Elon Musk to Join Sunak to Discuss AI Risks After UK Summit

(Bloomberg) -- Rishi Sunak plans to hold a live-streamed conversation with Elon Musk after his AI summit wraps up Thursday, lending some star power to an event that the British prime minister hopes could shape regulation of the emerging technology.

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Sunak on Monday announced the discussion with Musk on the billionaire’s social media platform, X. The prime minister’s aides touted the event as evidence that the summit planned for Wednesday and Thursday at the hub of Britain’s World War II code breakers was gaining traction.

Three UK government officials said they also expect Musk to attend the summit at Bletchley Park, although Musk hasn’t publicly confirmed his attendance. Neither Musk nor representatives for X and Tesla Inc., where Musk is chief executive, responded to requests for comment.

Musk, the world’s richest man and owner of social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, started engaging with the UK in the last few days, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions were private.

His attendance would add some celebrity to the summit, which Sunak hoped would attract leaders of the world’s biggest powers, as well as top tech executives. World leaders expected to attend include Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Sunak called the summit in an effort to begin charting an international approach to regulating AI in order to protect against some of its worst potential uses, including the rigging of elections, enabling terrorists to spread destruction and making it easier to build chemical and biological weapons. In a speech on Thursday, Sunak also warned of an “unlikely” existential threat if humanity loses control of the technology.

In July, Musk founded xAI, an artificial intelligence company separate to his other companies but that plans to work together with them, according to its website. He was involved in the creation of OpenAI, the highest-profile AI startup and developer of ChatGPT, but since leaving the board in 2018 he has criticized that company, especially after it created a for-profit arm the following year.

In September, he said it’s important for AI to have a “referee” at a meeting in Washington. In March, he was one of hundreds of tech leaders to call for a pause on the technology’s development.

Microsoft Corp.’s Brad Smith, former UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, now president of global affairs at Meta Platforms Inc., and James Manyika and Demis Hassabis, from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and DeepMind Technologies Ltd. are likely to be among some 100 people from 28 nations attending the summit.

--With assistance from Dana Hull.

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