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Bitcoin is rat poison, in the view of Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett, and its vice chair Charlie Munger. But for them, there's something even worse: AI.
The two legends of the business world held their annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, joined by Vice Chairs Greg Abel and Ajit Jain, and they spoke freely—not only about their business but also about their perspectives on geopolitics, finance, and the future of investments.
For Warren Buffett, the constant evolution of AI tools could become a Damocles' sword capable of causing more harm to humanity than benefit, especially if society begins to rely excessively on it.
"It can do all kinds of things and when something can do all kinds of things I get a little bit worried," said Buffett about artificial intelligence. "I know we won't be able to uninvent it and, you know, we did invent—for very, very good reason—the atom bomb," he noted, in what could be the most fatalistic comparison he has made since the time when he said Bitcoin was “rat poison.”
Charlie Munger, his right-hand man, was also on his side and shared similar opinions. "I am personally skeptical of some of the hype that is going into artificial intelligence," he said. Analyzing the impact of ChatGPT and other AI tools in the present day, "I think old-fashioned intelligence works pretty well," he asserted.
Their voices join a chorus of tech and business experts that are warning against the dangers of accelerated and unsupervised training of powerful AI models. Apple’s cofounder, OpenAI’s former head of the AI alignment team, and even the godfather of AI have all recently called for caution as AI begins to gain heat among investors, and the word starts to appear in more headlines everyday.
Investors and Politics Make Dumb and Stupid Decisions
The duo also discussed Berkshire Hathaway's operations, noting that their investment portfolio was up 13% over a year. They also reaffirmed their confidence in the American economy.
Charlie Munger curiously called for strengthening friendship ties with China.
"I think we're equally guilty of being stupid. There's one thing we should do: let's get along with China, and we should have a lot of free trade with China in our mutual interest," he said, referring to the tensions between the two countries and the consequences for the development of various industries globally. "Everything that increases the tension between the two is stupid. Stupid."
During the event, neither of them shared any love for Bitcoin or the cryptocurrency industry. However, they explained that it's currently easy for entrepreneurs to enter the business world, as there seems to be a greater appetite among investors for trying new things in the markets.
"I would say there's been a great increase in the number of people doing dumb things,and the reason they do it to some extent is that they can get money from other people much easier than when we started."
Nobody asked them about their views on Pepecoin.