Rishi Sunak to hold live chat with Elon Musk during AI summit

Rishi Sunak is holding a live chat with tech mogul Elon Musk during the prime minister’s artificial intelligence (AI) at Bletchley Park this week.

Mr Sunak revealed that he would have a conversation with the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, on his social media platform this Thursday evening.

No 10 has denied Mr Sunak’s big summit is being snubbed by world leaders, since US president Joe Biden is among those skipping the gathering. Tech chiefs are set to join ministers and government officials at the two-day event.

The discussion with Mr Musk – who has warned that AI could lead to “civilization destruction” – represents a coup for the PM as he attempts to be seen as a world leader on the cutting-edge technology.

However, the unpredictable X and Tesla boss has been involved a series of political controversies. Most recently he accused SNP leader Humza Yousaf of being a “blatant racist” for pointing out that the heads of Scotland’s institutions were white.

Mr Musk wrote on X: “What a blatant racist!” Scotland’s first minister later fired back at the billionaire – saying Mr Musk should “tackle racism and hatred that goes unchecked” on his platform.

It is not yet clear which international leaders will attend the gathering at Bletchley Park on Wednesday and Thursday, which is intended to discuss how to ensure AI can be used safely around the world.

With days to go until the event, Mr Sunak’s spokesman could not provide an updated guest list to reporters on Monday.

The White House has confirmed that US vice president Kamala Harris will attend the summit rather than Mr Biden, while Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Olaf Scholz are believed to be unlikely to show up.

Asked whether Mr Sunak feels he is being snubbed by international counterparts, his spokesperson said: “No, not at all. We remain confident that we have brought together the right group of world experts in the AI space.” It is a “significant achievement” to host the first AI safety summit of its kind, he said.

The official declined to comment on reports that the UK had upgraded the invitation sent to China from a more junior invitee to president Xi Jinping.

He said: “I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of invite lists. I think we’ve always sought to have the right level of representation. Of course, as the foreign secretary set out, it’s important to invite China given they too are world leaders in AI.”

It comes as tech giants including TikTok and Snapchat have signed a pledge vowing to tackle the spread of artificially generated images of child sex abuse.

Home secretary Suella Braverman hosted the companies, as well as charities, academics and representatives of the UK and Australian governments at an event on Monday to address the “shocking” spread of AI-generated material depicting children being abused.

The joint statement signed by tech companies, including OnlyFans and Stability AI, pledged to sustain “technical innovation around tackling child sexual abuse in the age of AI”, according to the Home Office. Other signatories included the NSPCC, National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council.