Elon Musk issues warning about ‘humanoid robots’ in AI ‘age of abundance’

Musk, right, and Sunak during a fireside discussion on artificial intelligence risks in London, UK, on Thursday, Nov 2, 2023. — EPA/Bloomberg

LONDON: The owner of X Elon Musk on Nov 2 predicted the future with AI would be an "age of abundance" with a "universal high income" instead of a universal basic income but warned of "humanoid robots" that might chase humans.

Musk was speaking during a conversation with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following a world-first AI summit at Bletchley Park in the UK.

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO said there would come a point when "no job is needed" in the one-to-one with Sunak which was held later in London.

Jobs instead would be just for those who wanted one for "personal satisfaction".

AI was like "a magic genie" that gives you any wishes you want, Musk added, quipping however that those fairy tales rarely end well.

"One of the future challenges is how do you find meaning in life?" he said.

Musk cautioned that "we should be quite concerned" about humanoid robots that "can follow you anywhere".

The tech billionaire stressed the importance of having a physical off switch.

"A humanoid robot can basically chase you anywhere," he said.

"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?"

Sunak responded that "we've all watched" movies about robots that end with the machines being switched off.

The two-day gathering at Bletchley wrapped up Thursday with Western governments and companies involved in so-called next generation "frontier" AI agreeing a new safety testing regime. – AFP

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