Warren Buffett Fears The 'AI Genie' That's 'Part Out Of The Bottle' But Agrees It Has Potential To Do Good: 'Don't Know How That Plays Out'

Zinger Key Points
  • Buffett was recently unsettled by scammers circulating a fake video of himself soliciting money.
  • Elon Musk, a co-founder at OpenAI, has been calling for regulation of the technology.

Investment guru Warren Buffett conceded on Saturday that he was wrong on the influence of technological advances, especially generative AI.

What Happened: Speaking at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in Nebraska, Omaha, Buffett said, “I don’t know anything about AI.” He reminded shareholders about his comments about nuclear weapons at last year’s meeting.

“We let the genie out of the bottle when we developed nuclear weapons. That genie has been doing terrible things lately, and the power of the genie scares the hell out of me, and I don't know any way to get the genie back into the bottle,” he said, repeating his comments from the previous meeting.

On Saturday, he said AI is somewhat similar.

“It's part way out of the bottle,” he said, adding that “it’s enormously important and it’s going to be done by somebody.”

“We may wish we never be seeing that genie or it might do valuable things.”

Buffett recounted one experience with AI that frightened him. He said he was recently disturbed by a fake video of himself, which he said was so convincing he would have been tempted to send money to the scammers himself.

He, however, did agree that AI has potential to do good too.

“I don’t have any advice on how the world handles it,” he admitted.

“I do think as a person who doesn’t understand a damn thing about it, it has enormous potential for good and enormous potential for harm, and I just don’t know how that plays out.”

See Also: Best Artificial Intelligence Stocks

Why It’s Important: The technology of artificial intelligence, particularly generative AI like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, is becoming increasingly essential, finding its place in the corporate world and in the lives of consumers.

The AI frenzy bears resemblance to the dot-com bubble of the mid to late 90s, with analysts predicting its longevity. The tech industry’s key players have all enthusiastically embraced the AI arena, leading the revolution forward.

Analyst also see artificial general intelligence likely increasing productivity and acting as a big boost to GDP growth.

That said, like Buffett, others have raised concerns about the unchecked proliferation of AI and its associated risks.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, one of the co-founders of OpenAI, said at a two-day U.K. AI Safety Summit late last year that regulation of AI “will be annoying,” adding that “I think we've learned over the years that having a referee is a good thing.”

Recently, Nvidia’s Jensen Huang allayed concerns about human jobs potentially being displaced by AI and robots.

“I believe that you still want humans in the loop, because we have good judgment, because there are circumstances that the machines are not — just not going to understand,” he said.

The Global X Artificial Intelligence & Technology ETF AIQ closed Friday’s session up 0.34% at $32.76, and is up over 6.3% this year, indicating continued investor interest in the AI sector, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Read Next: Wanna Save ‘Real Money?’ Buffett Has 2 Pieces Of Advice For Cash-Strapped Consumers

Photo: Fortune Live Media via flickr

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