Elon Musk tells Rishi Sunak AI will take away the need to work – live

Elon Musk has told the UK prime minister that artificial intelligence will make people redundant from work.

The tech billionaire compared AI to a “magic genie” that gives you any wishes that you want and would bring a time when “no job is needed”.

But he quipped that those fairy tales rarely end well.

The future with AI will be an “age of abundance” with a “universal high income” instead of a universal basic income, the X owner said.

Musk mocked world leaders at the AI summit just hours before his interview with Rishi Sunak began.

He appeared to ridicule politicians’ two-faced approach to AI, suggesting in a tweet that they were hiding ulterior motives.

Mr Sunak said the summit would “tip the balance in favour of humanity” and praised Mr Musk for attending.

The summit is being used to host discussions with world leaders, tech firms and scientists on the risks of advancing AI technology.

Key Points

  • Summit will ‘tip the balance in favour of humanity’, says Sunak

  • Elon Musk mocks politicians at AI summit ahead of interview

  • Musk says AI one of the ‘biggest threats’ to humanity

  • AI offers ‘humongous benefits’ if it can be managed, says technology secretary

Elon Musk said “we should be quite concerned”

21:30 , Lydia Patrick

Elon Musk said “we should be quite concerned” about humanoid robots that “can follow you anywhere”.

The tech billionaire, in conversation with Rishi Sunak, stressed the importance of having a physical off-switch.

“A humanoid robot can basically chase you anywhere,” he said.

“It’s something we should be quite concerned about. If a robot can follow you anywhere, what if they get a software update one day, and they’re not so friendly any more?”

The Prime Minister said “we’ve all watched” movies about robots that end with the machines being switched off.

Mr Musk also said the UK “is in a strong position” on developing robots, praising Dyson in particular.

AI safety institute will make UK a ‘global hub’

21:10 , Natalie Crockett

Rishi Sunak has launched the UK’s AI Safety Institute, hailing it as an indicator of the UK’s position as a “global hub” for AI safety.

The organisation, first announced by the prime minister last week, will test new artificial intelligence models developed by leading firms before they are launched to the public as part of a new deal struck at the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park.

Closing the two-day summit in Milton Keynes, Mr Sunak said the “historic agreement” meant the public would no longer have to rely on tech firms “marking their own homework” when it came to safety testing.

Read more here:

AI Safety Institute will make UK a ‘global hub’, Rishi Sunak says

Sunak says ‘probably’ general election in 2024

20:46 , Jane Dalton

The prime minister admitted the UK is set to have a general election next year.

Elon Musk said it was “probably a good idea” to have some way of digitally authenticating who create media images to halt the credibility of fakes.

Rishi Sunak said it was vital to tackle fake news, given that there were several national elections around the world next year.

“Probably here,” he said to laughter, in an unexpected end to the chat.

What if the robots aren’t so friendly? asks Musk

20:37 , Jane Dalton

Elon Musk said it was important to have an off switch with AI-powered robots.

“What if one day they get a software update and suddenly they’re not so friendly after all?” he asked.

Mr Sunak said the importance of off switches was raised at the Bletchley Park summit today.

Musk trying to get tax breaks, jokes Sunak

20:26 , Jane Dalton

Elon Musk said it was important to create a “high-risk, high-reward” culture for AI innovation – suggesting governments had to create strong incentives for entrepreneurs.

Rishi Sunak joked – to laughter from business bosses in the audience – “I think that was a very soft pitch for a tax policy.”

He boasted about the UK’s 20% capital gains tax rate.

London 'very strong’ for AI, says Musk

20:25 , Jane Dalton

“The culture should celebrate creating new companies,” said Elon Musk – before arguing that London and San Francisco were “the two centres for AI”.

The tech mogul said: “London is doing very well. London is very strong.”

Mr Sunak said: “Thanks for what you said about the UK.”

The PM said he wanted a regulatory system in Britain that was “pro-innovation”, saying he wanted to create a start-up culture that meant entrepreneurs were “comfortable failing”.


AI will offer people a great friend, claims Musk

20:16 , Jane Dalton

Elon Musk said AI would offer people companionship.

He said some AI robots will “know everything about it … you will actually have a great friend”.

Rishi Sunak said he found the idea surprising.

AI will mean you don’t need to work, says Musk

20:12 , Natalie Crockett

Prime minister Rishi Sunak asked Elon Musk what he thought about “changes in the labour market” – saying it was “still a concern” despite his attempts to focus on re-training and education.

Musk said there would now come a point “when no job is needed … you can do a job if you want a job … but the AI will do everything”.

He added, to laughter from business leaders in the audience: “I don’t know if that makes people uncomfortable.”

