Rishi Sunak has said he wants people to be willing to give up “the security of a regular paycheck ... and be comfortable with failure”.
The prime minister made the astonishing remark while interviewing Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter).
Sunak quizzed the controversial tech billionaire following the two-day AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park.
At one point during their conversation, the PM said he wanted people to be “unafraid to give up the security of a regular paycheck to go and start something and be comfortable with failure”.
He was immediately branded “out of touch” by Labour.
Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth said: “After 13 years of the Tories, the public are enduring the worst cost of living crisis in memory and he is spending his time telling Elon Musk that he wishes they would give up their jobs and be ready to fail.
“He hasn’t got a clue.”
Elsewhere during their hour-long chat at Lancaster House in central London, Sunak and Musk discussed the importance of AI robots having off switches in case they began attacking humans like in the sci-fi Terminator movies.
The PM had earlier hailed the “historic” outcome of the AI summit, which saw countries and companies agree a global framework for testing the safety of new technology which some believe could eventually wipe out humanity.
Sunak said: “Until now the only people testing the safety of new AI models have been the very companies developing it. We shouldn’t rely on them to mark their own homework, as many of them agree.
“Today we’ve reached a historic agreement, with governments and AI companies working together to test the safety of their models before and after they are released.”
The UK is also establishing an AI Safety Institute, which the PM said “will play a vital role in leading this work, in partnership with countries around the world”.