SoftBank CEO foresees artificial intelligence that is 10,000 times more intelligent than humans.

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Masayoshi Son, head and top executive of SoftBank Group Corp., addressed attendees of the corporation’s yearly general conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, June 20, 2024. Son outlined aspirations to aid in developing AI thousands of times more intelligent than any human, marking his most ambitious statements since the Japanese conglomerate began taking actions to stabilize its finances after a series of poorly timed startup investments.

Kosuke Okahara | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The CEO envisions that artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence by 10,000-fold will become a reality within a decade, as stated by SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son on Friday, during a rare public appearance where he reflected on his life’s purpose.

Son detailed his vision of a future with artificial super intelligence, or ASI, as he named it.

Initially, the CEO discussed the term “artificial general intelligence,” or AGI, which encompasses AI more intelligent than humans. Son mentioned this technology is expected to be one to ten times smarter than humans and is predicted to emerge within the next three to five years, earlier than initially thought.

Regarding AGI being only marginally smarter than humans, Son stated, “then we don’t need to alter our way of life, we don’t need to change the structure of human existence,” according to a live translation of his Japanese remarks at SoftBank’s annual shareholder meeting.

“However, with ASI, it’s a completely different narrative. [With] ASI, you will witness significant advancement.”

Son elaborated on how forthcoming ASI prototypes will interact similarly to neurons in the human brain, resulting in AI surpassing any human genius by 10,000 times, according to Son’s forecast.

Following the conference, SoftBank shares saw a decline of over 3% in Japan.

Son, the creator of SoftBank, gained recognition following an early and profitable investment in the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. He portrayed SoftBank as a technological innovator with the inception of the Vision Fund in 2017, a substantial investment fund dedicated to supporting tech companies. Despite some successful endeavours, there were many prominent failures, such as the shared office space firm WeWork.

After recording historic financial losses at the Vision Fund in 2022, Son declared that SoftBank would adopt a defensive approach and approach its investments with more caution. In 2023, the Vision Fund reported another historic loss, prompting Son to announce that SoftBank would now switch to an offensive strategy as he was enthusiastic about the investment prospects in AI.

Son has largely remained out of the public eye since that period.

He made a return to the public stage on Friday to deliver a speech filled with existential ponderings.

“Two years ago, I recognized that I am growing old, the time left in my life is finite, yet I have not accomplished anything, and it made me cry profusely,” Son expressed, indicating that he believes he has not achieved anything significant thus far.

He revealed that he has now identified SoftBank’s mission, which is the “evolution of humanity.” Additionally, he stated that he has uncovered his own life’s purpose.

“Why was SoftBank established? For what was Masa Son born? It may sound peculiar, but I believe I was born to actualize ASI. I am extremely dedicated to this cause,” Son emphasized.

Source: CNBC

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