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Warren Buffett Shares Insights on AI, Apple, and Berkshire’s Future

Daniel Kim Views  

Reuters/Yonhap News

“I don’t just hope you can come next year. I hope I can be there too.”

The 93-year-old Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, concluded the Q&A session at the annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 4 with this joke, drawing laughter from investors. This year’s shareholders’ meeting was the first to be held without Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s vice chairman, who passed away at 99 last November and is also referred to as Buffett’s soul mate. Buffett acknowledged the concerns about Munger’s absence and his own age risk, responding with humor. He said, “There has been no one better to talk to about money management in the world over the past few decades than Charlie.”

At the meeting, Buffett sat alongside Greg Abel, vice chairman of Berkshire’s non-insurance operations, whom he had named as his successor in 2021. However, it was unclear whether Abel, as the successor, would also be responsible for selecting investment items. Buffett confirmed that Abel would make future investment decisions, including managing Berkshire’s stock portfolio.

Despite Munger’s absence, Buffett offered insights into the market, including the advanced industries of artificial intelligence (AI), Apple Inc., etc. He compared AI to a Genie released from a lamp, similar to nuclear weapons. He said, “The power of the Genie scares me,” and “I don’t know how to put the Genie back in the lamp, and AI is somewhat similar.”

He drew laughter by saying, “If I saw an image of myself created by AI on the screen, I would probably send money to myself in some strange country.” He also predicted that fraud using AI could become a growth industry, emphasizing that AI technology is so sophisticated that even he can’t tell whether an image of himself is real or fake.

Regarding Apple, he said that despite selling about 13% of his Apple shares last quarter, it is still a good company. After selling some of its shares, Berkshire revealed that it held $135.4 billion (approximately 184 trillion won) worth of Apple Inc. shares as of the end of March. Buffett emphasized, “Unless something extraordinary happens, we will still hold Apple, American Express, and Coca-Cola when Greg takes over the company.”

He revealed that he is considering Canadian companies as a new investment destination for Berkshire Hathaway. While acknowledging that “Canada does not have as many large corporations as the U.S.,” he said, “There are areas where we can do well with Berkshire’s participation.” Previously, Buffett explained in a letter to shareholders that as Berkshire Hathaway grows, fewer large U.S. companies are left to invest in. With Buffett currently investing in a Japanese company, it is interpreted that he is expanding his view to Canada. He said, “We are currently looking at one thing without mentioning specific companies.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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