Generative artificial intelligence has become a buzzword this year, with apps such as ChatGPT capturing the public’s fancy. While AI chatbots are being employed for a variety of tasks, there are also fears of them being misused. There are also strong concerns that AI will take away millions of jobs and many tech entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, have raised voices against its spread. Now, billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett also shared his thoughts on the rapidly evolving technology.
During a discussion at the company’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr Buffett compared the creation of the powerful technology to the atomic bomb, New York Post reported.
A while back, the billionaire had a chance to try out ChatGPT when his friend Bill Gates showed it to him. While he was impressed by its vast capabilities, he said he is a bit apprehensive about the technology.
”When something can do all kinds of things, I get a little bit worried. 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”, the 92-year-old investor said at the meeting which was also attended by Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
“It was enormously important that we did so. But is it good for the next two hundred years of the world that the ability to do so has been unleashed?” he continued. He further said he believes AI will change “everything in the world, except how men think and behave.”
“We didn’t have a choice, but when you start something, well, Einstein said after the atomic bomb, he said, this has changed everything in the world except how men think. And I would say the same thing, maybe not the same thing, I don’t mean that, but I mean with AI, it can change everything in the world except how men think and behave. And that’s a big step to take,” Mr Buffett added.
Mr Munger also shared his scepticism regarding the technology. ”I am personally sceptical of some of the hype that is going into artificial intelligence. I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well”, he said.
Recently, Geoffrey Hinton, widely known as one of the “godfathers of AI”, expressed similar concerns when he said that Artificial intelligence could pose a “more urgent” threat to humanity than climate change. He also told BBC that chatbots could soon overtake the level of information that a human brain holds.
Meanwhile, in April, Twitter CEO Elon Musk joined thousands in signing an open letter calling for a six-month pause in the development of systems more powerful than OpenAI’s recently-launched GPT-4.