BREAKING: Elon Musk warns AI poses 'civilizational risk' to society in closed-door meeting with senators, Zuckerberg, Bill Gates

Senator Chuck Schumer described the event as an "all-hands-on-deck moment for Congress."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Wednesday, nearly two dozen tech industry leaders met with Senators to discuss regulations on artificial intelligence.

Executives attending this meeting include Tesla CEO and X owner Elon Musk, ChatGPT-maker Sam Altman, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, according to the Daily Mail.

One executive representing the human workers whose livelihoods could be at risk of AI takeover was Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO.

Senator Chuck Schumer described the event, which is set to run from 10 am to 5 pm, as an "all-hands-on-deck moment for Congress."

"For Congress to legislate on artificial intelligence," Senator Schumer said Tuesday, "is for us to engage in one of the most complex and important subjects Congress has ever faced."

Schumer will moderate the forum alongside Republican Senator Mike Rounds, and will ask the attendees to speak on "why Congress must act, what questions to ask, and how to build a consensus for safe innovation."

According to NBC News, inside the closed-door meeting, Musk warned that AI poses a "civilizational risk" to society and governments, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said.

She noted that panelists talked about the need for immigration reform to allow for additional high-tech workers in the country, and the need for reforms in standards at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

"You had everything from there to sort of the high-level comment about the civilizational risks associated with AI, which is a very 60,000-foot level remark, and it was everything in between, so I thought it was surprisingly interesting and helpful. And I’m glad I went," Lummis said.

Altman told reporters as he headed into the meeting, "This is sort of an important and urgent and in some ways unprecedented moment, and that I think we really need the government to lead."

Later, after meeting with senators behind closed doors, Musk was asked by reporters whether "AI is going to kill us all?"

"I hope not," Musk responded.

"You should think of the future as a series of probabilities as opposed to certainties," he added. "There’s some chance, above zero, that AI will kill us all. I think it’s low, but there’s some chance. 

I think we should also consider the fragility of human civilization. And if you study history, I think you do realize there’s a rise and fall in every civilization. Every civilization has a life span. We want us to last as long as possible."

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