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Warren Buffet Calls AI Scams 'The Next Big Growth Industry'; Here's Why He May Be Right

Buffet said if he was interested in investing in scamming, AI Scams would be his bet.
PUBLISHED MAY 6, 2024
Cover Image Source: Warren Buffett at the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration | Getty Images | Photo by Daniel Zuchnik
Cover Image Source: Warren Buffett at the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration | Getty Images | Photo by Daniel Zuchnik

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett who is worth $132 billion, as per Bloomberg has cautioned the world against the dangers of AI-fuelled scams. At Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting, Buffet claimed that artificial intelligence scams could become "the growth industry of all time." After citing a deepfake video of his own, Buffet even compared AI to nuclear weapons. Buffett's warning holds significant value as there has been a rise in AI and deepfake scams.

Warren Buffett joined onstage by 24 other philanthropist and influential business people at the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration | Getty Images | Photo by Daniel Zuchnik
Warren Buffett at the Forbes Media Centennial Celebration | Getty Images | Photo by Daniel Zuchnik

Here’s what Warren Buffet is worried about

When asked about his views on artificial intelligence, during the meeting, Buffet, said, "Scamming has always been a 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.” Buffet pointed to the generative AI’s ability to reproduce realistic and misleading voice, video content that can fool people. AI voice-cloning and deepfake technology are widely used by scammers to manipulate videos and images that impersonate others. This can be of a celebrity and the fake content can be used to fool a large number of people to invest in bogus schemes, buy fake products, or send money to bad actors.

Such was the case with Buffet, who said he recently came face to face with a video that looked and sounded just like him. As per the report, the video in question could be the Fox News interview deepfake of Buffet, where he appears to be promoting a Bitcoin website.

At the recent meeting, taking a cautionary tone, Buffet compared AI to nuclear weapons. “We let the genie out of the bottle when we developed nuclear weapons and that genie has been doing some terrible things lately, and the power of that genie is what scares the hell out of me,” Buffet said.



“I don’t know any way to get the genie back in the bottle, and AI is somewhat similar,” Buffet added, as per CNBC. He also admitted that AI had potential for “good things” as well.

Buffet’s AI warning has solid backing

About 77% of victims of AI-voice cloning scams lost money, as per The Artificial Imposter, a report from McAfee, a developer of online security products. As per McAfee’s survey of 7,054 people from seven countries, a quarter of adults had experienced some kind of AI voice scam. Furthermore, a third of people who fell victim to such scams said they lost over $1,000, while 7% said they were duped between $5,000 and $15,000.

Apart from voice scams, deepfake scams have also been on the rise. About 4,000 celebrities, and high-profile personalities, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Taylor Swift, and more have been victims of deepfake videos, The Guardian previously reported citing a Channel4 analysis.

Last year, a fake investment scheme used a deepfake of Elon Musk promoting a nonexistent platform. Similar videos of CBS News anchor, Gayle King, and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson were also circulated on TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, as per CNBC.



In another recent case, a company based in Hong Kong lost $25.6 million (HK$200 million) in an elaborate deepfake scam. As per the South China Morning Post fraudsters posed as the firm’s chief financial officer (CFO) in a group video conference call and ordered money transfers from an employee.

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