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Elon Musk brings star power to UK’s AI summit – but his safety stance appears unpredictable and up in the air | Science & Tech News

Few people have been as outspoken as Elon Musk when it comes to the potential threats posed by AI.

The billionaire owner of SpaceX, Tesla, and the website formerly known as Twitter has been sounding the alarm for several years, warning of Terminator-like scenarios well before the arrival of tools like ChatGPT took the debate from nerdy tech circles right to the heart of public discourse.

Mr Musk’s assessments have been bleaker over the past year, going so far as to suggest “civilisation destruction” is a possible outcome should humans ever develop an AI so powerful that we lose control.

He may be something of a Marmite figure, but we’d all agree that would not be ideal.

Mr Musk will have the perfect opportunity to air his concerns again this week at the UK’s AI safety summit.

He’ll certainly bring some star power and will host an event with Rishi Sunak afterwards on X.

Had it taken place a week ago, their talks could have exposed an apparent dividing line between them.

Mr Musk has spent much of this year welcoming the prospect of regulation of AI, telling the US Congress back in September there was “overwhelming consensus” for it.

Mr Sunak on the other hand has expressed caution, saying too much oversight would stifle innovation.

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Sunak vows to tackle fears around AI

But after Joe Biden announced a sweeping set of safeguards this week, Mr Musk seemed to change his tune.

“Uh oh,” he tweeted, when it was pointed out the president’s proposals included an order to combat “algorithmic discrimination” and ensure AI “advances civil rights”.

In another tweet, he suggested government regulation might be something we regret.