At the AI SAFETY SUMMIT, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sat down with Elon Musk on Thursday for a conversation on artificial intelligence, AI safety and the role governments can play in mitigating risks associated with the technology.
Sunak convened the summit to bring together experts, officials and leaders in the tech industry to discuss the future of AI and better understand the risks the technology poses to humanity.
During the conversation, Musk predicted that in the future we will be reckoning with “profound artificial intelligence and obviously a level that exceeds human intelligence”.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO also predicted that AI could bring about an “age of “abundance” with a “universal high income” as opposed to a universal basic income.
He said that AI could also lead to the end of work.
“We are seeing the most disruptive force in history here. We have for the first time, we will have for the first time something that is smarter than the smartest human,” Musk said.
“There will come a point where no job is needed. You can have a job if you want to have a job for personal satisfaction but the AI will be able to do everything.”
Still, Musk cautioned about the risks of AI, comparing it to a “magic genie problem”.
“If you have a magic genie that can grant all the wishes, usually those stories don’t end well. Be careful what you wish for, including wishes,” he said.
Elsewhere, the billionaire entrepreneur warned of the safety risks posed by AI-powered humanoid robots.
“If you have a humanoid robot, it can basically chase you anywhere. So I think we should have some kind of hardwired local cut-off that you can’t update from the Internet,” he said.
“Anything that can be software updated from the Internet obviously can be overridden. But if you have a local off switch where you have, say, a keyword or something, and then that puts the robot into a safe state…I don’t know if you’ve got millions of these things going all over the place,” he added.
On the role of governments in managing AI, Musk said there was a role for them to play “when the public safety is at risk” in regards to AI.
“When you’re talking about digital superintelligence, which does pose a risk to the public, then there is a role for government to play to safeguard the interests of the public,” Musk said, adding that governments should act as a “referee”.
He also thanked Sunak for inviting China to the AI summit, saying “if they’re not participants it’s pointless.”
“When I was in China earlier this year, my main subject of discussion with the leadership in China was AI safety and saying that this is really something that they should care about and they took it seriously,” he added.