Billionaire Steve Cohen says focusing too much on a looming recession could make you miss the ‘big wave’ of A.I. opportunity: ‘I’m actually pretty bullish’

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen during Opening Ceremonies for the Mets Homer Opener at Citi Field in Flushing, New York on April 7, 2023.
Thomas A. Ferrara—Newsday RM/Getty Images

For nearly two years now, Wall Street investment banks and top economists have warned that a recession is on the way. But while stubborn inflation and aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes have consistently weighed on the economy, it’s yet to crack. And now, with artificial intelligence technology advancing at a breakneck pace after the release of OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT in November, some of the world’s top investors believe it’s time to jump back into markets—even if the economy is still on rocky footing.

Steve Cohen, the owner of the New York Mets and founder of Point72 Asset Management, a hedge fund with assets of $28.3 billion, said this week that most investors are too concerned about a market-crushing recession, when they should be focusing on the “big wave” of opportunity in A.I. 

“I’m making a prognostication — we’re going up,” the billionaire investor said at a private conference Tuesday, Bloomberg first reported, citing unnamed sources who heard Cohen speak. “I’m actually pretty bullish.”

A representative for Point72 Asset Management declined to comment to Fortune, but said the firm does not “dispute” Bloomberg’s account.

Cohen believes that A.I. will create new jobs and help boost profits for corporations, which should lift stock prices, especially as the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hiking campaign comes to an end.

Cohen, whose net worth topped $17 billion this year, put his money where his mouth is in the first quarter of this year as well, SEC filings show.  The hedge funder bought $272 million of the chip giant Nvidia—which has surged 120% this year as investors flock to A.I. darlings—and $340 million of the tech giant Intel, another potential A.I. play.

As of the end of the first quarter, Cohen’s fund also held over $400 million worth of Google’s parent company Alphabet, an A.I. leader that recently released its own chatbot called Bard, as well as $523 million worth of Meta, which announced Thursday that it has built custom computer chips for its A.I. tech. 
The billionaire isn’t alone in his positive view of the latest A.I. developments either. At Fortune’s MPW conference in San Diego this week, ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood said that she expects A.I. to boost worker productivity and lower company costs substantially over the next decade. And Goldman Sachs senior economist Ben Snider told CNBC Wednesday that he believes the technology will boost U.S. corporate profits by 30% or more over the next decade.

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