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  • Tom Jowitt

AI Safety Summit 2023: Musk Tells PM AI Will End Work


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Elon Musk sit down for a conversation in London as AI Safety Summit concludes


The future of artificial intelligence (AI) will mean there will be no more reason for people to have jobs. This is a stark prediction from Elon Musk, after he sat down for a conversation with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Lancaster House in London on Thursday. Both Musk and the Prime Minister had been attending the world’s first AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, which was also attended by US Vice President Kamala Harris, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and other global tech leaders and even Chinese officials.



AI Safety Summit

The summit saw 28 nations including the US, UK, EU, and China, sign the ‘Bletchley Declaration’, which addresses the potential risks posed by the artificial intelligence.


The Bletchley Declaration is notable as the first international declaration on AI, after countries all agreed that artificial intelligence poses a potentially catastrophic risk to humanity.


All the signing nations agreed to work together to reduce that risk.


The UK government also used the AI Safety Summit to confirm it will fund another supercomputer, with £225m ($273m) set aside for artificial intelligence supercomputer, called Isambard-AI, at Bristol University.


The UK government also announced an AI Safety Institute.


It will act as a hub to help spur international collaboration on AI’s safe development, with leading AI companies and nations including the US, Singapore and Google DeepMind agreeing to partner with the institute.


Elon Musk

Then Elon Musk sat down with the Prime Minister for an interview-style chat from a stage at Lancaster House, before the conversation was opened up to questions from journalists.


The conversation was then posted and pinned for streaming on Musk’s personal account on X.


CNN noted that Elon Musk used the conversation to declare artificial intelligence “one of the most disruptive forces in history”.


“AI will be a force for good most likely,” Musk reportedly said. “But the probability of it going bad is not zero percent.”


“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 very important.”


AI predictions

Musk also tackled a number of predictions for AI, including a future where no jobs would be necessary and AI companionship would be one of the highest forms of friendship, CNN reported.


At the event Thursday, Musk noted that if the AI powerhouses such as the US and the UK “are aligned on AI safety, that is a good thing.”


And Musk suggested other global powers such as China should also remain involved in discussions.


He compared AI to a magic genie and noted that fairy tales with magic genies that grant wishes “don’t end well” and cause people to “be careful what you wish for.”


Sunak and Musk discussed how a digital super-intelligence could affect the public and require regulation from governments, 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.”


At the same time, Musk reiterated his “fairly utopian” belief that AI could create an “age of abundance” with “no shortage of goods and services.”


CNN noted he said 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.


The next AI safety summits are set to be hosted by Korea and then France next year.

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