Billionaire investor Warren Buffet joined the growing list of sceptics of artificial intelligence (AI), as he compared the technology to the creation of atomic bomb.
Buffet’s remarks came while discussing the future of AI during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.
While sharing his thoughts on how AI could affect stock markets and society as a whole, Buffet expressed fears over the programme’s ability to rapidly evolve over time.
The 92-year-old investor did acknowledge AI’s “amazing capabilities” after receiving a lesson on Open AI’s Chat GPT from his “buddy” Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft, three months ago. Microsoft has invested heavily in OpenAI.
He added that he was impressed with the AI’s vast capabilities, including checking all legal opinions “since the beginning of time.”
“When something can do all kinds of things, I get a little bit worried,” the 92-year-old investor said.
“Because I know we won’t be able to un-invent it and, you know, we did invent, for very, very good reason, the atom bomb in World War II.”
Buffett continued, “It was enormously important that we did so. But is it good for the next 200 years of the world that the ability to do so has been unleashed?” Fox Business reported.
The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway further said that he believes AI will change “everything in the world, except how men think and behave.” “And that’s a big step to take,” he said.
Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s 99-year-old vice chairman who was with Buffet, also expressed his concerns over the rise of AI technology.
“I am personally sceptical of some of the hype that has gone into artificial intelligence,” he said.
“I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well.”
Buffet isn’t the only one who has expressed his reservations about the potential dangers of AI.
More than 1,000 researchers and technologists, including Elon Musk, signed a letter in late March calling for a six-month pause on AI development because, they said, it poses “profound risks to society and humanity.”
“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” the letter said.
In fact, even Open AI CEO Sam Altman admitted that they are “a little bit scared” of their creation, saying that it may wipe out a lot of current jobs.
“We’ve got to be careful here…I think people should be happy that we are a little bit scared of this,” the 37-year-old tech entrepreneur told ABC News.
When asked to explain why he was “scared”, Altman replied that if he wasn’t “scared” then “you should either not trust me or be very unhappy that I’m in this job.”
(With inputs from agencies)