By Sophie Wingate
The tech billionaire, speaking to the Prime Minister after the two-day event at Bletchley Park which was attended by politicians and experts from around the world, also said the technology could bring a future where “no job is needed”.
Mr Sunak questioned the X owner, whom he described as a “brilliant innovator and technologist”, about his stance on AI’s impact on the workplace.
Mr Musk said “there will come a point where no job is needed” and the only reason people will work will be for their own satisfaction.
A humanoid robot can basically chase you anywhere Elon Musk, tech entrepreneur
He described AI as a “a magic genie” that grants you any wishes that you want and will usher in an “age of abundance”.
“One of the future challenges is how do you find meaning in life?” he said.
Discussing robots, Mr Musk stressed the need of having an off-switch for humanoid versions that can chase you up the stairs.
“A humanoid robot can basically chase you anywhere,” the tech entrepreneur said in the talk, which was not broadcast live but will be streamed on X later.
“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.
Hours before the conversation with Mr Sunak, Mr Musk posted a picture appearing to criticise the AI safety summit.
The Tesla chief executive shared a cartoon image on his social media platform that appeared to suggest world leaders who attended the gathering were not really concerned about safety but about developing the technology first.
Mr Sunak returned to Whitehall for the conversation with the tech tycoon after wrapping up the two-day gathering held at Bletchley Park, the home of Allies codebreaking during the Second World War.
At a press conference concluding the event, he said the summit would “tip the balance in favour of humanity” after reaching an agreement with technology firms to vet their models before their release.
Asked whether his conversation with Mr Musk would not be livestreamed because Mr Sunak was worried about what the tech entrepreneur might say, the Prime Minister replied: “Elon Musk is someone who has for a long time spoken about AI … I’m delighted that he was attending and participating yesterday.”