed concern over, CNN reported.
Sunak and Musk discussed how digital super-intelligence could affect the public and require regulation in the same way industries such as aviation and cars require regulation.
"I agree with the vast majority of regulations," Musk said. "A referee is a good thing".
Musk also noted that if the AI powerhouses such as the US and the UK "are aligned on AI safety, that is a good thing." He also suggested other global powers such as China should also remain involved in discussions, according to CNN.
Musk further reiterated his "fairly utopian" belief that AI could create an "age of abundance" with "no shortage of goods and services."
He said that AI could lead to a future where "no job is needed" and people enjoy a universal high income. He mentioned a world of AI tutors and companionship for people like his son who has learning disabilities and difficulty making friends, CNN reported.
The next AI safety summits are set to be hosted by Korea and France and are scheduled for 2024.