Elon Musk Tells Rishi Sunak That Artificial Intelligence Will Eliminate the Need for Jobs

Shortly after the conclusion of the landmark British Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, the birthplace of modern computing, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak returned to London to interview billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. The two discussed the risks associated with artificial intelligence, how governments should address them, and how this technology could impact jobs. Musk predicted that it could render most jobs obsolete.

The interview could have been tense, considering that just hours before, Musk, who has previously advocated for slowing down AI development to assess risks, tweeted a caricature mocking political leaders who had declared at the summit that they took AI risks seriously. However, the atmosphere at the Thursday evening event was friendly: Sunak thanked Musk for participating in the event, and Musk thanked Sunak for organizing it. "I'm glad to see that people are taking AI safety seriously, and I want to thank you for hosting this AI safety conference," Musk said. "I think it will actually go down in history as a very important event, and I think it's really important."

Responding to Sunak's question about how AI will impact jobs, Musk predicted that human labor would become obsolete. "I think we are facing here the most disruptive force in history. For the first time, we will have something smarter than the smartest human," he said. "There will come a time when work is not needed. You can find a job if you want to have a job for sentimental reasons, but AI can do everything."

Sunak expressed discomfort with this idea. "I'm someone who believes that work gives meaning," said the Prime Minister and former investment banker. "I think work is good; it gives people a sense of purpose in life."

In response to Sunak's inquiry about what governments should do to "govern and mitigate" AI risks, Musk affirmed that government intervention would be necessary, stating that he disagreed "with less than 1% of the rules."