Elon Musk, the tech tycoon, has projected that artificial intelligence will eventually eliminate the need for employment.
At the conclusion of this week’s AI summit, he was having an uncommon “in conversation” with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Mr. Musk predicted in the 50-minute interview that technology will replace paid labor.
Humanoid robots that “can chase you anywhere” are another threat he mentioned.
The two discussed how AI was revolutionizing education and how London was a major hub for the field.
But the chat took some darker turns too, with Mr Sunak recognising the “anxiety” people have about jobs being replaced, and the pair agreeing on the need for a “referee” to keep an eye on the super-computers of the future.
Tech investor and inventor Mr Musk has put money into AI firms and has employed the technology in his driverless Tesla cars – but he’s also on the record about his fears it could threaten society and human existence itself.
“There is a safety concern, especially with humanoid robots – at least a car can’t chase you into a building or up a tree,” he told the audience.
Mr Sunak – who is keen to see investment in the UK’s growing tech industry – replied: “You’re not selling this.”
It’s not often that you witness a nation’s prime leader conducting an interview with a businessman of this caliber, but Mr. Sunak was delighted to have this well-known visitor.
It should come as no surprise that he seemed to be enjoying it; after all, he was born and raised in California, the birthplace of Silicon Valley, and his passion for all things IT is well known.
Mr. Musk was hard to understand in a hall that enormous, mumbling through his complex thoughts about the future, but he avoided making any spontaneous comments that would have embarrassed Downing Street.
The event took place in a palatial ballroom at Lancaster House in downtown London, in front of invited visitors from the computer industry.