The Tory leader said it was a “tricky thing”, as he tried to emphasise the importance of work. Mr Sunak said it would raise questions about “where do you get that drive, that purpose” if AI was doing your job.

“I’m someone who believes work gives you meaning,” Mr Sunak explained.

Mr Musk said: “Often I have to enter a suspension of disbelief … burning the 3am oil, I think ‘Why am I doing this, I can just wait for the AI to do this’.”

Musk praises Sunak for ‘essential’ decision to include China

20:02 , Jane Dalton

Prime minister Rishi Sunak told Mr Musk: “I took the decision to invited China [to the Bletchley Park AI summit]. A lot of people criticised me.”

“Very good,” said Mr Musk on Mr Sunak’s move – describing the inclusion of Beijing in discussions as “essential”.

He added: “If China is not on board with AI safety it’s not a good situation.”


Musk thanks Sunak and says government can ‘referee’ AI

19:59 , Jane Dalton

Elon Musk started his chat with Rishi Sunak by saying he saw the “profound” implications of AI when he saw ChatGPT develop.

“I’m glad to see people are taking safety seriously … thank you for holding this summit,” he told Mr Sunak.

The X owner warned of the “magic genie problem – be careful what you wish for, including wishes” when it came to AI breakthroughs.

Mr Musk said he disagreed with “less than 1% of regulations” – saying the idea of government acting as a “referee” with AI models was a good thing.

“On balance AI will be a force for good, most likely,” he said, but also warned: “At times there is too much optimism about technology.”

Elon Musk tweets about ‘ballot stuffing’ in US

19:37 , Natalie Crockett

The X owner has been keeping busy ahead of his appearance with Rishi Sunak. Musk has tweeted about a judge tossing out a Democratic mayoral primary in Connecticut – citing videos showing people stuffing multiple absentee ballots.

Musk tweeted: “The only question is how common it is.”

‘Binding requirements’ needed over AI, says UK PM Sunak

18:30 , Joe Middleton

Rishi Sunak has said that ultimately “binding requirements” will likely be needed over AI but argued now is the time to move quickly without laws.

The prime minister said: “The lesson is that we need to move quickly and that’s what we’re doing.

“The technology is developing at such a pace that governments have to make sure that we can keep up.

“Now, before you start mandating things and legislating for things I think A) by the way that takes time and we need to move faster, and we are, but secondly you need to know exactly what you’re legislating for and that’s why our safety institute is so important.

“So far we’ve got the co-operation we need, but, of course, I think everyone would acknowledge, ultimately, binding requirements will likely be necessary, but it’s important that we do those in the right way and that needs to be based on empirical evidence that we’ll get from our testing.”

Sunak 'delighted' Elon Musk attended AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park

17:59 , Joe Middleton

Sunak says AI can be ‘best thing ever to happen to humanity’

17:35 , Jane Dalton

Rishi Sunak has said he believes Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be the best thing that ever happened to humanity, as the prime minister prepares to talk to tech mogul Elon Musk.

The PM played up the benefits of the technology at the close of his Bletchley Park summit – claiming the conference of global leaders would be “tip the balance in favour of humanity”.

The Tory leader’s optimism came after he had gloomily claimed that AI could “pose a risk on a scale like pandemics and nuclear war”. Mr Musk appeared to ridiculed politicians’ two-faced approach to AI ahead of his discussion with Mr Sunak – suggesting in a tweet that they were hiding ulterior motives.

The X and Tesla boss shared a cartoon of leaders from UK, US, EU and saying AI posed a “catastrophic risk” – but were really concerned about developing the tech first.

Mr Sunak told a press conference at the close of the summit that there were “extreme risks of even losing control of AI completely” – and quoted Stephen Hawking saying AI can be “the best or worst thing to happen to humanity”.

The PM added: “I profoundly believe that we can make it the best [thing to happen to humanity]. Because safely harnessing this technology could eclipse anything we have ever know.”

Rishi Sunak lines up with world leader for AI security summit family photo

17:30 , Joe Middleton

Labour vows to force firms developing powerful AI to meet requirements

17:00 , Joe Middleton

Labour has said it would urgently introduce binding requirements for companies developing powerful artificial intelligence (AI) after Rishi Sunak said he would not “rush” to regulate the technology.

The party has promised to force firms to report before they train models over a certain capability threshold and to carry out safety tests strengthened by indpendent oversight if it wins the next general election.

The Prime Minister has said that mitigating the risks of AI should be a global priority, but that the Government will not “rush to regulate” and does not want to be “alarmist” about the issue.

Labour vows to force firms developing powerful AI to meet requirements

Elon Musk mocks politicians at AI summit ahead of interview

16:57 , Joe Middleton

Elon Musk has mocked politicians at the AI summit ahead of a headlining interview with Rishi Sunak.

