Warren Buffett has mixed feelings about the development artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential impact on humanity.
"It can do all kinds of things, and when something can do all kinds of things I get a little bit worried," he said at the 2023 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in May.
"I know we won't be able to uninvent it, and we did invent, for very, very good reason, the atom bomb." he added. "But is it good for the next 200 years of the world that the ability to do so has been unleashed?"
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Followers of Buffet may recognize the apocalyptic theme from his past public comments. The Berkshire chairman and CEO has repeatedly expressed concerns that a nuclear attack is the greatest danger to humanity.
And yet, despite his apprehension with the technology, nearly half of Berkshire's investments include companies linked to building AI technology.
Buffett may not be optimistic about AI when it comes to society at large, but he seems to have confidence in some of the companies who are behind its development. Here are three AI-related stocks in Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio.
In 2020, Buffett described Apple to CNBC as “probably the best business I know in the world.”
Apple shares make up the largest portion of Berkshire’s portfolio, by far, at around 48%, according to CNBC.
Of course, Apple doesn't specialize in generative AI products like ChatGPT, but the company is building its own AI tools, according to Bloomberg. Apple stock saw an immediate bump after news of the new tech was reported in July.
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Berkshire owns 10 million shares of Amazon (0.4% of its portfolio), which has funded several major AI projects. In 2018, the company launched AI-focused chips. In June of this year, Amazon announced it would invest $100 million in a new initiative called the Generative AI Innovation Center, which will help businesses build their own generative AI products and services that produce photos, text, code, video and other content. Amazon shares increased substantially after the announcement.
In July, Amazon announced its HealthScribe project, an AI service designed to save doctors time by using speech recognition and generative language modeling to create clinical records based on doctor-patient conversations.
A lesser-known holding on Berkshire's list is Snowflake, a cloud computing company that had its IPO in 2020. The company's value has significantly declined since then, but shares of the company still account for 0.3% of Berkshire's portfolio.
Snowflake has partnered with Microsoft to build large-scale AI models, and in June it announced a partnership with Nvidia, a major supplier of AI processing hardware and software. The partnership aims to allow Snowflake customers to build custom generative AI models.
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