Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger express AI skepticism

The ‘Oracle of Omaha’ compares AI development to the ‘invention of the atomic bomb’


Billionaire Warren Buffett has recently expressed doubts about using generative artificial intelligence, comparing the technology to the ‘invention of the atomic bomb.”

The prominent investor and the so-called Oracle of Omaha, whose decisions have catapulted Berkshire Hathaway into a leading conglomerate with a diverse investment portfolio, said that AI will definitely change the world, expressing optimism that despite these advancements, the economy will remain robust for the United States.

Speaking on a wide range of topics at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting on Saturday, the veteran investor was joined by his longtime business partner, Charlie Munger, as they discussed significant economic challenges and issues affecting the investment sector at the packed arena in Omaha, Nebraska.

Buffet said that although he is amazed at the capabilities of AI he remains apprehensive about the technology, the New York Post reported.

The billionaire also revealed that he had encountered AI tools, particularly ChatGPT from his friend, Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Microsoft, of course, was instrumental in the creation of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, providing initial funding that would be crucial to the tremendous development of the now-in-demand technology.

The 92-year-old investor said: “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.”

Meanwhile, Buffet’s colleague, the 99-year-old Munger, also had doubts that AI could replace the wisdom and skill of humans when it comes to investing and stock trading.

An audience member questioned Munger, Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman, on whether he believed AI technology would have a favorable influence on stocks, the market, and society at large.  

“Well, if you went into BYD’s factories in China, you would see robotics going at an unbelievable rate. So, we’re going to see a lot more robotics in the world,” Munger said.

“I am personally skeptical of some of the hype that’s gone into artificial intelligence. I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well,” Munger added.

The comments of the world’s top investors came out timely as Tesla boss Elon Musk and  Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak earlier signed an open letter that seeks a pause on AI system experiments with human-competitive intelligence, which can pose profound risks to society and humanity.

Last week, AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton, often called the  “godfather of artificial intelligence,” also left his position at Google after pledging to take on a more controversial role of raising awareness of the potential and imminent risks that AI presents to humans.

Read More Stories: ‘Godfather’ of AI leaves Google, warns of potential dangers

JM Agreda
JM Agreda
JM Agreda is a freelance journalist for more than 12 years writing for numerous international publications, research journals, and news websites. He mainly covers business, tech, transportation, and political news for Businessner.