During a unique “in conversation” event that concluded this week’s AI summit, tech billionaire Elon Musk made a prediction that artificial intelligence (AI) will ultimately render paid work unnecessary. In a 50-minute interview with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Musk also expressed concerns about humanoid robots capable of chasing people.
The conversation began with discussions about London’s role as a leading hub for the AI industry and the potential transformative impact of AI on learning. However, it took darker turns as Sunak acknowledged the anxiety surrounding job displacement due to automation, and both Musk and Sunak agreed on the need for a “referee” to monitor future supercomputers.
Elon Musk, a tech investor and inventor, has invested in AI companies and employed AI technology in his autonomous Tesla cars. However, he has also expressed fears that AI could pose a threat to society and human existence.
The unusual interview featured the UK Prime Minister engaging with Musk, a prominent businessman and tech enthusiast. Sunak’s interest in technology is well documented, having lived in California, home to Silicon Valley, before entering politics.
The event, held at London’s Lancaster House, was attended by invited guests from the tech industry, with no TV cameras allowed inside. Downing Street released footage of the conversation.
While the discussion delved into philosophical topics, it did not include significant announcements regarding AI’s application and regulation in the UK. Prime Minister Sunak did mention the potential use of AI to improve the government’s website.
Before the event, Musk drew attention to the summit when he shared a cartoon on his social media platform, X (formerly Twitter). The cartoon humorously depicted major global players acknowledging the catastrophic risk posed by AI to humanity while secretly aspiring to develop it first.
In the end, both Musk and Sunak appeared comfortable together, with Sunak particularly enthusiastic. From the audience’s perspective, it was challenging to determine who held more influence in this dynamic. Regardless, both men aim to shape the future of AI and its implications for society.