Bill Gates and Warren Buffett speaking at Columbia University.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Legendary value investor Warren Buffett said he has no expertise in artificial intelligence whatsoever, but thanks to Bill Gates, he took a crack at the buzzy chatbot ChatGPT.
“I think it’s something I don’t understand at all, but Bill did come by about four or five months ago at least. [He said] ‘I’m going to show you the latest thing and what can be done with that.’ I actually said take the song ‘My Way’ and write it in Spanish,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box” Wednesday from Tokyo. “Two seconds later, you know, it comes out and it comes out that rhymes and does all these wonderful things.”
The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO has spent decades telling shareholders that technology was outside of his circle of competence. After avoiding tech stocks for years, the “Oracle of Omaha” bought into Apple under the influence of his investing lieutenants and the tech giant has now become his one of biggest and most successful bets in his career.
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot developed by San Francisco-based startup OpenAI, which Microsoft is betting billions on. The tool is capable of taking written inputs from users and producing a human-like response.
Buffett recalled Gates saying one of the limitations of ChatGPT is that it can’t tell jokes.
“It just doesn’t know how to tell jokes, but it can tell you that it’s read every book, every legal opinion. I mean, the amount of time it could save you, if you were doing all kinds of things, is unbelievable,” Buffett said.
Ultimately, the 92-year-old investor said he’s unsure if the advanced technology is beneficial to the human race.
“I think it’s an incredible technological advance in terms of showing what we can do,” Buffet said. “I think this is extraordinary but I don’t know if it’s beneficial.”
The technology has sparked concerns over potential abuses. For example, students have used ChatGPT to generate entire essays, while hackers have begun testing it to write malicious code.
Gates and Buffett have been friends for more than three decades. The pair co-founded The Giving Pledge, which encourages the world’s wealthiest people to donate at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.