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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son: AI Will Drive ‘Evolution of Humanity’

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank

Ten years from now, artificial intelligence (AI) will be 10,000 times smarter than humans, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son reportedly said Friday (June 21).

Speaking during SoftBank’s annual general meeting of shareholders, Son dubbed this degree of AI “artificial super intelligence (ASI),” CNBC reported Friday.

Son added that within three to five years, the industry is likely to achieve artificial general intelligence (AGI) — AI that is smarter than humans — and that AGI that is one to 10 times smarter than humans will be available by that time, according to the report.

He added that AGI will not require people to “change the structure of human lifestyle,” but that ASI will be “a totally different story” and will deliver “a big improvement,” per the report.

Various ASI models interacting with each other will enable them to achieve that milestone of becoming 10,000 times smarter than humans, Son said, according to the report.

Son said in 2023 that he was excited about investment opportunities in AI, and he said Friday that SoftBank’s mission is now the “evolution of humanity” and that “I think I was born to realize ASI,” per the report.

It was reported in May that SoftBank is planning to invest nearly $9 billion in AI, a figure that has more than doubled in the 12 months since Son said the company was ready to go on the “counteroffensive” after keeping its balance sheet at a very safe level.

SoftBank Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto told the Financial Times in May: “From now on, we want to step up investments in AI companies.”

“The reason we’ve been keeping our balance sheet at a very safe level is because we would like to be prepared,” Goto added, “and we would like to be flexible if there is anything that we would like to move on.”

In October, Son said he believed it would take until 2030 for AGI to be achieved and for it to become 10 times more powerful than human intelligence.

He added that he believed the technology would lead to a complete transition to self-driving vehicles and to AGI generating “Nobel Prize-worthy” scientific achievements.