Warren Buffett compares AI to nukes after seeing deepfake doppelganger


Berkshire Hathaway co-founder Warren Buffett recently sounded off on artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes and the perpetuation of scammers at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. 

Buffett, the ninth richest person in the world (as of April 2024), has seen his own net worth grow by some $16 billion through the first five months of 2024 alone. During the shareholders meeting held in Omaha, Nebraska he lauded the company’s growth and perseverance despite the November 2023 death of vice chairman Charlie Munger.

However, the commentary quickly turned to AI as the meeting wore on. Speaking during a Q&A session, Buffett said “I don’t know anything about AI but that doesn’t mean I deny its existence or importance or anything of the sort.”

After this auspicious start, he compared the impact of AI technologies in illicit financial activities to the advent of the atomic bomb and the proliferation of nuclear weaponry.

This, as the 93-year-old billionaire related it, stemmed from an experience he had wherein he was exposed to a deepfake doppelganger that looked, dressed, moved, and talked exactly like himself.

Per a transcript of the meeting:

“I mean, scamming has always been part of the American scene, but this would make me, if I was interested in investing in scamming, it’s going to be the growth industry of all time. And it’s enabled in a way. Obviously, AI has potential for good things too but I don’t know how you, based on the one I saw recently, I practically would send money to myself over and over in some crazy country.”

While this isn’t the first time that Buffett has decried what he sees as the scary potential of AI, it’s notable that Berkshire Hathaway’s largest investment holdings lie in the world’s second most valuable company, Apple.

The Cupertino company’s number one spot was usurped by Microsoft who metaphorically strapped itself to a rocketship when it invested heavily in ChatGPT maker OpenAI.

In the time since, it’s appeared as though Apple has been playing catch up. With a large portion of the company’s public-facing focus being placed on generative AI products.

Related: The battle against bots: How to secure social media in the age of AI

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