Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, recently expressed his concerns about the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. In his company's annual meeting, Buffett compared AI to the creation of the atom bomb and emphasized the need to think about the long-term consequences of AI, rather than just its short-term benefits.
Buffett's comments on AI are significant, given his vocal opposition to nuclear weapons, which he sees as a threat to humanity. He believes that the creation of the atom bomb was crucial during World War Two, but its release unleashed an enormous power on the world that changed everything, except how men think and behave. Buffett worries that AI could have similar consequences, as it has the potential to do all kinds of things and change everything in the world except how men think and behave.
Buffett acknowledges that AI has its limits, such as its inability to tell convincing jokes, but he recognizes its capacity to do all kinds of things, and that worries him. He even claimed to have used ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI, with the help of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Buffett's concerns are not unfounded, as several experts in the field of AI have also voiced their concerns about the technology's potential dangers. Geoffrey Hinton, a former Google employee and often considered the 'Godfather of AI,' left the tech company to openly talk about AI and its dangers. Hinton has even expressed regret about his entire life's work, and recently said that AI's threat to the world could be more urgent than climate change.
Stuart Russell, the author of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, compared AI to the Chernobyl disaster, saying that if left unchecked, the creation of artificial intelligence could lead to a disaster. He even signed a petition that demanded companies like OpenAI and Microsoft to stop the development of AI models more advanced than GPT-4.
While AI has the potential to revolutionize the world, experts and industry leaders like Buffett, Hinton, and Russell warn against the potential dangers of unchecked AI development. They emphasize the need to think about the long-term consequences of AI and prioritize its ethical development.
On the positive side, Buffett noted that the emergence of new technology does not take away opportunities but rather presents them. He stated, "What gives you the opportunities is other people doing dumb things." In other words, the emergence of new technologies presents an opportunity for businesses and individuals to learn from mistakes and create better solutions.