Veteran investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett believes that humanity won't be able to 'un-invent' artificial intelligence (AI), comparing the advancement of technology to the atom bomb.
While responding to a question at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett admitted that he gets a little bit worried since AI can do all kinds of things.
"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. 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 asked.
"We didn't have a choice, but when you start something — well, Einstein said after the atom bomb, he said, this has changed everything in the world except how men think," the Berkshire Hathaway CEO explained.
Buffett said that AI can change everything in the world except how men think and behave.
"There won't be anything in AI that replaces the gene. I'll state that unqualifiedly," he said.
The 'Oracle of Omaha' admitted that AI can do amazing things, saying he was impressed by AI's ability to check all legal opinions 'since the beginning of time'.
The renowned investor said that his friend and fellow billionaire Bill Gates showed him the latest version of Microsoft's ChatGPT technology. "It did remarkable things," Buffett said. "But it couldn't tell jokes. Well, Bill told me that ahead of time, prepared me, and it just isn't there."
Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charlie Munger also shared his thoughts on AI at the meeting. "I am skeptical of some of the hype that is going into artificial intelligence. I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well," Munger said.
These comments come weeks after a group of AI experts — including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — called for a six-month pause on developing AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.
"Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable," said the open letter released by the Future of Life Institute.
"AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity," it warned.
"Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization? Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders," the letter asked.
According to World Economic Forum, around 14 million jobs will be lost worldwide due to AI over the next five years.