CEO Elon Musk
In an interview with the BBC in April Mr Musk said he had been worrying about AI safety for over a decade. AFP / JOEL SAGET

Elon Musk will attend Rishi Sunak's AI safety summit on Thursday, and take part in a live interview afterwards.

Government sources confirmed today that the tech billionaire had accepted an invitation to the event, which hopes to bring together AI experts and global leaders to discuss the potential risks of the technology.

Sunak also confirmed in a post on X that he would participate in a live interview with Musk following the summit.

The technology multibillionaire will be one of the highest-profile attendees at the two-day summit hosted by the prime minister to discuss the dangers of advanced AI.

"My vision, and our ultimate goal, should be to work towards a more international approach to safety where we collaborate with partners to ensure AI systems are safe before they are released," the British leader said in a speech this week.

"We will push hard to agree on the first-ever international statement about the nature of these risks," he added, proposing the creation of an international expert panel similar to one formed for climate change.

However, some experts argue Sunak won't go far enough to limit the danger of unregulated AI development.

A document signed by 23 tech experts claimed it was "utterly reckless" to pursue ever more powerful AI systems before understanding how to make them safe.

​​Fears over the rapid development of artificial intelligence systems even prompted Musk to join hundreds of experts in expressing concern at the advancement of powerful AI systems.

In a letter issued by the Future of Life Institute, the growing concerns of AI's advancement were expressed, stating: "They should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable."

Dario Amodei, CEO of research company Anthropic AI, says the chance of AI "destroying the world" could be as high as 25 per cent.

According to the tech boss, it is entirely possible for something to go "catastrophically wrong on the scale of human civilisation".

But Sunak, a strong advocate for the benefits of AI, has so far supported a fairly tolerant approach to its development.

In March, his Government released a White Paper outlining its stance on the technology.

It said that rather than enacting legislation it was preparing to require companies to abide by five "principles" when developing AI.

Individual regulators would then be left to develop rules and practices.

Despite multiple world leaders opting not to attend the summit this week, Downing Street has insisted Sunak has not been snubbed by his international counterparts.

No 10 said the government was pleased with the responses to invitations to the summit, which Sunak announced earlier this year in an attempt to put the UK at the forefront of international AI regulation.

Among those who have chosen not to attend are Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and Joe Biden, the US president, who is instead sending the vice president, Kamala Harris.

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, is sending his science minister, François-Philippe Champagne, although he may attend the second day virtually, sources have said. Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, is widely expected not to attend either.

The most prominent politicians currently expected to be at the summit are Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, and Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister.

Speaking two days before the summit starts, a Downing Street spokesperson said: "We remain confident that we have brought together the right group of world experts in the AI space - leading businesses and indeed world leaders and representatives who will be able to take on this vital issue.

"This is the first AI safety summit of its kind. It is a significant achievement that for the first time, people from across the world and indeed from across the range of world leaders, and indeed AI experts, are coming together to look at these frontier risks."

Yesterday it was reported by The Times that Foreign Office officials suggested excluding Binyamin Netanyahu from the summit in Bletchley Park after the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza, sparking a row in Whitehall.

Officials submitted advice to James Cleverly, the foreign secretary, that the Israeli prime minister's invitation to the event should be rescinded. The civil servants believed Netanyahu's attendance, by remote link, could be a distraction, and overshadow the goal of the summit.

However, Cleverly and Michelle Donelan, the science and technology secretary, were angered by the advice, which directly opposed the government's support for Israel.

According to a source, they quickly rejected the proposal.