During Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting, renowned business figure Warren Buffett shared his apprehensions regarding the rapid progress of artificial intelligence (AI). While acknowledging the technology’s capabilities, he expressed skepticism about its potential to replace humans and raised concerns about the extent of its impact.
Buffett acknowledged that AI possesses significant capabilities, noting its ability to perform various tasks. However, he also highlighted the need for caution, emphasizing that a technology capable of “doing all kinds of things” raises concerns. Drawing parallels to historical events, Buffett referenced the invention of the atom bomb during World War Two. He questioned whether it was beneficial for the world to unleash such power without considering its long-term consequences.
The billionaire investor paraphrased a quote from Albert Einstein, who observed that the atom bomb had “changed everything save our modes of thinking.” Buffett suggested that while AI has the potential to revolutionize the world, it cannot alter fundamental human thoughts and behavior, highlighting the significance of this limitation.
Buffett’s concerns about AI align with his longstanding opposition to nuclear weapons. He has consistently emphasized the dangers associated with these technologies, stating that he would dedicate his wealth to reducing the probability of attacks if he had a viable strategy.
In a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Buffett revealed that his primary worries center around the possibility of another pandemic or nuclear war, rather than the success of Berkshire Hathaway. These concerns further illustrate his deep-rooted apprehensions about global catastrophes.
Buffett’s remarks follow the resignation of Geoffrey Hinton, widely recognized as the “Godfather of AI,” from Google. Hinton recently expressed concerns about the technology’s unbridled advancement, suggesting it might be too late to control its potential excesses.
As prominent figures like Buffett and Hinton voice their reservations about AI, it underscores the need for thoughtful consideration of its impact on society. Balancing technological progress with ethical and societal implications remains a pressing challenge for the future.