Artificial intelligence will eventually mean no one needs to work, Elon Musk told Rishi Sunak last night.
In conversation with the Prime Minister, the tech billionaire compared AI to a ‘magic genie’ that would bring a time when ‘no job is needed’.
Mr Musk said people could still work ‘for personal satisfaction’ if they wanted, and one of the future challenges would be finding ‘meaning in life’.
Mr Sunak replied: ‘I’m someone who believes work gives you meaning.’
Speaking in front of tech bosses and journalists, Mr Musk said: ‘You can have a job if you want to for personal satisfaction, AI can do everything.
‘I don’t know if that makes people comfortable or uncomfortable. It’s both good and bad.
‘One of the challenges in future will be how do we find meaning in life. We won’t have universal basic income but universal high income. It’ll be good for education – it’ll be the best tutor.’
Speaking at Lancaster House following the AI summit at Bletchley Park, Mr Musk described ‘a future of abundance where there is no scarcity,’ calling AI a ‘magic genie’. But he then quipped that those fairytales rarely end well.
The X owner also suggested AI robots could also become our friends. ‘An AI with memory could know you better than you know yourself – you could actually have a great friend,’ he said.
Mr Musk hailed the Prime Minister’s decision to invite China to the summit.
He said: ‘If China is not on board, it becomes a weird situation. China is willing to participate in AI safety.
‘This is something they care about – having them here was essential.’
The pair agreed that AI had major potential – though Mr Musk warned it should have a physical ‘off switch’ as well as regulation.
‘There is a need for government to play a role when public safety is at risk. It can be annoying, but having a referee is a good thing.
‘AI will be a force for good – most likely – but the chance of it going badly is not zero.’
He had earlier warned that AI poses ‘one of the biggest threats’ to humanity, clashing with Nick Clegg over the extent of the dangers. Speaking at the first day of the summit, the Facebook boss urged governments not to ‘micro-manage’ tech companies.
Executive Order On The Safe, Secure, And Trustworthy Development And Use Of Artificial Intelligence
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. Artificial intelligence (AI) holds extraordinary potential for both promise and peril. Responsible AI use has the potential to help solve urgent challenges while making our world more prosperous, productive, innovative, and secure. At the same time, irresponsible use could exacerbate societal harms such as fraud, discrimination, bias, and disinformation; displace and disempower workers; stifle competition; and pose risks to national security. Harnessing AI for good and realizing its myriad benefits requires mitigating its substantial risks. This endeavor demands a society-wide effort that includes government, the private sector, academia, and civil society.
My Administration places the highest urgency on governing the development and use of AI safely and responsibly, and is therefore advancing a coordinated, Federal Government-wide approach to doing so. The rapid speed at which AI capabilities are advancing compels the United States to lead in this moment for the sake of our security, economy, and society.
In the end, AI reflects the principles of the people who build it, the people who use it, and the data upon which it is built. I firmly believe that the power of our ideals; the foundations of our society; and the creativity, diversity, and decency of our people are the reasons that America thrived in past eras of rapid change. They are the reasons we will succeed again in this moment. We are more than capable of harnessing AI for justice, security, and opportunity for all.
Sec. 2. Policy and Principles. It is the policy of my Administration to advance and govern the development and use of AI in accordance with eight guiding principles and priorities. When undertaking the actions set forth in this order, executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, adhere to these principles, while, as feasible, taking into account the views of other agencies, industry, members of academia, civil society, labor unions, international allies and partners, and other relevant organizations:
(a) Artificial Intelligence must be safe and secure. Meeting this goal requires robust, reliable, repeatable, and standardized evaluations of AI systems, as well as policies, institutions, and, as appropriate, other mechanisms to test, understand, and mitigate risks from these systems before they are put to use. It also requires addressing AI systems’ most pressing security risks — including with respect to biotechnology, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and other national security dangers — while navigating AI’s opacity and complexity. Testing and evaluations, including post-deployment performance monitoring, will help ensure that AI systems function as intended, are resilient against misuse or dangerous modifications, are ethically developed and operated in a secure manner, and are compliant with applicable Federal laws and policies. Finally, my Administration will help develop effective labeling and content provenance mechanisms, so that Americans are able to determine when content is generated using AI and when it is not. These actions will provide a vital foundation for an approach that addresses AI’s risks without unduly reducing its benefits.
(b) Promoting responsible innovation, competition, and collaboration will allow the United States to lead in AI and unlock the technology’s potential to solve some of society’s most difficult challenges. This effort requires investments in AI-related education, training, development, research, and capacity, while simultaneously tackling novel intellectual property (IP) questions and other problems to protect inventors and creators. Across the Federal Government, my Administration will support programs to provide Americans the skills they need for the age of AI and attract the world’s AI talent to our shores — not just to study, but to stay — so that the companies and technologies of the future are made in America. The Federal Government will promote a fair, open, and competitive ecosystem and marketplace for AI and related technologies so that small developers and entrepreneurs can continue to drive innovation. Doing so requires stopping unlawful collusion and addressing risks from dominant firms’ use of key assets such as semiconductors, computing power, cloud storage, and data to disadvantage competitors, and it requires supporting a marketplace that harnesses the benefits of AI to provide new opportunities for small businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs.
(c) The responsible development and use of AI require a commitment to supporting American workers. As AI creates new jobs and industries, all workers need a seat at the table, including through collective bargaining, to ensure that they benefit from these opportunities. My Administration will seek to adapt job training and education to support a diverse workforce and help provide access to opportunities that AI creates. In the workplace itself, AI should not be deployed in ways that undermine rights, worsen job quality, encourage undue worker surveillance, lessen market competition, introduce new health and safety risks, or cause harmful labor-force disruptions. The critical next steps in AI development should be built on the views of workers, labor unions, educators, and employers to support responsible uses of AI that improve workers’ lives, positively augment human work, and help all people safely enjoy the gains and opportunities from technological innovation.
(d) Artificial Intelligence policies must be consistent with my Administration’s dedication to advancing equity and civil rights. My Administration cannot — and will not — tolerate the use of AI to disadvantage those who are already too often denied equal opportunity and justice. From hiring to housing to healthcare, we have seen what happens when AI use deepens discrimination and bias, rather than improving quality of life. Artificial Intelligence systems deployed irresponsibly have reproduced and intensified existing inequities, caused new types of harmful discrimination, and exacerbated online and physical harms. My Administration will build on the important steps that have already been taken — such as issuing the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, the AI Risk Management Framework, and Executive Order 14091 of February 16, 2023 (Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government) — in seeking to ensure that AI complies with all Federal laws and to promote robust technical evaluations, careful oversight, engagement with affected communities, and rigorous regulation. It is necessary to hold those developing and deploying AI accountable to standards that protect against unlawful discrimination and abuse, including in the justice system and the Federal Government. Only then can Americans trust AI to advance civil rights, civil liberties, equity, and justice for all.