The world's richest people are always doing battle with each other over who has the deepest pockets.
But an artificial intelligence (AI) program has had its say on which billionaires are the most influential of all time – and it is bad luck for Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who didn't make the cut.
The Daily Star asked ChatGPT to rank the top five most influential billionaires of all time. According to Forbes’s 2021 list of billionaires, there were 2,755 worldwide. That's 660 more than the previous year, with 493 new billionaires joining the list that year alone. But some are considerably more recognisable than others – like Elon Musk, the world's richest man.
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AI systems like ChatGPT are not meant to offer an opinion. Instead, they are meant to use only facts to give a cold and calculated response.
When asked, the chatbot said it is “difficult” to give a definitive rank since influence can be subjective and changes depending on various factors – from industry impact to societal contribution.
It also stressed that billionaires are a relatively new concept But these are the five most influential billionaires, according to the AI – and why the program chose them.
John D. Rockefeller
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Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil and is considered one of the wealthiest people in history. Using his fortune, he set up the famous Rockefeller Foundation.
During his career, he left a lasting legacy in sectors including public health and education. He has widely been considered the wealthiest American of all time.
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ChatGPT ranked Carnegie, a steel magnate and philanthropist as number two. He funded the construction of libraries and education institutions across the US, and pushed literacy and learning in the country in the late 19th century.
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One of the more well-known billionaires on the list, the AI system ranked Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in third place. He helped to revolutionise the personal computer industry – and rose to be one of the richest men on the planet.
He and his wife Melinda have set up a foundation to help improve global health, poverty alleviation and education. Gates also previously admitted he will not leave his vast fortune to his $107billion (£88bn) fortune.
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One of the most influential men in the world of finance, Warren Buffett is the fourth most influential billionaire according to ChatGPT. His investment philosophy and approach to business have garnered widespread attention and admiration.
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In fifth place, Tesla owner and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is a more recent addition to the list of billionaires. His career reaches across various industries from electrical to space exploration, and even renewable energy and social media.
Whereas when we asked Google's AI system the same question it gave a slightly different response. They gave the answers Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet.
Shockingly neither list included Amazon founder, business magnate, media proprietor, and investor Jeff Bezos who is one of the most recognisable billionaires today. With a net worth of approximately $154.1bn (£126bn), making him currently the third richest man alive.
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When asked why, ChatGPT said: “These individuals played pivotal roles in transforming and shaping entire industries. Many of these billionaires have committed substantial portions of their wealth to philanthropy.
“They are known for their innovative thinking and disruptive ideas. These billionaires' contributions have had lasting effects on society, the economy, and technology.
“Their influence extends beyond their own wealth and companies to the broader global landscape. They have garnered significant public attention and recognition for their achievements, which has contributed to their perception as influential figures.”
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