Elon Musk, the tech tycoon, has projected that artificial intelligence will eventually eliminate the need for employment.
At the conclusion of this week’s AI summit, he was having an uncommon “in conversation” with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Mr. Musk predicted in the 50-minute interview that technology will replace paid labor.
Humanoid robots that “can chase you anywhere” are another threat he mentioned.
The two discussed how AI was revolutionizing education and how London was a major hub for the field.
However, the conversation also took a darker turn when Mr. Sunak acknowledged people’s “anxiety” about their professions being replaced and they both agreed that someone needed to act as a “referee” to watch out for the supercomputers of the future.
Mr. Musk, a tech investor and entrepreneur, has invested in AI companies and used the technology in his driverless Tesla cars, but he has also publicly expressed his concerns that it could endanger civilization and even the existence of humans.”There is a safety concern, especially with humanoid robots – at least a car can’t chase you into a building or up a tree,” he stated to the crowd.In response, Mr. Sunak, who is eager to see investment in the developing IT sector in the UK, said, “You’re not selling this.”It’s not often that you witness a nation’s prime leader conducting an interview with a businessman of this caliber, but Mr. Sunak was delighted to have this well-known visitor.
It should come as no surprise that he seemed to be enjoying it; after all, he was born and raised in California, the birthplace of Silicon Valley, and his passion for all things IT is well known.Mr. Musk was hard to understand in a hall that enormous, mumbling through his complex thoughts about the future, but he avoided making any spontaneous comments that would have embarrassed Downing Street.The event took place in a palatial ballroom at Lancaster House in downtown London, in front of invited visitors from the computer industry.TV cameras were not let inside, which was unusual for a prime minister’s event; instead, Downing Street released their own film.A few journalists were informed they could not ask questions while they were permitted to watch.
The two talked about the possible advantages of artificial intelligence (AI). Mr. Musk said, “One of my sons has trouble making friends and an AI friend would be great for him.”Regarding the potential AI offers for youth education, there was also consensus; Mr. Musk claimed AI might be “the best and most patient tutor.”
However, there was a clear warning about the potentially disastrous effects technology might have on conventional jobs.Mr. Musk stated, “We are witnessing the biggest disruptive force in history here,” before he made a prediction: “There will come a time when AI will do everything and you can have a job if you want one for personal fulfillment.”It’s both good and bad – one of the challenges in the future will be how do we find meaning in life.”
Amidst the discourse, there were minimal fresh announcements regarding the application and regulation of AI in the UK, with the exception of the prime minister’s assertion that the technology may be leveraged to enhance the government’s website.One of the main attractions of this week’s meeting was Mr. Musk, but for a brief moment, it seemed like the gathering with Mr. Sunak may get a bit lost in the spotlight.A few hours before the summit was scheduled to start, Mr. Musk made fun of it on his own website, X, which was once known as Twitter.Mr. Musk published a cartoon mocking a “AI Safety Summit” while Mr. Sunak was standing to give his last press conference at Bletchley Park.
It showed caricatures of the US, the UK, the EU, and China with thought bubbles saying, “And I cannot wait to develop it first,” and voice bubbles saying, “We declare that AI posses a potentially catastrophic risk to humankind.”
Ultimately, though, the two seemed comfortable with each other; Mr. Sunak in particular seemed to be in his element and was even a little taken aback by the controversial billionaire, referring to him as a “brilliant innovator and technologist”.It was difficult to determine which of these two individuals was actually more powerful from the inexpensive seats behind the luminaries of the tech industry.Was it Mr. Sunak who questioned the famous tech billionaire? Or was a large portion of the talking done by Mr. Musk?In any case, the two men want to be involved in shaping whatever AI future we may have.