Netanyahu to meet Elon Musk during US visit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk during his trip to the United States this week. – EPA pic, September 18, 2023.

ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he will meet tech tycoon Elon Musk to discuss artificial intelligence, kicking off his trip to the United States for the UN General Assembly this week.

“I will start this visit in California where I intend to meet the current leader of the most dramatic development in the new age and perhaps in general, Elon Musk,” Netanyahu posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, which Musk owns.

“I will discuss artificial intelligence with him and I will also work toward encouraging him to invest in Israel in the coming years. He is, to a large degree, paving the way that will change the face of humanity and also the face of the State of Israel,” he said before his departure for the United States.

The rapid development of AI since last year has highlighted the dangers and potential of the technology, with chatbot ChatGPT, for instance, demonstrating an ability to generate essays and conversations from the briefest of prompts.

Myriad concerns about AI include the possibility that chatbots could flood the web with disinformation, that biased algorithms could churn out racist material or that AI-powered automation could destroy entire industries.

Musk has repeatedly warned about AI’s dangers, having called it “our biggest existential threat,” and saying that moving too fast was like “summoning the demon.”

The tech billionaire launched his own artificial intelligence company, xAI, in July as he seeks to compete with ChatGPT’s creator OpenAI. 

Musk, as well as other tech bigwigs including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, held closed-door meetings with US lawmakers in Washington last week to share their plans for AI as Congress prepares to draw up legislation to regulate the technology.

Uncurtailed AI “is potentially harmful to all humans everywhere,” Musk told reporters after the meetings.

Netanyahu said today Israel needs to become an AI leader.

“Just as we turned (the country) into a leader in cyber, so we will do in this field as well,” he said.

In addition to Musk, Netanyahu said he will also meet US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among other world leaders, during his US visit. – AFP, September 18, 2023.

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