A captivating discussion unfolded at the AI summit as Rishi Sunak engaged with Elon Musk on the themes of deadly robots, AI companions, and a world shaped by automation.

In a distinctive “in conversation” session, the British Prime Minister took the role of the inquisitor, prompting Musk to share his insights.

The conversation encompassed various subjects, from the burgeoning AI industry in London to the potential of AI in education.

However, the dialogue also ventured into darker territory, acknowledging the widespread concerns about job displacement due to automation.

Both Musk and Sunak concurred on the necessity for a regulatory entity to monitor the evolution of supercomputers in the coming years.
Musk, an influential tech investor known for his involvement in AI ventures and the integration of AI technology in Tesla vehicles, expressed his apprehension about the safety of humanoid robots.

He stated, “There is a safety concern, especially with humanoid robots – at least a car can’t chase you into a building or up a tree.”

Sunak, keen on boosting tech investment in the UK, humorously remarked, “You’re not selling this.”

This unconventional meeting, where the Prime Minister interviewed a prominent entrepreneur, underscored Sunak’s affinity for the tech world, possibly influenced by his previous residence in California’s Silicon Valley.

The conversation was conducted before a select audience of tech industry figures at London’s opulent Lancaster House, and curiously, it did not allow TV cameras inside, with Downing Street providing its footage.

The discussion explored the potential benefits of AI, with Musk suggesting that an AI friend could assist people with difficulties making friends.
They also concurred on the transformative power of AI in education, envisioning it as “the best and most patient tutor.”

However, the conversation issued a stern warning regarding the disruptive potential of AI on traditional employment.

Musk observed, “We are seeing the most destructive force in history here,” and contemplated a future where AI might render most jobs obsolete.

Despite the profound philosophical discussions, the session did not yield significant revelations regarding how AI would be applied and regulated in the UK, except for the Prime Minister’s commitment to enhancing the government’s website using AI.
While Musk had been a prominent figure at the summit, his pre-event remarks on Twitter appeared critical of the event’s focus.

Nonetheless, during the session, both Musk and Sunak seemed at ease with each other, with Sunak appreciating Musk’s innovative spirit and technological acumen.

From the vantage point of the tech industry’s onlookers, it was difficult to ascertain which of the two, Sunak asking questions or Musk sharing insights, held the greater sway. Yet, both individuals aspire to influence the direction of our AI-driven future.


Last Updated: 03 November 2023