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  • Voltaire Staff

AI will lead to 'age of abundance': Elon Musk tells Rishi Sunak


Image Courtesy: Wikipedia


Tesla boss Elon Musk on Thursday said he thinks Artificial Intelligence will unleash a never-seen-before "age of abundance" and that he is not sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.


In an interview with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after the AI Safety Summit near London, Musk said, "I think we are seeing the most destructive force in history here... there will come a point when no job is needed... You can have a job if you want to have a job for personal satisfaction... but AI will be able to do everything."


The X owner said "One of the challenges in the future will be how to find meaning in life... I don't know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing."


When Sunak asked him his views on AI regulation, Musk said, "I agree with vast majority of regulators."


"There is some concern among people who never dealt with regulators that this will just crush innovation and slow them down... but having a referee is a good thing. There is always a referee in a sports game."


Musk, who has been advocating slowing down developments in AI in the past, compared the technology with a "magic genie," the mythical character that fulfils all your wishes, and cautioned the public to "be careful what you wish for."


He said AI will be a great "leveller" or an "equaliser" in that it will lead to a "universal high income."


The interview was held on the second and last day of the AI Safety Summit held in Bletchley Park near London, famed for its housing the lab where a team worked on cracking the Nazi codes during the World War II.


Musk also told Sunak it would be "very good" if governments could highlights concerns regarding the AI to the public.


When the UK PM asked him what he thought of China being invited to the Summit -- which culminated with 'Bletchley Park Declaration -- Musk said it would be "pointless" to not have China onboard such discussions, admitting the role the county can play in shaping the future laws governing the AI.


Musk during the interaction also mooted the idea of charging X users a nominal annual fee to discourage AI-powered bots swarming the platform and rigging the popularity of posts, conceding that reining them in was a "significant challenge."


"There are AIs which can pass human CAPTCHA test... I don’t actually have a solution to that," he said.


“That's why we thought maybe we should charge a dollar or a pound a year... it’s a tiny amount of money but it's still prohibitively expensive to make a million bots... to deal with the onslaught of AI-powered bots," said the billionaire. "Any social media which doesn’t do that will eventually be overrun by bots."


Delegates from 28 nations, including US, China, and India, agreed to work on pre-empting and policymaking on the potential threat of AI, which has seen an accelerated evolution in the past couple of years alone.


"We are especially concerned by such risks in domains such as cybersecurity and biotechnology, as well as where frontier AI systems may amplify risks such as disinformation. There is potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.


"Given the rapid and uncertain rate of change of AI, and in the context of the acceleration of investment in technology, we affirm that deepening our understanding of these potential risks and of actions to address them is especially urgent," read a part of the Bletchley Declaration issued on Wednesday.


The declaration came in the wake of an Executive Order issued Monday by US President Joe Biden on potential threats of AI.


The order, apparently a primer to legislations on AI in future, entrusted several US departments, such as Homeland Security and Defense, to come up with rules and regulations with respect to the technology that has stoked concerns about its potential misuse across the world.


"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," Biden said in the order.

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