Mr Musk is one of the most high-profile guests at the UK’s AI Safety Summit, which the government hopes will lead to new responsible uses of artificial intelligence and highlight Britain’s role in developing it.

But he appeared to doubt the motivations of many of the attendees – suggesting in a tweet that they were hiding ulterior motives for their concern around AI.

Elon Musk mocks politicians at AI summit

Sunak defends China’s involvement in AI summit

16:54 , Joe Middleton

Rishi Sunak has defended China’s involvement in the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, saying it would have been a “mistake” not to invite the Asian superpower.

The prime minister was asked during a press conference why he would trust Beijing to stick to any rules on AI when it was not included in talks on national security risks on the gathering’s second day.

He replied that that was a “very glass-half-empty way to look at it”.

“It wasn’t an easy decision for me to invite China, and indeed lots of people criticised me for it. But I think it was the right long-term decision, because any serious conversation about AI safety has to engage the leading AI nations.

“Now, I can’t predict the future and exactly how this is all going to pan out, but it would have been a mistake not to try.”

He said the desired outcome had been achieved, which included China signing up “to the same set of principles that we, the Americans and Europeans and dozens of other countries did”.

Summit will ‘tip the balance in favour of humanity’, says Sunak

16:35 , Joe Middleton

Rishi Sunak said his AI Safety Summit would “tip the balance in favour of humanity”.

Speaking at a press conference at Bletchley Park on Thursday, the Prime Minister said: “While this was only the beginning of the conversation, I believe the achievements of this summit will tip the balance in favour of humanity, because they show that we have both the political will and the capability to control this technology, and secure its benefits for the long term.”

He said this had been achieved by establishing a shared understanding of the risks, a global expert panel that will publish a state of AI science report and reaching an agreement on testing the safety of new AI models before they are released.

Sunak ‘delighted’ that Musk has attended summit

16:34 , Joe Middleton

Rishi Sunak has said he was “delighted” that Elon Musk attended the AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park.

At a press conference, the Prime Minister said: “Elon Musk is someone who has for a long time spoken about AI, he’s an investor and entrepreneur, he’s developed AI companies.

“As one of the leading actors in AI, it’s important that he was engaged in this summit and I’m delighted that he was attending and participating yesterday.”

King Charles says AI could ‘completely transform life as we know it’

16:30 , Joe Middleton

AI offers ‘humongous benefits’ if it can be managed, says technology secretary

16:00 , Joe Middleton

Technology secretary Michelle Donelan said the government needed to manage the potential risks of AI but that the it offered “humongous benefits”.

Speaking to GB News, she said: “We have convened countries across the globe, companies that are working in this space producing that cutting-edge AI and also academics, scientists, experts from all over the world to have a conversation and work out, ‘OK, what are the risks?’

“How can we work together in a long-term process so that we can really tackle this and get the benefits for humanity, not just here in the UK, but across the globe?”

She compared it to the international effort required to tackle climate change.

“We thought that actually what we need to do is work collaboratively with the rest of the world.

“I compare it to climate change - if we just do our own work in a silo, it won’t have the same impact.”

Terminator-style scenario was a “potential area” where AI development could lead, says minister

15:34 , Joe Middleton

Losing control of artificial intelligence (AI) is the biggest concern around the computer science, the Technology Secretary has said.

Michelle Donelan said a Terminator-style scenario was a “potential area” where AI development could lead but “there are several stages before that”.

The Technology Secretary was speaking to Times Radio from the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, where ministers have convened governments from around the world alongside tech firms and civil society to discuss the risks of the advancing technology.

On the loss of control concern - which has been a topic of discussion in private sessions at the summit - Ms Donelan said: “That is a risk that is much more hypothetical in nature, that naturally is the one that I am most concerned about because it is the one that would result in the gravest ramifications.”

Elon Musk says AI one of the ‘biggest threats’ to humanity

15:31 , Joe Middleton

Elon Musk has said he believes AI is “one of the biggest threats” to humanity, and that the UK’s AI Safety Summit was “timely” given the scale of the threat.

The billionaire said AI was an “existential risk” because humans for the first time were faced with something “that is going to be far more intelligent than us”.

Mr Musk was speaking on the first day of the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park, which the Government is using to host discussions with world leaders, tech firms and scientists on the risks of advancing AI technology.

Elon Musk says AI one of the ‘biggest threats’ to humanity


15:30 , Joe Middleton

Hello and welcome to our coverage of the second day of the UK’s AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park. The main highlight today will be Rishi Sunak’s discussion with tech entrepreneur Elon Musk later this afternoon.